The art of education

As the school year for most students is drawing to a close, many adults in Macau are heading back to school. The Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) released a survey this week revealing that vocational courses in Business and Administration saw the highest number of participants last year. Some 20,271 participants joined these courses during the year, making up 30.8 per cent of all participants in vocational training courses, followed by Computing and Language courses. DSEC noted that the increase in the number of participants, up 9.6 per cent to 65,751, was due to people taking advantage of the Continuing Education Development Plan last year, ‘the last year of the Plan’s second phase.’
It is not uncommon that during an economic downturn adults tend to reconsider their value in the workplace. The rapidly changing climate of social media alone in the business sector is enough to have anyone running back to the classroom or towards the nearest teenager that can explain all the new technology being thrown our way.
Of the total participants in vocational training courses, DSEC reported 39.4 per cent were Public Administration workers, while 15.3 per cent hailed from the gaming sector. Hotel employees comprised 12.9 per cent of participants, while Financial Intermediation, Restaurants, and Wholesale & Retail Trade staff made up 2.2 per cent, 1.8 per cent and 1.5 per cent, respectively.
Non-traditional students are returning to school across the globe in record numbers. Often juggling roles as caretakers, parents, spouses and full-time employees, they are ‘rich in life’ but perhaps not as up to date in business as they once were, or they want to learn new skills. Non-traditional students are eager to increase earning ability, gain a competitive edge amongst colleagues, want to secure their future, and also want to set a good example for younger generations.
I am eager to see how the Macau education systems keep up with this vigour for continuing education and professional development. I am also hopeful that Macau universities and learning institutions will increase levels of academic programming for continuing education and add new programmes for trades that are not represented in town. Macau must become more advanced in the fields of medicine and the arts. Too many residents travel away for medical procedures and we are just lacking academic programing in the dramatic and musical arts overall.
With the increase in interest to explore academia for adults, perhaps this will ignite education institutions to paint a new portrait or landscape to improve the art of education in Macau.