Jiangsu improves lifelong education system during past decade
Elderly students at the Jiangsu Open University learn about paper cutting. [Photo/CFP]
A complete lifelong education system has taken shape in East China's Jiangsu province after years of efforts, officials from the Jiangsu Provincial Department of Education said at a news conference on Sept 22.
According to Cao Yumei, deputy director of the department, Jiangsu has built 73 open universities and 103 county-level community schools in the past 10 years. Ninety-five percent of towns in the province have also established standard community education centers.
Full-time teachers at these schools presently account for 0.016 percent of Jiangsu's total population while in 2012 the figure was less than 0.01 percent. The teachers will attend province-wide training sessions every five years. The numbers of part-time teachers and volunteers are about 50,000 and 5 million respectively.
The Jiangsu service center for social education has designed five kinds of courses that are about local culture, public morality and other subjects. The series of classes about Jiangsu's culture teach about local food, academicians and other aspects.
Cities in Jiangsu have also designed their own classes. For example, Suzhou has offered more than 300 classes and compiled over 400 textbooks, while Zhenjiang has created 1,017 courses and more than 300 textbooks.
A number of digital platforms, including websites and mobile apps, have been developed for Jiangsu residents to study online. One of the platforms, js-study.cn, allows its 1.7 million users to take 3,200 kinds of classes.
Lifelong education helps with economic and social development. To vitalize its villages and alleviate poverty, Jiangsu offers skill training to over 5 million farmers every year. The province is now home to 15 national-level demonstration counties for rural vocational education and adult education.
Jiangsu also offers training to residents who have difficulty in finding jobs. The number of people who attended this kind of training sessions increased to more than 30 million in 2021 from 1.8 million in 2012.
Each city in Jiangsu has at least three universities for the elderly and more than 90 percent of counties have one such university. About 23 percent of elderly people in the province now regularly take part in educational activities.