Education International
Education International

Taiwan: Teachers’ union stands up for students’ health

published 16 September 2014 updated 17 September 2014

A national teachers’ union in Taiwan has called for the boycott of a major food manufacturer in a bid, it says, to protect Taiwanese people’s health, especially that of students.

The National Teachers’ Association ROC (NTA), an EI national affiliate, has made the call to boycott Ting-Hsin International Group following two food security scares in Taiwan that have involved the conglomerate.

The food safety issues arose in relation to contaminated cooking oil and the use of ‘gutter oil’ in products sold by the Taiwanese-owned company, a major manufacturer and retailer of food and beverage products.

“NTA is very concerned for our students’ safety and health, which is the top priority of quality education,” said NTA’s newly elected president, Hsu-Cheng Chang.“NTA calls on every citizen, especially all of our members and every child’s parent, to stand up for our children’s health and boycott Ting-Hsin.”

EI: Education and health complementary

Health is a basic human right and an indispensable factor in economic and social development. “At EI, we are convinced that education and health are mutually complementary and reinforcing, and that the school is the irreplaceable and most useful place in a country for the improvement of both health and education,” said EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen.

The state of health affects learning and success at school and health education should give children the essential skills to enable them to make choices and adopt behaviour that will determine their health for their rest of their lives, he added.

“We urge the national authorities to make sure that companies such asTing-Hsin International Group sell food and beverages complying with national and international health standards,” van Leeuwen said. “They must involve organisations representing education at every stage of the conception, implementation and evaluation of school health programmes.”