Editor's note: In order to implement the spirit of Opinions on Further Promoting the development of Community Education (shortened as "Opinions") jointly issued by the Ministry of Education and eight other ministries and commissions, to showcase the practical results of the system of the Open University of China in community education, and to publicise the OUC’s important role in constructing a lifelong education system, from November 8th to 12th 2016, the OUC News Centre organised a group of journalists under the theme "A Trip to the OUC: Stepping into Community Education" to enjoy an in-depth study of community education in Sichuan Province. The reporters’ group was composed of the Xinhua News Agency, People's Daily, China Education News, China Youth Daily, Farmers Daily, China Society News, China.org.cn, Online Learning and other media groups. The OUC’s news network will reproduce the interviews of the reporters in this column. We sincerely hope you will enjoy this feature.

Every day, "Zhang Quanzhen Cultural Studio" in Panzhihua, Sichuan province, will see more than 100 elderly people participate in its various activities, singing competitions, parties and so on...... Rich and colorful activities are available in the studio for the senior citizens to enjoy.

This is a multi-functional platform constructed by the Panzhihua Radio and Television University (Panzhihua RTVU) relying on its community day care centre and Panmin Pension Home. By transforming the pension home into a community education centre, Panzhihua RTVU has subtly influenced the elderly people to keep up with learning and promote interactive exchanges with each other, which has enhanced the cohesion of the residents and promoted harmony in the community.

There are many more such examples of promoting social governance by means of community education in the province. The RTVUs in some prefecture-level cities and counties in Mianyang, Luzhou, Dazhou, Bazhong, Guangyuan, Nanjiang and Weiyuan, have organised various cultural auditorium and community education activities centred on knowledge and education in traditional virtues, legal education, excellent culture, family education, harmonious neighborhood, health and fitness regime, fraud prevention and so on, which have offered spiritual nourishment for community residents and enhanced their moral and cultural qualities.

From November 11th to 12th, a "Seminar on Vigorously Developing Community Education and Promoting Social Governance Innovation" sponsored by the Community Education Research and Training Centre under the Ministry of Education (MOE) was held in Weiyuan County, Neijiang City. Up to 170 experts and professors from scientific research institutes, universities and colleges, community education institutions and education administration departments from all over the country held discussions on the topic in order to vigorously develop community education and to promote the innovation of social governance. "Community education is an important means for constructing a lifelong education system and a learning society, which can meet the growing demand for lifelong learning from the great masses and which will play a significant role in resolving social conflicts, promoting community harmony and community governance, maintaining stability at the grassroots level, pushing forward learning for all and the construction of a learning society, perfecting the lifelong education system, advancing the all-round development of people and improving citizen's quality of life." Party secretary of Sichuan Radio and Television University, Luo Dayu, believes that further development of community education is of great importance.

However, at present, there are still some problems with the unbalanced development of community education in China. Zhou Yanjun, deputy director of MOE’s Community Education Research and Training Centre, pointed out that, to narrow the gap in community education and get rid of the imbalance, breakthroughs must be achieved in legislation, law enforcement and broadening the financial channels.
As a pioneer in promoting community education in Sichuan province, with community education as a breakthrough, Sichuan RTVU has carried out a series of cultural and moral education, education for the elderly and minors and other activities for community citizens according to local conditions and in light of the trend, which has made great achievements in enriching the cultural life of the residents and improving their qualities. At the same time, through the formation of an autonomous learning organisation in the community, training community leaders and carrying out agricultural skills training, it has also played a beneficial role in promoting community governance and community harmony, boosting the construction of a new countryside and building a learning society.

By Yang Fan,Sichuan Daily