Taiwan: Teachers wear black to back up demands
In a joint action organized by the National Teachers' Association (NTA) and the National Federation of Teachers' Unions (NFTU), Taiwan teachers wore black T-shirts on September 28, 2012, National Teachers’ Day, to remind President Ma Ying-Jeou of the government's promise to address a range of concerns dating back to 2008.
NTA President Liu Chin-Hsu said the participation of teachers was overwhelming. "Teachers in Taiwan stand united to remind the government that education will be hurt if the goernment does not keep these publicly-made promises. Integrity is priceless--but most of all, it's the future generations that are at stake if we cannot provide them with adequate means for learning," he said.
The teachers’ unions are pressing for:
- An increase in the national education budget (promised in 2008),
- A national pension plan (promised in 2010),
- An increase in the number of primary school teachers, and a higher subsidy for classroom teachers (promised in 2011),
- A decrease in class sizes to a maximum of 25 pupils (promised in the last election).
The Education International General Secretary, Fred van Leeuwen, backed up the Taiwan teachers’ actions.“Education is a major factor in the economic, democratic and social development of a country. It is important that governments take this into account,” he said.