The possibility of an extension to the government’s Continuing Education Subsidy Program is being considered, an official of the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ) said on Thursday.
Wong Chi Iong, chief of Continuing Education Division of the DSEJ, stressed that the study into whether the program will be extended for a fourth phase has been the focus of the division’s work.
The Continuing Education Subsidy Program was first proposed by the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government in 2011, to subsidize local residents older than 15 years of age for education.
Users can use the subsidy to study in accredited higher and non-higher education programs. As such, users can use the money to learn driving, coffee making, wine tasting, or other activities that require study or practice.
The program has reached its third phase, which will officially conclude at the end of this year. Unlike in previous phases, news regarding automatic extension of the program has not been forthcoming.
It has caused concern among residents who still have funds in their respective subsidy accounts, that they may not be able to use the funds after this year.
To explain, Wong encouraged residents to act quickly, although he emphasized that existing, approved courses that will intersect with the change of the year will still be eligible for the program.
Furthermore, the education official disclosed that the program has been expanded – on an experimental basis – to cover courses run in Zhuhai.
Wong introduced that these courses are accredited or recommended by the Zhuhai government.
Currently, many local residents utilize the program’s funds to study for university degrees on the mainland or abroad.
Thursday also saw the official announcement of this year’s Citywide Continuing Education Activity Week, hosted by the DSEJ.
The initiative will be held between October 26 and November 1. It will officially commence with an award ceremony commending lifelong continuing learning and education. Stage performances, booth games and workshops will also be held at the Opening Ceremony, which welcomes members of the public.
This year’s activity week will feature a program of nearly 100 activities catering to a wide array of audiences. These activities, which focus on aspects of professional and technical education, personal growth, family lifestyle education, health and wellness, as well as liberal arts, will take the forms of seminars, exhibitions, courses and other outdoor activities.
As a co-host of the activity week, the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC) will also organize a series of events to enrich the program. According to Macau Daily Times, the IC aims to encourage reading by holding courses, a parent-child reading club and seminars.
For English-speaking audience members, the IC will hold three workshop sessions on picture books, which will feature presentation and papercrafts.
A highlight of the IC’s program, a Library E-workshop will be held to familiarize residents with electronic devices. As such, this year’s workshop will be divided into iOS and Android classes. Students will have the chance to learn about applications of the two different operating systems.
The workshop will also introduce the government’s electronic services and mobile apps.