Forum Advocates All-round Education

The goal of "learning essential life skills" has brought together 100 educators from 20 countries and regions in the Asia-Pacific region in Beijing to discuss how to improve education for students.

Upgrading education - a worldwide topic - is particularly important for China, whose population makes up one fifth of the world's total. China needs to turn its massive population into a human resource advantage, said Liu Bin, president of the China International Association for Educational Exchanges, at a forum on improving education quality, which opened yesterday.

Since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, especially over the past 20 years of reform, the country has made great achievements in popularizing education among its citizens, said Liu.

For example, according to the results of the fifth national population census, the number of illiterate people aged above 15 has been reduced to 6 percent from 15 percent in 1990, when the fourth national population survey was carried out.

Liu said more effort is needed to promote educational programs for people of different ages. This includes expanding enrolment for higher learning institutions and senior middle schools, encouraging individuals or non-governmental organizations to set up schools to supplement state-run ones, and introducing information technology-aided education in schools.

China is also actively promoting comprehensive education - encouraging students to excel at not only academic studies, but also in other areas. The move aims to phase out the previous text-oriented rote teaching to equip students with all-round skills, according to the Ministry of Education.

The forum is being sponsored by the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO), the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO and the China National Institute for Educational Research.

During the two-day forum, UNESCO Asia-Pacific members will exchange views on shifting traditional education to modern comprehensive learning, which teaches students academic knowledge, fine art and sports, as well as morality, independent-thinking and creativity.

(China Daily 06/13/2001)

In This Series

China to Prioritize Basic Education

College Education Reform Needed

Comprehensive Education Called for

Hong Kong Education Department Promotes Quality Education

China Introduces New Curricula into High Schools



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