tmwilliamlin168's blog

By tmwilliamlin168, history, 9 months ago, In English,

Hello,

I have dual citizenship (Taiwan and USA), and I currently study in an American high school located in Taiwan. I've already participated in the regional contest about 7 weeks ago and did pretty well, so I qualified for the national contest.

So now I'm practicing as much as I can for the national contest, but recently I was told that I could qualify for the training camp but not the national team for Taiwan.

I searched online for IOI rules and found this link on the IOI-2017 site: http://www.ioinformatics.org/rules/reg17.pdf. Here are some parts of it that stood out:

"A Contestant is a student who was enrolled in a school at a level not higher than secondary education, in the Country they are representing, for the majority of the period 1 September to 31 December in the year before IOI’n. Students who are studying abroad may represent the Country of their nationality."

Not only am I studying in Taiwan, I also have Taiwan citizenship, so I definitely fit this criterion.

"The main objectives to be accomplished by the IOI are:

  • To discover, encourage, bring together, challenge, and give recognition to young people who are exceptionally talented in the field of informatics;

  • To foster friendly international relationships among computer scientists and informatics educators;

  • To bring the discipline of informatics to the attention of young people;

  • To promote the organisation of informatics competitions for students at schools for secondary education;

  • To encourage countries to organise a future IOI in their country."

Later, I asked for clarification about why I was ineligible, which doesn't support the objectives shown above:

"The national teams are supposed to show that Taiwanese education is superior to other education systems. If a student from a foreign school represents Taiwan in an international olympiad, then it defeats the purpose. Thus, you are ineligible to represent Taiwan in international olympiads."

  1. Other countries, like USA, don't care about things like the statement above.
  2. The statement above only applies if the contestants perform well. Else, they should invite someone "with a different education system" (I don't know why it matters) to take the blame for not performing well.
  3. Which person at IOI would notice which school I came from?
  4. Which person at IOI who even noticed which school I came from would bother to know that my school provides American education?
  5. Which person at IOI who even noticed which school I came from and that my school provides American education would change their views about Taiwan?
  6. Why can't they credit my results (IF they are even good) to the training that I received in the training camp in Taiwan?
  7. Of course "Taiwanese education" and "American education" prepares all students for international olympiads (for example for informatics, by teaching topics like Dynamic Programming Optimizations or Heavy-Light Decomposition in school), and it's not the contestants' own hard work. Thus, the results for each country accurately reflects how successful the education system in that country is.

I don't really have that much experience or knowledge in everything mentioned above. Maybe IOI set a "loose bound" for the eligible contestants, and each country can set its own "tighter bound", so I came here to ask, what are your thoughts?

Hopefully, this can be a precedent that will be explained for all countries and contestants in the future.

 
 
 
 
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9 months ago, # |
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Auto comment: topic has been updated by tmwilliamlin168 (previous revision, new revision, compare).

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9 months ago, # |
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"The national teams are supposed to show that Taiwanese education is superior to other education systems. If a student from a foreign school represents Taiwan in an international olympiad, then it defeats the purpose. Thus, you are ineligible to represent Taiwan in international olympiads."

So this may be the wrong place and time to ask those questions, but I am genuinely interested and generally love to complain about those things. How much does the Taiwanese education system really contribute to success in olympiads? Most secondary education I am familiar with has been straight up counterproductive to success in international olympiads.

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    9 months ago, # ^ |
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    The last time I went to a Taiwanese school was in 4th grade, so I don't know the specific details.

    There is a big test that all Taiwanese high-schoolers spend a long time preparing for which covers everything from the start of high school (10th grade). I know that the US doesn't have this test (maybe the SAT, but it doesn't cover that much material), but I'm not sure about other countries.

    A good thing is that the top 10 from the training camp get a recommendation for guaranteed admission to any college.

