On November 4, 2014, the national opening ceremony of the Activity Week of Lifelong Learning for All, co-hosted by the Department of Vocational and Adult Education of the Ministry of Education (MOE), the China National Commission for UNESCO, and the China Adult Education Association, was held in Yuzhong District of Chongqing.
The main contents of this activity week, which has the theme of “Lifelong Learning for All Creates a Colourful Life”, are the theme exhibition of the activity week of lifelong learning for all, the exhibitions of achievements of national “Learning Stars of Common People”, “Lifelong Learning Activities Brand” and others, and the keynote speech “Opening the new normal of lifelong learning”. Over 600 representatives from all over the country attended the opening ceremony.
Lu Xin, the Vice Minister of Education, delivered a speech entitled “Opening the new normal of lifelong learning”. She pointed that, after ten years’ development, the Activity Week of Lifelong Learning for All has become the important carrier and featured brand for our country in constructing the system of lifelong learning for all and building a learning society. More and more cities were gradually participating in it, and the number of the cities which held it in 2014 has already exceeded 900. The holding of the Activity Week of Lifelong Learning for All has spread the concept of lifelong learning widely , put the arrangement for “building a learning society” by the central authorities into implementation, constructed a relatively complete organizational system for activities covering the central to the local, continuously promoted the participation and social influence of cities, gathered collections of lifelong education resources, and enriched the forms of continuing education.
Lu Xin emphasized that, with national economic development stepping into a new normal, to advance the lifelong learning for all has become an urgent requirement for promoting economic transformation and upgrading, carrying forward the new-type urbanization process, building a country strong in human resources, and deepening comprehensive reform in the field of education. To open the new normal of lifelong learning for all, we should be focused on accomplishing the following tasks: first, to vigorously advance the construction of learning cities according to the requirements of Suggestions on Advancing the Construction of Learning Cities, which is co-issued by the MOE and other six ministries; second, to accelerate the reform of continuing education in higher education institutions, to improve higher education institutions’ function of social service, construct quality open universities, to lead the transformation and development of Radio and Television Universities (RTVUs), and to build a pathway for the growth of professionals; third, to do the compiling work of Development Planning (2016-2020) of Education for Old Adults, which means the Open University of China (the OUC) should act as the model for the whole society in the fields of education, arts and health for old adults; fourth, to carry out community education widely in rural and urban areas, to boost the integration of higher education, vocational education and community education, and to endeavor to extend the provision of community service to village level so as to serve all the common people in society; fifth, to build a favorable social atmosphere for lifelong learning for all.
In the section of Achievements Show of Lifelong Learning for All Activities, parts of the achievements made by “Model Study and Application Demonstration of Lifelong Learning Public Service Platform” project, carried out by 15 RTVUs (open universities) of prefecture-level and city-level and led by the OUC, were awarded the honours of “Learning Stars of Common People” and “Lifelong Learning Activities Brand”.
The lifelong learning activity achievements of the “i-Lab” series, hosted by the MOE Research & Training Centre for Community Education (Research & Training Centre for Community Education of the OUC) for communities and families, were shown in the theme exhibition of the Activity Week of Lifelong Learning for All, including seven items: the 2nd National Harmonious Community, Calligraphy and Seal Cutting Exhibition, the 2nd National Beautiful Community Chinese Painting Competition , the “Tea-Art Cup” 2nd National Tea Set Creative Design Competition , the 1st National Country Entrepreneurial Programmes Design Competition, the 2nd Financial Management Competition of Community Citizens, the 1st “To Show the Chinese Dream” National Community Costume Matching Works Exhibition, and the 1st National “I Love the Vegetable Garden” Competition. The programme winning first-prize in the 3rd National Broadcasting Exhibition of Community Musical Activities was performed on the report-back performance of the opening ceremony. The series of “i-Lab” activities of community education has attracted extensive attention across the country and active participation of community citizens, as well as building an exchange platform to communicate and learn, and improving the quality of life for a wide range of community citizens. It has benefited both teaching and learning through online and offline interaction, showing oneself and learning from each other by exchanging views, and has also made a great contribution to the construction of a harmonious community.
The achievements of community education in the OUC including study, resources, projects, activities and so on were shown in the form of panels, and drew the eyes of the representatives who attended this ceremony, and showed the support and service provided by the OUC for the whole society in carrying out community education.
By Li Huiqin, The OUC Research & Training Centre for Community Education