The Fourth International Forum on Elderly Education was held on October 21 at Chaoyang Community College. Some 200 experts and scholars participated in the event.
As one of the parallel forums of the 17th China Annual Conference for International Education, the event was co-sponsored by the China Education Association for International Exchange, the National Research and Training Center for Community Education (NRTCCE), the Open University of China, China Women's University (CWU), China Adult Education Association and Beijing Oriental Senior Women's University (BOSWU).
President of the BOSWU Gu Xiulian made a keynote speech at the opening ceremony, which was presided over by Zhou Tingjun, executive director of the NRTCCE.
Gu put forward five major tasks, concerning educational resources, methods and content, support services, mechanism innovation and sustainable development, to promote elderly education in China.
She said that the whole of society should expand resources for elderly education. Development in cities and counties should have priority, while services for the elderly living alone or scattered in rural areas should be strengthened. At the same time, developed areas are encouraged to give support to remote or rural areas.
Various schools at all level should promote elderly education. Resources such as libraries and facilities should be opened to local elderly people. Those who want to study can also enroll, said Gu.
Efforts should also be made to enrich education patterns and content, and explore new study models at elderly-care centers and nursing homes. Support services such as information technology should be enhanced. Resources in culture, sports and technologies should be integrated for elderly education, according to Gu.
Meanwhile, the development mechanism for elderly education should also be innovated. Market vitality should be fully stimulated, and private capital is encouraged to participate in elderly education, Gu added.
Huang Kan, deputy director of Beijing Municipal Education Commission, and Huang Ying, director of the Social Education Department at the MOE's Department of Vocational and Adult Education, also made speeches during the conference.
Sun Jianbei, dean of CWU's Higher Vocational College, delivered a speech around the impact of elderly education. He emphasized the relationship between elderly education and harmonious society, and laid out the Chinese government's efforts in dealing with the aging population.
A sustainable development of elderly education should be promoted, Sun said. Talent cultivation is needed, research on theories and policies should be enhanced, and global communication and cooperation should be strengthened.
According to the notice on the development plan for elderly education (2016-2020) issued by the State Council General Office On Oct 19. Senior citizens who participate in educational activities in various forms should account for over 20 percent of the whole aging population by 2020.
By that time, every city above county level should have at least one university for the elderly; 50 percent of towns and villages should have schools for the elderly; 30 percent of administrative villages and neighborhood committees should have learning centers for the elderly. One to two elderly volunteer teams should be established in every elderly university and volunteer service organizations can be found in schools for the elderly, Sun added.
Themed on "Schools', Enterprises', and the Society's Joint Efforts in Promoting the Development of Elderly Education", the event aimed to provide theoretical and practical experiences for senior education in China, especially community education.
Upholding the principles of communication, cooperation, innovation, and development, the conference broadened participants' horizons, made them realize the developing trends of elderly education and gave direction for talent cultivation and teaching reform among universities, organizers said.
(Source: China Women's University/Translated and edited by Gender Study Network)
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