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From June 14-17, Taiwan Soka Association (TSA) co-organized and participated in the Concern for the Growth of the Next Generation (CGNG) Cross-Straits Forum held in Xiamen, Fujian Province, China. The forum--which enables teachers from across the Straits of Taiwan to exchange ideas on education--brought together more than 200 teachers and scholars from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, including a delegation of 12 professional teachers from TSA. TSA's participation came as a result of an invitation from the forum’s organizing committee.
During the opening ceremony on June 15, the establishment of a family education alliance was announced by He Luli, a former vice chairperson of the National People's Congress Standing Committee. This alliance will focus on creating healthy environments that foster the growth of youth in China and Taiwan.
Over the course of the forum, TSA delegates gave presentations on the practical applications of the educational philosophy of value creation (Jpn. Soka), as developed by educator and first Soka Gakkai president Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, and his particular emphasis that the purpose of education should be the happiness of the learner. During a session on June 16 where specialists discussed early childhood education, Hsieh Hsiu-sheng, chair of TSA's Culture and Education Conference, delivered a speech on the importance of nurturing the development of moral character in students, while Lin Hui-ying presented a paper on teaching preschool children.
The CGNG forum was part of a larger forum, the Fifth Cross-Straits Forum, an annual event started in 2009 to promote exchange between China, Taiwan and Hong Kong over a broad range of issues.
In July, with the aim of building ties of friendship with their counterparts in China, a youth delegation made up of three groups of TSA student members traveled to China. Each group went to a different location and participated in separate events. Groups attended the Peking University Summer School, which caters for students from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan; a summer camp organized by the All-China Federation of Taiwan Compatriots; and a microfilm festival at Wuhan University in Hubei Province, where students collaborated on the making of microfilms which were then shown at the festival. The microfilm festival ran from July 9-16. related article Forty Years of Soka Gakkai Book Donations Celebrated In commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the start of the Soka Gakkai's elementary and junior high school book donation initiative, Soka Gakkai donated 300 books each to 3 schools in Okinawa Prefecture.
[Adapted from articles in the June 28, July 19 and July 26, 2013, issues of Harmony Press, Taiwan Soka Association(TSA); photos courtesy of TSA]
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