Jump to the content zone at the center

City Establishes First Inter-Generational Education Base in Taiwan

Mayor Ko at the Taipei City Inter-generational Education BaseMayor Ko Wen-je attended the plaque-unveiling ceremony for Taipei City Inter-generational Education Base on October 24. 


During his address, the mayor stressed that today’s young generation is known as the “Touchscreen Generation.” He has witnessed toddlers with pacifiers swiping their fingers on smart phones. That is why he believes kids can teach elders how to operate these devises. Meanwhile, today’s event invites elders to teach kids how to make dumplings, demonstrating interactions between different generations. 


He also brought great news for the public: senior citizens 65 or older with residency in Taipei City who sign up for seniors’ digital learning classes at any of Taipei’s community colleges between September and December can apply for subsidies of up to NT$3,000. This incentive hopes to attract more elders to actively take classes. 


Ko stressed that an important element of successful polices or programs is to make use of public-private-partnership. He pointed out that Taiwan’s problem is not an aging population, but the rapid shifts in age distribution impedes the society’s ability to adapt to the dynamic changes. He cited the example of Sweden, where the percentage of senior population took 130 years to rise from 7% to 20%. For Taiwan, the same process took only 30 years. 


The mayor recalled that during his first year in office, the percentage of Taipei’s population 65 or older in 2014 was 14%. The number exceeded 20% around his seventh year in office. Therefore, continuous learning for senior citizens is an important part of the City’s education policy. The city government and its affiliated institutions offer roughly 5,000 learning courses for senior citizens each year. Taipei e-campus has a part of its website dedicated to senior’s digital learning. 


Citing his in-laws, Ko pointed out that elders receiving care in the neighborhood help save money for their family while ensuring a basic level of care quality. In this era where dual income families form a majority, young kids are often looked after by their grandparents. That is why for him, the implementation of co-learning programs involving kids and grandparents have always been a priority.