The fourth round of the Continuing Education Development Plan is set to run from September 1, 2020 to August 31, 2023 due to the economic downturn brought on by Covid-19.
The third phase of the program finished at the end of last year.
The 6,000 pataca subsidy allows a local resident to participate in training, courses or accredited exams organized by local and foreign institutions.
The program, which is run by the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ), aims to create opportunities for lifelong learning.
The 800 million pataca financial support has been ongoing since 2011. Residents over 15 years of age are able to apply.
The DSEJ had previously disclosed that the program had been expanded on an experimental basis to cover courses run in Zhuhai. These courses are accredited or recommended by the Zhuhai government.
Currently, many local residents are using the subsidy to study for university degrees on the mainland or abroad.
Data released by the DSEJ in June 2019 shows that there has been steady growth in the percentage of the population reached, from 36% in the first phase to 41% in the second phase. It has currently stabilized at about 40%.
There were as many as 150,000 participants registered in the third phase of the plan as of the middle of last year.
According to the DSEJ, the data shows a “good result and shows that the program has been contributing to the career ladder and talent training.”
Previously, the city’s anti-graft watchdog detected a subsidy scam involving the subsidy plan and over 1 million patacas. Up until October 31 last year, authorities recorded some 27 serious infractions, all of which are under investigation.
As a result, the DSEJ had previously expressed its intention to introduce electronic systems to prevent fraud. Several organizations were found to be improperly obtaining government money in the scam.