TAIPEI, Taiwan - Education Minister Chiang Wei-ling yesterday announced his resignation in order to defend his personal reputation and to avoid affecting policy promotion in the wake of an academic fraud scandal in which he was allegedly involved.
Chiang, however, still insisted on his innocence regarding his alleged involvement, issuing a statement yesterday to explain the reasons why he resigned from the ministerial position that he had held for over two years.
The recent academic fraud scandal involves National Pingtung University associate professor Peter Chen Chen-yuan, whose 60 academic articles were withdrawn by an international journal, and Chiang, whose name is on five of the 60 academic articles.
Chiang released a statement on Sunday to distance himself from allegations that he had "co-written" a series of fraudulent academic articles with the associate professor.
Based on the latest statement that Chiang released yesterday, he said that he considered societal opinions and deeply pondered the scandal before making the decision to resign.
Chiang said that he already reported to President Ma Ying-jeou and Premier Jiang Yi-huah about his resignation, and they both supported his decision but also praised his past efforts as education minister.
According to Chiang, he will continue to contact the Ministry of Science and Technology and the publisher of the Journal of Vibration and Control, hoping they can further investigate the allegations.
Chiang said that during his term as education minister, he actively promoted the 12-year compulsory education programme because the goal of education is to help each child accomplish what they dream of.
According to Chiang, he does not regret the decision to leave his position even though the 12-year compulsory education programme was just launched this year, and he believes that the next education minister can continue to polish the programme based on what he has done.
Even though he will no longer be the education minister, Chiang said that he will continue to help the young generation as an educator.
Chiang said that he will return to National Central University as a professor, and Executive Yuan spokesman Sun Lih-chyun announced that Deputy Minister of Education Chen Der-hua will take over the ministerial position temporarily.
The Journal of Vibration and Control earlier this month withdrew 60 papers by Chen, accusing him of creating false accounts to subvert the peer review process.
Five of the 60 papers were written by Chen's twin brother C.W. Chen and bore Chiang's name as a co-writer - without Chiang's approval - but also listed Peter Chen as one the writers, according to Wang Jough-tai, secretary-general of the Education Ministry.