To honor the advocates of senior citizens learning for their wholehearted and selfless dedication, the Ministry of Education will hold the biennial ceremony of “The 4th Senior Citizens Learning Dedication Awards” in the auditorium on B1of National Central Library to encourage individuals and groups that have actively provided senior citizens learning service. 63 individuals and 12 groups will be awarded this year. The 75 recipients out of 113 were chosen under rigorous review. This year marks the 10th year of promotion of senior citizens learning by the Ministry of Education. The awards ceremony, therefore, is themed after “Active Vision, Rich Harvest” with exhibitions featuring the special deeds of the recipients outside the venue.
For the individual awards, 18 people will be awarded for voluntary devotion, 24 for excellent teaching, and 21 for outstaning leadership. They are from all walks of life with high spirits in service and dedication worthy of admiration. The average age of the 18 recipients for voluntary devotion is 60. From the Senior Citizens Learning Center in Zhongzheng Dist., Keelung City, Mr. Jinji Chen (age 64) was a volunteer firefighter and lifeguard when young. After diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, he volunteered in the center and found his meaning and value of life.
The 24 recipients for excellent teaching this year are lecturers with profession in diverse backgrounds such as information, art, physical fitness, and health knowledge. The 21 recipients for outstanding leadership come from schools, civilian groups, and township offices. They are the driving force behind the senior citizens learning program. The 12 awarded groups stand out from the 368 senior citizens learning centers nationwide. The Senior Learning Demonstration Center of Chiayi County, the Senior Citizen Centers of Tuku Township, Yunlin County, of Shoufeng Township, Hualien County, and of Jincheng Township, Kinmen County will be awarded the highest honor respectively. The Senior Citizens Learning Demonstration Center of Chiayi County (in Shuishang Township) has nurtured a senior learning service team to enable the learners to give back what they have learned to the society. For instance, their flute class performed in nursing homes; they held charity bazaars with handmade crafts and performed puppetry. Through the awards ceremony, the Ministry of Education also aims to encourage and appreciate 14 spontaneous senior leaders, who have dedicated themselves to providing teaching activities in rural areas for the senior citizens, disabled or inconveniently located, so that they can learn close to home and community.
Taiwan became an aging society in March, 2018. The population over 65 years old has reached 14.05%. Based on the study about behavioral change of senior citizens after learning by professor Li-hui Lin of National Chung Cheng University, “willingness for voluntary service” was placed number 2. The study suggested that the senior citizens were able to reach out and expand the connection of interpersonal relationship. They were willing to feed back what they had learned to the society. According to the Ministry of Education, with the help of the leaders, lecturers, groups and volunteers from senior citizens learning centers, universities, and domains nationwide, retired senior citizens are thus able to keep learning and contribute to society. Learning empowers the mid-aged and senior citizens to be happy, energetic, and dignified. Welcome every senior citizen to join this learning program. Please see more information on the Ministry of Education’s “Senior Citizens Learning Network.”