Big de­mand, low sup­ply at schools for elderly

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA -

Sang Meiy­ing, 74, teaches mu­sic ev­ery Mon­day, Wed­nes­day and Fri­day at Shizuis­han’s “univer­sity for the elderly” in the Ningxia Hui au­ton­o­mous re­gion. Ev­ery Tues­day and Thurs­day, she takes classes in cal­lig­ra­phy and paint­ing.

“I don’t get tired at all,” Sang said. “We are teach­ers and stu­dents, and we are friends. The col­lege has filled our lives with color.”

China’s elderly pop­u­la­tion is in­creas­ing rapidly. Now un­der a healthy econ­omy, older peo­ple are ex­pect­ing a bet­ter qual­ity of life, prompt­ing the birth of train­ing pro­grams.

In 1983, China’s first univer­sity for the elderly opened in Shan­dong prov­ince. More than 30 years later, there are about 60,000 such schools. More than 7 mil­lion peo­ple currently study in them, ac­cord­ing to a Chi­nese as­so­ci­a­tion of ed­u­ca­tors for se­niors.

“I tried watch­ing TV, dancing and play­ing cards after re­tire­ment. I didn’t find any of that very in­ter­est­ing,” Sang said.

Sang be­lieves that the more free time you have, the more ex­hausted you be­come. “The col­lege has made our lives mean­ing­ful again,” she said.

Ex­pan­sion of de­mand has far out­stripped the in­crease in sup­ply. The ad­mis­sion process is com­pet­i­tive.

“We re­ceive far too many ap­pli­ca­tions ev­ery year, and the open spots are lim­ited,” said Wan Nianchun, deputy prin­ci­pal of the univer­sity for the elderly in Hubei prov­ince.

Shan­dong’s col­lege started of­fer­ing on­line ap­pli­ca­tions three years ago, said Fu Limin, deputy prin­ci­pal: “Peo­ple can book a sub­ject with just a few clicks.”

The most pop­u­lar sub­ject is dance. The classes for the fall se­mes­ter were fully booked seven min­utes after ap­pli­ca­tions opened.

The sit­u­a­tion is the same in other cities. In Hangzhou, the en­roll­ment rate for the most pop­u­lar sub­ject is one out of 16 ap­pli­cants. In Jiangsu, peo­ple lined up overnight for a sin­gle open­ing. In Guangzhou, all 35 uni­ver­si­ties are full ev­ery year.

While the col­leges are very

Qu also claimed that Ma had acted as the pro­tec­tive um­brella and helped Guo il­le­gally ac­quire national se­cu­ri­ties and em­bez­zle an enor­mous amount of Sta­te­owned as­sets.

Qu said he had sent a letter to anti-graft au­thor­i­ties but Ma man­aged to in­ter­cept it. To keep Qu quiet, Guo bribed Ma to ask the po­lice in He­bei to crim­i­nally de­tain and in­ves­ti­gate Qu on made-up charges.

Ma then con­tacted Zhang Yue, for­mer head of the Po­lit­i­cal pop­u­lar, there is no short­age of com­plaints. For ex­am­ple: “Some peo­ple do not want to grad­u­ate” or “It’s dif­fi­cult to se­cure a place, so I have to study from home.”

Ac­cord­ing to the Ji­nan city gov­ern­ment, 1.3 mil­lion peo­ple aged 60 or above ac­count for 20.5 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion. How­ever, Ji­nan can only pro­vide col­lege for 20,000 elderly. The gap be­tween de­mand and sup­ply is huge.

“The pop­u­lar­ity is not just about im­proved ed­u­ca­tion for our se­nior cit­i­zens; it also re­veals a lack of other se­nior care ser­vices,” said Gao Lip­ing, deputy di­rec­tor of the Shan­dong Acad­emy of So­cial Sci­ence’s pop­u­la­tion re­search in­sti­tute.

More learn­ing cen­ters for se­niors have been writ­ten into China’s de­vel­op­ment plan, which projects at least one univer­sity for the elderly in each county by 2020.

“I am hop­ing the gov­ern­ment will con­tinue its support for our uni­ver­si­ties to let more peo­ple en­joy learn­ing there,” Sang said. and Le­gal Af­fairs Com­mit­tee of He­bei, to in­ter­fere in the case, Qu al­leged.

In 2015, Ma was in­ves­ti­gated on sus­pi­cion of graft.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Zhang Yue was launched in 2016.

In April, Qu’s wife ap­pealed to the He­bei High Peo­ple’s Court for a re­trial, and in Septem­ber the court over­turned the con­vic­tion be­cause of lack of ev­i­dence. The court also said the He­bei po­lice had no author­ity to in­ves­ti­gate the case.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.