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Mayor Visits Bangka Academy Fair

Mayor Ko speaking at the opening of the Bangka Academy FairOn August 7, Mayor Ko Wen-je arrived at the Bangka Academy Fair to meet with students and visit some of the stalls. The event is co-organized by local schools including Huajiang Senior High School, Wanhua Junior High School, Shuangyuan Elementary School, Xiyuan Elementary School, and Nanhai Experimental Kindergarten.
During his address, Ko pointed out that the four-school-one-campus idea came about roughly four years ago. After undergoing numerous discussions, communications, assessments, and workshops, the concept was able to reach fruition today – the consensus on a greater “Bangka Academy.” The next steps will involve concrete planning for the future institution.
The mayor remarked that today’s event is important and he is not simply here to enjoy the fair. People needs to start thinking about issues such as what form the future Bangka Academy will take, what the kids graduating from the institution will be like, and so on.
Noting that there are 236 schools under Taipei’s Department of Education, Ko stressed that nearly 70% of these institutions will require major overhaul over the next 15 years. The total construction cost may be as high as NT$200 billion. Internal discussions within city hall agree that these projects should be executed by a city-level authority and not by individual schools, hence the birth of the concept of EOD (Educational Development Orientation).
According to the mayor, the distribution of Taipei’s middle, elementary, and high schools is a microcosm of the city’s demographics. As our society tackles issues such as low birth rate, aging population, and school overhaul, an important issue we should keep in mind is how to incorporate concerns such as childcare, care of the elderly, and social services into the overhaul of school campuses.
He believes that the quality of schools will shape the quality of the surrounding community to a certain degree, since students are the focus of schools. Quality communities nurture promising talents who enroll in surrounding schools, and that is why schools are inevitably linked to the betterment of communities. A well-developed community also improves the quality of its schools.
The mayor also took the opportunity to express his gratitude to all those who supported the initiative along the way. He believes that the success of Bangka Academy will revolutionize and change the appearance of Wanhua District, bringing more vitality into the community. Citing the incorporation of community development concepts into the rebuilding of the First Fruits and Vegetables Wholesale Market and Huannan Market, the mayor touts the importance of driving development and changes in the surrounding community through new public structures.