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Initiating the Hope Project with Learning Train

Initiating the Hope Project with Learning Train
At a time when education issues are the social focus, "popularization" and "cultivation" are the most important tasks and the most difficult project. It requires the concerted effort of the government and private groups.

Over the past 20 years, the social environment of Taiwan has been getting richer, the political system more democratic and liberal, and non-profit organizations for different charity purposes are growing like mushrooms after the rain. Today, there are over 10000 corporate foundations, and the sum of funds of the over 2300 educational foundations is over NT$60bn.

Displaying Charity Functions by Integrating Resources

According to the Administrative Deputy Education Minister Chou Tsan-der, foundations that integrate enormous social resources have been playing a supporting role to the government, especially on issues relating to socially weaker and marginal groups, and their influences are even greater than that of the government departments. Therefore, they earn social expectation and respect.

The MOE has established comprehensive and diverse learning channels to promote lifelong education, including the Education Foundations Lifelong Education Train Campaign which was planned and implemented through the concerted effort of the government and private groups.

To realize a lifelong learning society, the implemental plan of the campaign effectively combines MOE and educational foundations in local governments to create learning networks across Taiwan by adopting the topic subject link and joint marketing approaches in strategic alliance to enable educational foundations to draw up visionary and constructive plans according to the major educational policies of the government and plan educative issues and learning activities which benefit social development.

Trains whistle on Lantern Festival

Themes promoted by the lifelong learning train series over the years have covered all disciplines in education to broaden the educational vision of citizens. These have included media exploration, ecology concern, parenting education, children reading, environmental protection, foreign languages, museum education, boy scout education, life education, exploring Taiwan, family relationship, experience education, energy education, juvenile potential development, family reading, value life by investing in health, reading education, civil ethics education and others.

According to MOE statistics, 65 lifelong learning trains were promoted, 1860 train projects were implemented and over 45000 activities were organized during 2000 - 2006. Over the past seven years, the learning trains from educational foundations have reached all parts of Taiwan, be it the mountainside or the waterfront, deserted villages or the remote wilderness.

The captain foundations and train themes for 2007 chosen by MOE through open selection include: the Kuang Jen Foundation Happy Family Education Train, the Joy Foundation Comprehensive Foreign Language Education Train, the GVC Thanksgiving Christian Cultural and Education Foundation Community Education Train, and the AAEON Foundation Esthetics Education Train.

Others include the Gigabyte Education Foundation Science Education Train, the Chinatimes Cultural & Educational Foundation Beautiful Taiwan Education Train, the Youth Canteen Social Concern Education Train, the Teco Technology Foundation Creativity Education Train, the Tien Cultural Foundation Aboriginal Energy Education Train, and the Hess Educational Organization Reading Education Train.

This year, all the theme trains departed from the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall during the Lantern Festival. Those interested in learning more about the wonderful activities of these lifelong education trains can visit the websites of the relevant train captain foundations for more details.

Learning has no boundaries, and life can become more meaningful. Want to turn the decayed into the wonderful? why not make soap from the waste oil that contaminates our groundwater? Look at the wheat heads in the fields; due to the ingenious ideas of the indigenous people, they become lovely pendants. Computer science & technology is becoming more and more popular, and you can even assemble your own PC. There are many more creative activities in the Education Foundation Lifelong Learning Train Series. Why don't you join us?