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    9 months ago, # ^ |
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    I believe that William should be eligible and find it strange that anyone actually uses the IOI to compare education systems. To answer your question though, I thought the system was conducive to success in international olympiads. The schools are set up such that the best students all end up at together (with the unfortunate byproduct that the worst students also end up together), and at least when I studied there, the top students in each subject received additional classes which focused almost entirely on olympiad style problems.

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    9 months ago, # ^ |
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    As a '15 IOI participant from Taiwan, I have to say that the education system has absolutely zero contribution to IOI.

    It's quite a weird restriction blocking TAS students from participating IOI, since lots of ISEF representatives are from TAS in Taiwan.

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9 months ago, # |
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The national teams are supposed to show that Taiwanese education is superior to other education systems. If a student from a foreign school represents Taiwan in an international olympiad, then it defeats the purpose. Thus, you are ineligible to represent Taiwan in international olympiads.

Who said this?

It is clear that this is against the spirit of IOI, and your points are very good. You are eligible for being a team member.

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    9 months ago, # ^ |
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    It was either a secretary from the training camp or just the ministry of education.

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    9 months ago, # ^ |
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    Honestly this just sounds like the words of some patriot who hasn't really got a clue about education or its role in international olympiads...

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    9 months ago, # ^ |
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    Also, regarding this issue, I heard it was the same this year in Turkey, where students from certain schools (although geographically placed inside Turkey, with Turkish students) weren't allowed to have contenders in the National Olympiad or something like that. Source

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9 months ago, # |
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http://www.ioinformatics.org/a_d_m/president.shtml

The IOI president is from your country. He should know the IOI rules very well. I would send a message to him and explain the situation.

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    9 months ago, # ^ |
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    What I've heard is that a few years ago people from the ministry of education voted against letting students in foreign schools represent Taiwan in any international olympiads, so I don't know if that would help.

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      9 months ago, # ^ |
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      Well, if this is true, it is clearly against the IOI regulations.

      A2.5:

      [A selection procedure] is open to all eligible students in their delegation's Country, although restrictions may be placed on where, when and how students can enter the procedure, and a student's nationality can be limited to that of the relevant Country.

      I think that if the ministry of education has made such a decision, they will change their mind if another option is that Taiwan must be excluded from the IOI because they don't follow the IOI regulations.

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        9 months ago, # ^ |
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        How can a high school student contact with the IOI president and the ministry of education?

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          9 months ago, # ^ |
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          At least the IOI president (and the other members of the IOI committee) are easy to contact: just send them an email.

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        9 months ago, # ^ |
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        The "where, when, and how" seems a little ambiguous, but it shouldn't include restrictions on schools, right?

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          9 months ago, # ^ |
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          Yeah, it is a bit ambiguous. Still, it would not make sense to restrict the schools of the participants. I would interpret that, for example, the final round of the national contest may be organized in a certain city.

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9 months ago, # |
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So I'm also Taiwanese and posted this to my Facebook. ltf0501 claims that the 2014 IMO national team had a member who had dual citizenship AND was attending a high school geographically in the US. Whether the rules changed after that is beyond our grasp though.

BTW, there was a time when a lot of people thought my online handle was tmwilliamlin :D

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9 months ago, # |
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Hello. As I could understand from regulations point A2.5, Taiwanese Ministry of Education is able to restrict your participation in selection procedure, because you have dual citizenship. But still you have a chance to be selected in USA team (regulations point S2.5).

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    9 months ago, # ^ |
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    So I mean, they can ban your participation, because you are US citizen as well.

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    9 months ago, # ^ |
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    Why? The rule say they can restrict non-Taiwan citizenship students from participating, it don't mean anything about dual citizenship.

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I think the selection system of national team for IOI in Taiwan is quite controversial, and I had heard lots of people complain about it for a long time.

Last year I had participate the entrance exam of training camp, and during the contest the judge system has broken while they just told us it works noramally. Also, the contest style in each region can differ a lot, some region would judge your solution after the contest has ended (some region even judge by human), while others not. The problem quality is also controversial sometimes, I think.

