1989 / 3月
Kuo-shih Yang /photos courtesy of Lin Hsin /tr. by Peter Eberly
A new year has begun, a new year and a new beginning. The 1980's have marked a new era in educational reform, an era filled with the prospects of brightness and hope. In order to maintain rapid economic growth, spur social advancement, develop manpower resources, further culture and understanding, and join the ranks of the advanced nations, the ROC must actively carry out educational reform and promote the concept of lifelong education, spurring the nation and its people to a new educational level. As the new year begins, I would like to propose some new directions for the development of social education in our country to serve as a point of reference for those of us concerned with educational reform.
First, the social educational system should be free to all: The society of the future is gradually becoming an educational society, and social education has practically become a necessity for citizens of the advanced countries of Europe and North America. Inpromoting social education we should especially stress coordination with the development and renewal of politics, economics, society, and culture as a whole. In particular, we must establish a system of free social education as early as possible and the concept that everyone has a part in social education.
Second, social education should be independent in function: Most people think of social education as a supplement to regular schooling or as an auxiliary means of enhancing life in society. But in fact, its supplementary and auxiliary nature has gradual ly been replaced by an increasingly distinctive role. Social education occupies an indispensable position in the entire process of economic, social, political, and cultural development. In fact, the higher the level of social and economic development, the more important is the position of social education in the entire social structure and the more its distinctive functions are recognized. The government should particularly emphasize social education with distinctive functions, such as worker technical training, college extension courses, and leisure education, in order to set up a system that will allow social education to give free rein to its functions as early as possible.
Third, social work must be systematically planned: Being aimed at the entire populace and at people of all ages, social education is broad in content and multifarious in the work it entails. As a result, to enable social education to become a complete system with goals, ideals, and steps, a comprehensive set of plans must be drawn up with focal points for each unit and carried out in concert. In promoting social education work, we must have comprehensiveness, vision, coherence, and practicability. Only then can we draw up a work plan that fits the needs of society and the nation's development and lays a foundation for the effective development of social education in the future.
Fourth, the methods of social education must be multiple and diverse: Because it has numerous objects and is broad in scope, social education must use vivid, lively, and diverse methods to achieve its functions and have an effect. Owing to rapid advances in media techniques, utilizing the superior communication abilities of radio and television has become a new milestone in the development of modern social education. In view of this, we must overcome regulatory obstacles and public preconceptions in establishing, promoting, and popularizing an educational system of the airwaves to enable social education to adapt to the pressing needs of the future.
Fifth, social education activities must become a part of daily life: The contents of social education should include all aspects of human life and be able to fulfil the needs of all aspects of citizens' lives; only then will the public actively participate. The rapid economic growth of recent years has raised living standards but has also produced unbridled materialism and a decline in spiritual civilization. In addition to providing opportunities for proper leisure and recreational activities, social education should promote high culture and enrich the people's spiritual lives.
Sixth, social education personnel must become more expert and specialized: In today's modern society of expertise, specialization, and division of labor, the quality of work is a reflection of the quality of personnel; good performance requires good personnel. As a result, raising the quality of social education personnel is truly an important task in seeking the promotion of social education work.
In sum, now is the time for us to actively plan and carry out social education in order to keep pace with further political, economic, and social advances and the public's educational expectations.