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    Continuing Education Scheme starts 2nd phase with higher subsidy

    29/04/2014Macau Daily Times

    2014-4-29 From:Macau Daily Times   The second phase of the Continuing Education Development Scheme started accepting applications today with an increased budget of MOP700 million. The maximum subsidy to be granted to each applicant has been increased from MOP5,000 to MOP6,000 for the new phase, as announced by the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ). Mr. Kong Ngai, head of DSEJ’s Continuing Education Division, declared at a press conference yesterday that the Scheme has achieved an ideal participation rate of 36% in its first phase and is about to attract another 40 percent more participants. “We increased the subsidy amount, firstly because of residents’ active participation. In the first phase scheme, 14.2 percent of the participants used up the MOP5,000 subsidy whilst 7.2 percent used MOP4,000 to MOP4,999,” he explained, adding that “another factor is the inflation.” The second phase scheme will continue until the end of 2016. All residents aged 15 or above by then are eligible to apply for subsidizing their participation in higher education, continuing education and certificate exams both within and outside the territory. The government will set up a personal Scheme fund account for each eligible resident and deduct related tuition costs from there. In addition, a caution fee valued at as much as 30 percent of the exempted cost will be deducted from the account too. Ms. Leong Vai Kei, head of DSEJ's Education Department, stated that the second phase of the scheme is aimed at “enhancing personal attainment skills, reinforcing the diversified development of Macau’s economy, and cultivating a learning society.” “It will also work closely with Macau’s position as a world tourism and leisure center, as well as a trade cooperation and service platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries,” she added. Besides individual applicants, entities that intend to operate an educational or training course with the requisite conditions can also apply to the Scheme from today. “We will announce the approved programs in June for the public to enroll in, and the classes are expected to kick off as soon as July,” declared Mr. Kong, adding that the bureau has gained more experience in the examination, approval and supervision of such programs. According to Kong, the first phase of the scheme attracted over 144,500 residents and no “blacklist” was made of previous participants who couldn’t meet the required course completion rate. “We’ll keep encouraging residents’ participation,” he stressed. “How much impact the Scheme would have on individuals depends on the participant’s personal positioning of themselves. The Bureau attempts to support them in these diverse aspects.”   Copyright@Macau Daily Times
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