And the thing you had mentioned in the comments "A good thing is that the top 10 from the training camp get a recommendation for guaranteed admission to any college." won't be true as well. Last year, the sixth (or seventh) place has failed to enroll in NTU (considered the best university in Taiwan).

I hope the system in Taiwan would be better after your case, and best wishes for your national contest.

p.s. sorry for my poor English ability.

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    9 months ago, # ^ |
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    Actually according to the rule, it says "the top 8-12 from the training camp get a recommendation for guaranteed admission to any college."

    At least in the recent 3 years, the top 12 from the training camp get a recommendation for guaranteed admission to any college.

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      9 months ago, # ^ |
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      I know... he was sadly rejected by NTU due to his academic performance in his high school

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      9 months ago, # ^ |
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      From what I've heard, I thought NTU would usually deny the person who came in last out of all the applicants?

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        9 months ago, # ^ |
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        I remember that I've heard somebody enroll in NTU with a 11 or 12 place in training camp while he has well academic performance in his school some years ago (maybe the rule today has been changed or I've just misremember it.)

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          9 months ago, # ^ |
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          Interesting... The results should be out in a few weeks, gotta keep my fingers crossed :D

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9 months ago, # |
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I read the rules, and they say IOI only accepts an selection procedures that :

  • Is based on ability and includes a test of the students’ programming and problem solving ability
  • Is open to all eligible students in their delegation’s Country, although restrictions may be placed on where, when and how students can enter the procedure, and a student’s nationality can be limited to that of the relevant Country.

If you are unable to participate in Taiwan TST, then it is not a valid selection procedure as it violates point 2. Taiwan teams didn't took a valid TST, so they are not eligible. If you fail to take the TST, you can ask IOI organization to ban uneligible Taiwan teams from participating in IOI 2018.

Of course I never ever want to make innocent students suffer! I just hope this can be a good point for you to make for the bureaucrats.

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    9 months ago, # ^ |
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    Is china also breaking this rule by not letting students who already have gold, go to IOI?

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      9 months ago, # ^ |
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      you can think of "not getting a gold" as passing the selection test for next IOI which follows rule 1.

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9 months ago, # |
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Talks with the government are useless. Since you are a US citizen, it maybe better to find if you are eligible for USACO

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9 months ago, # |
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If your description of your situation is correct and complete, I fully agree that you should be eligible to represent Taiwan at the IOI, and denying you the opportunity goes against the spirit of the IOI.

The advice given by pllk in this thread is very good, I completely agree with it. Start by contacting Greg Lee who is the current IOI President. Actually, the fact that he is from Taiwan may either be lucky or unlucky in this case, that remains to be seen. Lucky because he should have all the necessary information and a lot of power to help you, unlucky because he cannot be impartial in this case. If you are unable to resolve this issue by talking to him, one possible last resort is to bring it to the attention of the entire International Committee of the IOI.

Good luck!

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7 months ago, # |
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Update: The government just issued this order. http://imotwn.stat.ncu.edu.tw/download.php?sn=348&f=0 It's in Chinese, but basically it clarifies that students in American Schools are no longer (after 4/29/2015) eligible for selection of Taiwan teams for every Olympiads and ISEF. Quite stunning, but this is how Taiwan's government works.

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5 months ago, # |
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Another update: After summing up all the team selection test, OP got the first. The team selection committee has not yet officially announced any possible action that they will take, but it is really likely that they choose the fifth place/sixth place instead of OP (the fifth place is probably in the IMO team this year, so some people say they might prefer the sixth place). I have no idea what will happen next, but I hope that OP gets what he deserves.

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    5 months ago, # ^ |
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    Please help him.

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    5 months ago, # ^ |
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    so did OP contact the IOI president? If so, what was the response given?

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      5 months ago, # ^ |
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      He said that he tried but couldn't really do anything to solve this problem.

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        They should ban Taiwan until they allow students from foreign high schools participate.

