The 19th CPC National Congress has stated that“socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era of new aspirations and deeds”; that we “should improve vocational education and training systems through networks and continuing education”; and that we“should speed up the construction of a society in which learning is normal for everyone”as the basis for furthering community education in the new era.
This year, the Zhangzhou Radio and Television University (Zhangzhou RTVU), also known as the Zhangzhou Community College, has begun following these requirements to explore an integrated-development model for community education, and helped communities acquire educational resources, with good results.
1. Using its advantages to compile micro-lectures and create textbooks for community education
The Zhangzhou Community College has made use of the operational advantages of the Fujian RTVU and encouraged teachers to independently develop micro-lecture videos for community education, including ‘Willow’ Images in Poems of the Tang Dynasty, Phonetics and Rhetoric, and Discover the Art of Paper-cutting: Part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of ZhangPu, Fujian Province, as online resources for community education. In 2016, 8 such courses were listed in the first group of continuing-education online courses in Fujian, and awarded RMB 160,000 in subsidies. This year,the college has asked teachers to participate in the development of a further series of micro-lectures for community education, including Appreciation of the Tea Poetry of Famous Ancient Chinese Tea-Culture Poets, Early Education at Home: an Introduction, Teaching Safety in Communities, and An Introduction to Go and its Culture, which have been shortlisted for inclusion in the second group of courses. It has also organised teachers to compile school-based teaching materials for community education, such as Chanting & Reading Aloud Poetic Couplets on 24 Examples of Filial Piety from Ancient Times, Chanting & Reading Aloud Poetic Couplets on 24 Stories about Honest and Incorruptible People of Ancient Times, Herb Gardens, and Calligraphy for Seniors, and printed Zhangzhou RTVU, a promotional magazine to which community residents have free access. Weibo, WeChat and a news-gathering service are being used, as directed by the 19th CPC National Congress, to collect, edit and publish learning resources in history and culture, popular science, and safety, to promote and enhance the quality of resources available to the public.
2. Linking the work of disparate areas and making teaching resources available in communities
Following the directions of the Ministry of Education to bring educational resources into communities, the community college has made elaborate arrangements, rooted itself in communities, and done a good job of creating pilot learning sites. A wide range of classes, including lectures or training courses on photography, health care, life enhancement, family food, early education, flower arrangement, fire prevention, law, and personal finance, have been taken by community residents. Efforts have been made to establish “Learning Experience Centres for Citizens” and organise trainees to visit these in groups, promoting the understanding of traditional culture. A touring exhibit on“bringing intangible cultural heritage into communities” has been carefully planned, and 18 tours promoting folk arts and harmonious community culture have been completed, and widely welcomed. Endeavors have been made to strengthen communication and coordination, and a reading day with the theme of“Reading, Learning and Happiness”, one of a variety of national reading activities, was part of the Zhangzho Reading Festival in 2018, its aims being to help citizens grasp the ideals of the 19th CPC National Congress, to promote reading for all, to improve the ability of residents to appreciate art, and to promote the traditional culture of China.
3. Building a public-service platform for community education
The first goal was to build and continue developing an online platform for lifelong learning, and to motivate residents to study online through the launch of themed educational videos. In 2010, the Zhangzhou Community College established and developed “Zhangzhou Lifelong Online Learning”, which combines centralized and decentralized resources. On the one hand, the college shares the 40,000 credit hours of network resources available on the provincial platform, while at the same time it has developed its own resources for local use. Both kinds of resources are available online for all residents of the region, even those living in rural areas.
The second goal was to organise all kinds of online-learning activities. “Zhangzhou Lifelong Learning Online” is used to develop online-learning activities for which prizes are awarded. The existing video courses on the online platform were categorized by subject, and then the activities were held by stages and in groups. The work involved calling on residents to participate in the activities, going deep into the community, helping them register for admission to“Zhangzhou Lifelong Learning Online”, analysing the learning processes and outcomes of citizens studying online, and establishing personal learning profiles for them. Special classes on topics such as “Beautiful Living: Health for You and Me”and“The Cultivation of Etiquette: How to be Educated, Reasonable, Benevolent and Morally Upright”were held, with over 300 participants in each. The college has also given incentives to students to complete the 600-minute subject-video learning task, which has led to changes in the understanding of learning and life of some residents, who have shed their passive approach to learning and become more active in their studies.
The third goal is to promote culture at the OUC. At the Zhangzhou RTVU, the cultural contributions of the Danxia Academy and Longxi Normal University have been organised in order to promote the “Danxia” culture. Special attention has been paid to using and protecting the Half-moon Pool, ancient banyan tree, small red chamber, and ancient well and bridge on the campus, which together form the century-old cultural heritage of the Danxia Academy and Longxi Normal University, providing a spiritual home for teachers, students, alumni and citizens. The alumni of Longyan Normal Higher Technical College and the Zhangzhou Community College were invited to return to their alma mater for a reunion. The campus was opened to citizens as a way to help promote the traditional culture of Zhangzhou, part of a great effort to build the Zhangzhou RTVU into a cultural resource for local citizens.
4. Fixing its weaknesses and exploring a new form of senior open education
Efforts have been made to implement the spirit of the Development Plan for Older-adult Education in Fujian Province (2017-2020) of the General Office of the People’s Government in Fujian Province, and with its central task of “Fixing the Weak Links in Education”, as put forth by the Party Committee and Municipal Government of Zhangzhou, the integration of community education and education for the elderly has been explored. Through the provincial Lifelong Education Guidance Office, the establishment of an internet-based Open University for the Elderly in Zhangzhou has been prepared. With “learning through lively activities” as the guiding principle, a series of training classes, including offline calligraphy, dance, music and tea-ceremony were launched, creating a beneficial exploration of the possibility of elder education in Zhangzhou.
In recent years, the Zhangzhou RTVU (Zhangzhou Community College) has progressively reformed its operations. With local cultural heritage as its aim, it has created excellent community-education resources to serve local residents, established three lecture classes on traditional culture, Danxia history and community education, and set up an exhibition centre for intangible cultural heritage, a demonstration learning site in the Yiyang community school (Longwen district), an online lifelong-learning platform, and two community-education demonstrations, promoting the comprehensive development of education resources in communities.
“Bringing the intangible cultural heritage into communities”: The Glove Puppet Touring Exhibition
Reading, Learning and Happiness - Universal Reading Day Recitation Activity
A Chinese Ancient Civilization class for children held in the National Culture Lecture Hall of the Confucius Temple, Zhangzhou, on Sunday
Professor He Chi lecturing on the history of the academy in the Danxia Lecture hall
By Zhangzhou RTVU