2004 APEC Symposium on Best Practices for Fostering A Lifelong Learning Society
Vice Minister Lu Mu-lin
Ministry of Education
Good morning, Dr. Chira Hongladarom, honored guests, ladies and gentlemen.
It is my pleasure to welcome you, on behalf of Chinese Taipei to the 2004 APEC Symposium on the Best Practices for Fostering a Lifelong Learning Society. This year's symposium is one of the major events of the year and it has attracted much interest from APEC member nomies.
The current and pressing international educational question facing us today is how can education and training systems adapt to the evolving needs of an increasing global and information based economy.
Lifelong learning is a crucial component for our overall plan to address issues for creating a new knowledge-based society. It has been universally recognized that we need to provide our citizens with up-to-date training and educational opportunities, if we are to have a workforce that is adaptable and competitive.
Gone are the days when we had a single lifetime career. The structural changes in our economies dictate the necessity for the continual or on-going learning of new skills, if we are to remain competitive.
This new mainstream effort in education is reflected by such international organizations such as the International Commission on Education for the Twenty-first Century report to UNESCO entitled "Learning: The Treasure Within", OECD's publication on "Lifelong Learning for All", and APEC's 2nd Education Ministerial Meeting's Recommendation Paper on "Education for Learning Societies in the 21st Century".
Last year, Chinese Taipei proposed a project to APEC HRD to address issues relating to lifelong learning within APEC economies. Chinese Taipei's accepted proposal and funding focused on two objectives; conducting a survey on the programs and practices adopted by individual economies within the APEC region, along with building a Forum to discuss relevant issues and to map out the best possible guidelines to support APEC member economies to foster lifelong learning societies.
For the next two days, discussions will be held that pertain to the current status of lifelong learning within APEC economies. There will be numerous opportunities to talk about current trends in e-learning, development of self-initiatives, partnerships, addressing the needs of minority groups and the disadvantages, which includes helping the unemployed and examining cultural issues, to mention a few.
From you the stand point of your professional expertise, life experience, case studies will emerge. These will provide useful insights into how to create a unified voice for bridging the gap between ideals and reality in our efforts to foster lifelong learning.
In closing, I would like to wish you a successful and productive symposium. And I look forward to the results of your joint and cooperative efforts.