Philanthropy in China is poised for exponential growth, with education as the leading sector for philanthropic engagement. In this frame a conference on Philanthropy in Childhood Education in China: Trends and Perspectives was held on 15 January in Beijing, the first of its kind in China. The event brought together more than 170 participants and high-level speakers. China Global Philanthropy Institute (CGPI) in collaboration with NORRAG and the 21st Century Education Research Institute organized this third event in the Philanthropy in Education Symposium Series with the sponsorship of Lao Niu Brother & Sister Foundation. The conference was aimed at foundations, non-profit educational organizations, academia, business, social enterprises, media and government to discuss the theme of education equity and innovation in childhood education in China.
Joost Monks, Executive Director of NORRAG and Haoming Huang, Vice President of CGPI, gave the welcome address in the opening ceremony, quoting Jack Ma he stressed the need for a holistic perspective on education and preparing our children for the digital future. The President of CGPI, Zhenyao Wang introduced the background of the recent reform and changes in China’s childhood education. While economic development has provided unprecedented opportunities for China to increase investment in childhood education, the huge urban-rural divide and the imbalance in resources allocation are calling for innovative approaches to address the needs of vulnerable groups, such as migrant children, or early childhood educational opportunities in rural regions. Jin Fang, Vice Secretary General of China Development Research Foundation presented research evidence on the relation between poverty alleviation and investment in early childhood education in China. To fill in the gap of inadequate resources in rural China, China Development Research Foundation initiated the “one village one pre-school” project, which has covered 9 provinces, 21 counties and 2,300 villages in China and more than 170,000 children are the beneficiaries of this program. Arushi Terway, the Senior Lead Research Associate of NORRAG, presented the international trends in philanthropy in education in the keynote speech. Yurong Gao, Vice Director of China Philanthropy Research Institute of Beijing Normal University, provided the example of another community-based innovative program for child protection in China, which was electing a children’s affair officer in every village to establish a support network for vulnerable children.
Megan Haggerty from the International Education Funders Group and Fabrice Jaumont from the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme were invited to share their experience and insights as international speakers in the roundtable discussion, the themes of which covered a variety of topics with regards to Education Equity in the Future Education Ecology, Education and Innovation for the Future, and Effective Funding for Childhood Education. The event also launched the CGPI report “Childhood Education and Philanthropy in Education”, with the goal of understanding the current state of childhood education in China (from 0-14 years old) through the sharing of international and domestic case studies.
In the closing remarks, Joost Monks and Haoming Huang suggested that NORRAG and CGPI can further strengthen collaboration in the fields of knowledge dissemination, advocacy and innovation, and capacity development by setting up a platform for Philanthropy in Education in China. Quoting the founder of Lao Niu Foundation, Mr. Gensheng Niu, Joost Monks emphasized that to advance the development of childhood education, one cannot move forward without compassion and philanthropy in its original meaning of “love of humanity”.
After the conference, NORRAG conducted to a fascinating site visit to Sun Future Foundation in Beijing, whose mandate is to provide children’s art education programs for migrant children through a programme called “Enlightenment of Love” and to the Laoniu Children’s Museum, both supported by the Lao Niu Brother & Sister Foundation.
Joost Monks, Executive Director of NORRAG, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sun Future Foundation’s blog about the site visits: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/hNwwCtopFR5OQBb_MnfYbA
- CGPI’s blog about the event: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/0YmuPRLpKLRu2xtgP50dPw
Photo credits: Sun Future Foundation