Wekids kindergarten has been renowned in New Taipei as an ‘aristocratic’ educational establishment. However it was discovered today that they kept 61 students above the permissible capacity.
Wekids kindergarten and their Elementary School department are located in New Taipei City’s Xinzhuang district. Every time inspectors from the Education Bureau turned up to check the number of kids, Wekids staff would rapidly contact one another through the Line messaging app about the impending threat. They would frantically hide the unfortunate students and cram them into the principal’s room or other available offices. Kids were also duped into believing that this was an official fire drill in case the parents asked their children about how school went that day. Air conditioning units in the those rooms were turned off causing kids to become drowsy and sleepy during such “fire drills,” which in reality were obviously the Education Bureau’s official visits.
The Board of Education was informed yesterday about the suspicious case, and went to investigate without notifying Wekids about their visit beforehand. A person stood in front of the school checking how many kids are going in and making sure no kids are drive away from the scene. Upon the discovery of the hidden children, Parker Chen (陳靜儀), the principal of the campus, said that the kids came back to pick up their “diplomas of completion of kindergarten education,” a claim the parents immediately disproved. The principal also claimed that the students were ‘picking up a few things’. Wekids students’ graduation ceremony took place on July 22 and their semester ended on July 28th, meaning that the students in question shouldn’t be there.
Yesterday’s visit revealed that the original number of 150 students is fictitious and the real number of students stands at 211, 61 students above the maximum capacity. The inspectors also found out that the school’s area didn’t comply with Education and Health & Safety regulations. For these breaches Wekids will be charged NT$ 6,000 and NT$ 3,000, respectively.
It is quite difficult to hide what’s happening in the classrooms from the parents, as they can constantly monitor the situation through security cameras that are connected to the internet. Still, Wekids played a dangerous game and lost. Some long-term teachers remarked, “This has been going on for several years and the school never got caught.” They also shared very interesting LINE messages:
T1: Director! Education Bureau inspectors are in the building!
T1: Shall we turn off the security cameras?
T2: If parents see what’s happening they will call to enquire.
T1: Baby class’s no 4 parents are asking why there are so many people
T3: To the principal’s room
T3: Go to the auditorium.
T3: If you don’t make any sounds you will be fine.
T1: We are on the 4th floor.
T4: Tell foreign teachers to hide properly!
T5: Principal was asking about school buses, not the security cameras. Don’t worry
The school has been given one month to improve their system and make the necessary arrangements that will meet the Board of Education’s expecations, lest they be forced to dismiss the extra students. According to Taiwan’s law, the next penalty for the school will be NT$ 15,000.