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    5 months ago, # ^ |
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    Did he contact the IC of IOI, or he will if he doesn't get the deserved place in the team?

    Edit: Didn't see redocyz's comment.

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      What if we all try to contact with him? He wouldn't care if only one kid contacts.

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Any update?

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    4 months ago, # ^ |
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    Sad News. The team member result has been published, and OP didn't qualified as a national team member.

    The Official Announcement (in Chinese)

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      4 months ago, # ^ |
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      What the fuck? And everyone is letting it slide?

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        4 months ago, # ^ |
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        Taiwan should delete this stupid rule before next year.

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          4 months ago, # ^ |
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          The way I see it Taiwan should be fuckin' banned unless they include OP in the team. This is injustice in plain sight.

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            4 months ago, # ^ |
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            Or at least IOI IC should make exception and give him right to participate. Idk if he has contacted them.

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              4 months ago, # ^ |
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              I am really sad that we have no choice but obey the stupid rule. It would be great if people around the world all stand out and speak for the OP to IOI IC, but I am afraid that this rule will remain the same in Taiwan.

              To OP: Fuck Taiwan government and try to shine in USACO. Taiwan is not worth it for you to stay in.

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                4 months ago, # ^ |
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                At least, iloveUtaha is allowed to go to IOI and IMO at the same time. I think it is also a controversial issue in Taiwan, lol.

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2 months ago, # |
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Gonna ask once again: is Taiwan really going to be allowed to compete although it broke the rules by organizing a selection that is basically not open to all students from Taiwan? What the fuck is the IOI committee doing about it? The OP earned his place to IOI...

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    2 months ago, # ^ |
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    I do agree that something should be done, but is it fair to the other 3 students if taiwan is banned from the IOI? Can we be confident that Taiwan will play fair if the IOI committee ban them or would they just be less transparent about their selection process? not trying to disagree, but I just don't see how banning Taiwan from the IOI really helps

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      7 weeks ago, # ^ |
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      I think that being forced to either take best 4 or to not take anybody at all could work. The worst case is no fair, but according to the rules, this shouldn't be discussed, and should simply not happen. But IOI committee standing and doing nothing although they are aware of the issue is not good at all. If they decide to ignore this they are just as bad as the taiwanese government.

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        7 weeks ago, # ^ |
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        Do you know whether the IOI committee is actually aware of this issue? The only thing mentioned in this thread is that apparently someone talked to Greg Lee.

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          7 weeks ago, # ^ |
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          I don't, I just assumed that he's tried all the approaches (and it was mentioned in one of these comments that it's advisable to contact the IOI committee as well). tmwilliamlin168, have you reached out to the IOI committee?

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            7 weeks ago, # ^ |
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            I probably should have, but I didn't.

            I have only talked to the IOI president, and I felt like he didn't really want to help.

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      7 weeks ago, # ^ |
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      Once you break the rules, you do not get to demand things in the name of fairness. No, of course it isn't fair to the other 3 students, since they should not be allowed to compete because of their country — and they should hold their country responsible for this unfairness.

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        7 weeks ago, # ^ |
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        I understand both sites, but I definitely would not like to be punished in any way because my government is f^&*d up and I don't want to be responsible for their actions.

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          7 weeks ago, # ^ |
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          If your government is really fucked up, being punished for their actions is inevitable and not being able to take part in a competition is the least of the ways in which it's going to happen. (In fact, if your government's actions don't get you killed, you're better off than many cases even in recent history.)

          Still, if you only throw your hands in the air and say "I'm not responsible for this", that doesn't mean anyone will care. A much better bet is preventing such situations from happening in the first place.

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            7 weeks ago, # ^ |
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            A much better bet is preventing such situations from happening in the first place.

            How do you expect a high schooler to prevent such situations from happening? Especially in a country where speaking up against authority is not a culture.

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              7 weeks ago, # ^ |
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              Boycott. If several people who expect to get to IOI together do that, perhaps it will have some effect.

              Especially in a country where speaking up against authority is not a culture.

