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  • A report on rural CLCs in China - presented at regional workshop on CLCs, March 2004

  • Starting in 1998, the project of "Rural Community Learning Centers for Poverty Alleviation” has been carried out in three provinces of China, namely Gansu Province, Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. With support from local governments, the educational institutions and schools, more than 60 Community Learning Centers were established at township or village levels according to the ideology of serving the local social economic development. An important task for CLCs in rural areas is to promote the development of reaching the educationally un-reached and improve the capacity of little reached to improve the quality of productive forces as well as the quality of local population and their living standards. The ultimate aim of CLC is to improve the social development, achieve the success of sustainable development and make every community a better place for the people to live in together. As an effective measure to achieve education for all and the ideas of learn to live together in the new century of knowledge economy, CLCs in project provinces have become the foundation for the establishment of life-long learning system in rural communities.


    Through more than five years of CLC practice in China, it has been recognized that the establishment of community learning centers as non-formal education forms should be based on the philosophy: "Of the local people, by the local people and for the local people". No matter it is in rural communities or urban areas. "Of the local people" means that the ideas of CLC should first be advocated to local people to initiate their awareness and full understanding about the functions of CLC in a community. "By the local people" refers to the establishment and management of CLCs mainly depend on the local people with support from local authorities, organizations and educational institutions. "For the local people" is to firmly determine that the main task and objectives of a CLC is to provide the local people with cultural, educational and technical services according to the practical needs in promoting the social and economic development of the local community.


    The community learning centers are mainly depending on the resources of the local government, institutions, schools and community people. In the development of CLC project in China, the cooperation between local CLC and local government should be further strengthened. The other important factor is the involvement of local schools and educational institutions. As the supporting and participating institutions, all the educational equipment and facilities can be used for activities and training classes of local community learning centers.


    Concerning the functions of CLC, there is still more space for improvement. As we are living in a changing world with fast development of information technology, the CLC should play an even more active role in dissemination the application of modern technology, such as using of computers, application of ecological agriculture. As an effective way to achieve education for all and the ideas of learning to live together in the new century of knowledge economy, CLC strategies should be made for the establishment of life-long learning system and for the character development of individuals in a learning society.


    Finally, to further promote the development of CLC project in China, we put forward the following suggestions: conducting project personnel training at various levels for CLC personnel; compiling and publishing a handbook on collection of CLC project activities; improving the theoretical research on project activities and to meet the urgent needs in practical learning and training activities.

    Source: Gansu Institute for Educational Research