Taiwan Soka Association Delegation Participates in Education Forum in China
Taiwan Soka Association (TSA) was one of the cosponsors of the Concern for the Growth of the Next Generation (CGNG) Cross-Straits Forum that was held from June 11 to 13 in Xiamen, Fujian Province, China. TSA's participation came as a result of an invitation from the forum's organizing committee.
The event saw the participation of 236 people from 130 schools from regions across the Straits of Taiwan, including Hong Kong, Taiwan and China. A total of more than 20 research papers were presented. It was part of a larger forum, the Third Cross-Straits Forum, an annual event started in 2009 to promote exchange between China, Taiwan and Hong Kong over a broad range of issues, including labor unions, youth, women and folk culture. This year's Cross-Straits Forum was the largest thus far, with more than 10,000 people attending.
Hsieh Hsiu-sheng, who led a 12-strong delegation from TSA, spoke at the opening of the CGNG Cross-Straits Forum on June 12. Ms. Hsieh is the chairperson of TSA's Culture and Education Conference. She said in her speech, "Children are the treasures of a family, a country and all of humanity. We should accord them with the respect due to an 'emissary of the future' and nurture them, allowing them to grow into contributing members of society."
Feng Yu-chung, one of the TSA delegates, presented a paper during a plenary session on building a new school culture. Ms. Feng, principal of He-ren Elementary School in Changhua County, talked about how, based on the educational philosophy of Soka Gakkai's first president Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, she was able to lead He-ren, a modest establishment in a small town, to become a school with one of the best English-language programs among comparable schools in Taiwan.
Another TSA representative, Hsu Chiao-yun, who is a professional teacher, presented a paper in which she talked about TSA's educational programs. Mr. Makiguchi's philosophy stresses that the happiness of the children should be the purpose of education. Ms. Hsu explained that with this as its aim, TSA organizes summer camps for elementary schools in remote districts as well as offshore islands in Taiwan. She also introduced TSA's education counseling center that was started in 2010. The center, staffed by TSA members who are in the teaching and education profession, provides counseling services to children and their parents on education and child raising and is open to all members of the public.
On June 13, the TSA delegation participated in a discussion meeting on promoting cultural and educational exchange among the youth of China and Taiwan.
[Adapted from articles in the June 24, 2011, issue of Harmony Press, Taiwan Soka Association; photo courtesy of Taiwan Soka Association]