              Then they won't complain if they aren't allowed to go.

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                7 weeks ago, # ^ |
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                I do agree that it may be possible that something might happen with boycotting. However, I think that this is too much to ask from the contestant. If it does not work out, not only would they not be able to take part in the IOI, their opportunity to study in a local university might be jeopardised as well. Again, is it fair to expect them to make such as decision at such a young age?

                Then they won't complain if they aren't allowed to go.

                Why is this even a point? So we should only take action when someone complains about something?

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            7 weeks ago, # ^ |
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            Sure, governments have much broader power than not allowing somebody compete somewhere, but let's focus just on that case here. If I do something stupid/careless like accidentally breaking a glass in restaurant or whatever then I shouldn't throw my hands in the air and say "I'm not responsible for this", but if I am a high schooler and somebody way above me makes a stupid decisions which I completely don't agree with but I don't have any power to influence them in any way then I think I am morally allowed to do this and I should not face negative consequences of them if this is possible to omit them.

            What you say about preventing such situations from happening may sound noble but is in fact pathetic when it comes to this particular example. There are 3 students in Taiwanese team that earned their place there in a rightful way. Do you really think banning them from competition can be called "justice"? I imagine you responding "yes" — if that would be the case then rethink it. If your answer don't change then do this again. And again. (Btw I am kinda surprised by negative feedback of my previous post. I presume answer to this question of 15 people that gave me downvotes is "yes"? Because that's what my previous post was about)

            Maybe IOI committee could have done some action against this, but this should not harm competitors. For example give them 3 spots only this year or maybe impose some sanction. However I understand that they have their drawbacks and it's not that simple as saying this as I did. There is probably no good way of making fair people happy and unfair people unhappy here.

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              7 weeks ago, # ^ |
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              Here it can't be fair anyway. It sucks, but honestly it really is debatable if you want the whole team to have the same chances or not — that is if you ban the other 3 students or not (cause well if you did, it'll be 4 times worse on one hand, and they at least will be equal to each other on the other hand).

              I'm not talking here about banning the team as a only way to act anyway, they could choose some other measures: for example to speak out load at IOI about this injustice, to ban the participating teachers, to write to the government that starting from the next year no team will be allowed if this happens again, and so on. The thing is, that if you are IOI committee, then, at least when it comes to IOI, it's your duty to not stand back and to do something — anything, against someone breaking your rules.

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                7 weeks ago, # ^ |
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                if you are IOI committee, then, at least when it comes to IOI, it's your duty to not stand back and to do something — anything, against someone breaking your rules.

                Completely agree with this! Maybe we should all write an email to the IOI committee to voice our complains? Or start a petition somewhere?

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              7 weeks ago, # ^ |
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              I really hate when someone thinks that their opinion is the only right one and that others are wrong.

              I think that even if some people earned their place rightfully (according to the IOI spirit), For example, Taiwan may have a limited number of official participants this or next year (let's say three spots).

              I believe this might be a strong signal for people responsible for that choice.

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One question to the article author: is your high school approved of the place of secondary education officially by the government? It may sound a silly question, but similar cases could happen in other countries i think.

For example, I'll show the eligibility of IOI or selection camp in Japan for example (because no matter where I am now, I was born in Japan and participated in IOI as Japan national team years ago).

2019年2月10日(日)の第18回日本情報オリンピック本選競技実施時点で、高等学校 (High schools)、高等専門学校 (Technical colleges)、中学校 (Junior High)、中等教育学校 (Equivalent of Junior High)、小学校 (Elementary high)、義務教育学校 (I don't know) 、特別支援学校 (Schools for special need) に在学し、学年が高等学校2年以下(中等教育学校や高等専門学校などの在校生は高等学校2年に相当する学年以下)であること。 日本国内において学校以外の初等・中等教育機関に所属している人は個別に相談。(Those who go other schools should directly contact us) (This rule was added in 2009) 生年月日が1999年4月2日以降であること。

I think other countries also have rules that you should enroll in a school recognized by the government. For example, in Japan, most International schools aren't licensed by the government, So the students cannot partcipate in Japanese OI no matter which your nationality is. (Except for junior-high or elementary high school students. Due to mandatory education, those student belong to one public school even if they don't go to the school at all.)

