Education | DSEJ aims to increase awareness of epidemic prevention and ‘love for motherland’

The Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ) is aiming to implement a new program in local schools for the 2020/2021 academic year with a special focus on epidemic prevention, the bureau informed.
The pedagogical program titled “The First Class of the New Academic Year” aims to help schools develop a series of educational activities around the theme of preventing and fighting epidemics. It arises directly from experiences of the Covid-19 outbreak, which disrupted the previous academic year enormously, necessitating a long period of class suspension and the introduction of online school activities for the first time.
According to the DSEJ, the new program is intended to raise the level of support and promotion of smart school activities, leading schools to develop several online teaching activities in which virtual education is also included.
To ensure that the upcoming school year occurs without hassle, the DSEJ said that it will send to schools an updated version of its guidelines to deal with Covid-19.
In addition, they will also host a meeting with school principals to discuss the requirements for schools to strictly enforce these guidelines and measures. These include the disinfection and thorough cleaning of school facilities, conducting drills to test the capacity of schools to manage the beginning of the academic year and simulating scenarios of school operations.
During the meeting, which is to take place today, the DSEJ will also call on schools to prepare contingency plans in case classes need to be suspended in the new academic year due either to the pandemic or other events, including natural disasters, severe weather and terror attacks or intruders on school premises.
These drills should be prepared and practiced during the new academic year to “reinforce the awareness and capacity of all teachers and students through response exercises for sudden crises,” DSEJ said.

Love for Motherland Pavilion
The “Love for Motherland” Pavilion begin operating from December this year, the DSEJ announced.
The pavilion aims to be a place where exhibitions, training sessions, and multimedia and audiovisual displays will take place to instill a sense of belonging to China in Macau’s younger generation.
Besides the special venue, the DSEJ is also planning to launch a complementary project in schools, entitled the “Love for the Motherland and for Macau Education Project.” Schools will use the Pavilion as an educational resource to learn about the history of Macau and the social development of the motherland and Macau, the DSEJ said.
Additionally, schools will be encouraged to organize exchange programs to the mainland for groups of students to increase their understanding and feeling of belonging to the motherland.
Extracurricular activities, school competitions, and special “education days” will also be organized for the same purpose throughout the year.

Number of students up 2.8% this year
The 121 school institutions of Macau will begin the academic year with an estimated total of 85,014 students, representing a year-on-year increase of 2.8%.
Primary school students have mostly contributed to this increase, recording an expected increase of 4.9% year-on-year. Meanwhile, secondary education students increased in number by 2.8% from the previous academic year.
Bucking the trend, kindergarten student numbers dropped by 0.8%.
The increase in the number of students is not being followed by increases in figures related to teaching staff, which remain almost unchanged, registering only a slight rise of 0.1%.
The DSEJ also noted that currently, of the 113 school institutions for regular education, a total of 108 are integrated into the free education system which covers almost 96% of students in Macau.

10-year plans face public consultation this year

The 2020/2021 academic year will mark the start of a new public consultation round on two of the major 10-year plans for the education sector, the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ) disclosed.
In the upcoming school year, the DSEJ hopes to gather opinions on “Medium and long-
term planning for non-higher education (2021-2030)” and the “Macau Youth Policy (2021-2030).”
In a statement, the DSEJ said it hoped that the public would voice their opinions to help the bureau to improve its work related to education and the youth of Macau. RM

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