Teachers union calls for scrapping bilingual nation policy
The National Federation of Teachers Unions is urging the government to scrap what it's describing as its "misguided" policy to turn Taiwan into a "bilingual nation" by the year 2030.
The call comes as a draft act for the establishment of a "Bilingual Nation Development Center" under the National Development Council is scheduled to be reviewed in the Legislative Yuan later today.
A public petition on the council's public policy participation platform calling for the government to drop the policy has received over 5,000 signatures and met the threshold for requiring a formal response.
According to federation Chairman Hou Chun-liang, along with now being obliged to respond to criticism of the policy, the government should halt the legislation and remove English as a default language of instruction in non-English classes while federation member Liao Hsien-hao says another reason to scrap the policy is that advances in translation technologies will quickly make the bilingual nation policy irrelevant.
Premier Chen Chien-jen is defending the establishment of a Bilingual Nation Development Center - saying it doesn't mean that English would be designated as an official language.