The National Parents’ Association yesterday hosted a plaque unveiling ceremony with more than 50 schools in Taichung as a symbol of their push for character education.

The plaque, which was unveiled at Taichung City Hall, reads: “li yi lian chi” (禮義廉恥, “propriety, justice, integrity and honor”).

A student’s academic achievements and skills are meaningless without character education, Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) said.

As a parent herself, she approves of the schools’ push for quality education, she said.

While every child’s talent is different, the one thing that all parents insist on is the hope that their child does not “turn bad,” association director Chen Yen-chih (陳彥志) said.

The association is to raise funds to purchase plaques to hang on schools’ campuses as awards for their efforts in character education, he said.

The li yi lian chi plaques that were once common on school campuses can no longer be found at several newly established schools he has worked at, Hui-Wen Elementary School principal Lee Yuan-sheng (李源昇) said.

Compared to students in the past, students today are less familiar with those four words and are detached from the meaning of those four words, he added.

Character education is a “long-term” process, said Kuo Li-min (國立民) and Huang Yuan-yuan (黃圓媛), the principals of Da-An Junior High School and Shiwei Elementary School respectively.

As long as people continue promoting character education, students will “feel” its effects, they added.