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    7 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    Yeah, it's not really "approved" in some sense.

    However, just because some countries have this rule, it still shouldn't be there if it contradicts with IOI rules.

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      7 weeks ago, # ^ |
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      Have you read the IOI regulation? It doesn't contradict with IOI rules (S2.5.1), especially if those governments consider you are not enrolled in any school but somewhere else you can get some knowledge from.

      I'm not saying Taiwan's OI official isn't bad. But unfortunately, it seems they could make excuse enough to avoid criticism by the IOI officials.

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        7 weeks ago, # ^ |
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        Although my school may not be approved as a school under control of the Ministry of Education, it is still listed as an "international school" located in Taiwan, so I don't think that they can get away with this issue by saying that I'm not enrolled in any school.

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          7 weeks ago, # ^ |
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          Is there any proof which the government recognizes that your school isn’t tertiary school (college or equivalent, or preliminary college)?

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            7 weeks ago, # ^ |
              Vote: I like it +5 Vote: I do not like it

            It seems very likely. One of the reasons is that the national olympiad only allows high school students to participate. Judging by how they are restricting my IOI participation, they definitely wouldn't be so lenient to let me participate in the national olympiad in the first place if my school wasn't a high school.

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7 weeks ago, # |
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Well, that's a pity IOI committee does nothing about such situations, as well as ones when some country decides to boycott particular IOI due to political reasons. Organizers seem to have enough power to force countries follow the rules but they do not, such a shame.

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    7 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    Do you have any actual examples when the IOI committee could do something and didn't?

    The only actual bargaining chip the IOI committee has is "if your country doesn't follow the rules, we won't let it take part in the IOI". Beyond that, they have no power at all.

    On the other hand, the IOI committee can look for ways to go around official limitations — see Israel's participation last year. If people want to take part in the IOI, countries stand in their way, and the IOI committee is aware of this, they can look for a solution and as far as I know, in past they did.

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      7 weeks ago, # ^ |
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      What about ukrainian and turkish teams when ioi was in Russia? As far as I remember they could not go there even at their own expense. And even that piece of power to punish countries you mentioned wasn't used now. Not even public disapproval. Like ioi committee completely ok with that and doesn't see any reason to interfere in any way.

      When something that unfair happens, it must not be tolerated.

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        7 weeks ago, # ^ |
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        As far as I know, IOI committee tried help to the Turkish team members until the goverment's declaration of "no attending as a country", thus the story ended in a sad way.

        Even though you are right, assume this as a non-tolerable topic and consider some punishments, would not that block some other dreams, some future participants dreams for IOI, because of their governments foolish behaviours?

        I hate all political stuff too, but this would be extremely painful for some innocent people, wouldn't it?

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          7 weeks ago, # ^ |
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          There are some less harming ways of influence, as was stated before. First of all, rules violations at the very least must always be explicitly blamed. Then it may be lowering country quota instead of full ban. The point is not to actually punish someone but to make clear to the governments that they are not the ones in charge here.

          As for some dreams and etc... I consider it as a lesser evil. Many want to go to ioi. Many fail. I failed. If you consider it a major failure in your life, you kind of doing it wrong. However while such behavior from governments is being hushed up and only discussed non-publicly, it will continue to take place. And that's not ok. I agree that it may be unfair for contestants, I can't suggest anything other than introduce some neutral flag for them.

          And as for "no attending as a country" it clearly should have been ignored, imo.

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      7 weeks ago, # ^ |
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      Wouldn't it make sense for them to allow William to participate himself as a contestant separate from Taiwan?

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7 weeks ago, # |
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dude,u have dual gender too,iywim :D