This Act has been formulated to encourage lifelong learning, implement and promote lifelong education, strengthen social education, advance learning opportunities, and enhance people’s literacy, understanding, knowledge, and skills.
In this Act the term “competent authority” refers to: the Ministry of Education at the central government level; the municipal government at municipality level; the county or city government at county or city level.
The terms used in this Act are defined as follows:
1. Lifelong learning: refers to the learning activities an individual engages in over the entire course of their life.
2. Lifelong learning institution: refers to an educational institution, agency, institution, or group providing lifelong learning.
3. Lifelong learning professionals: refers to the range of professional staff who engage in lifelong learning curriculum planning, instruction, and guidance at lifelong learning institutions.
4. Senior citizens’ learning: refers to the learning activities provided by lifelong learning institutions for people 55 years and older to engage in.
Lifelong learning institutions are categorized as follows:
1. Social education institutions:
(1) Social education centers.
(3) Science education centers and science museums.
(4) Sports facilities.
(5) Recreational facilities for children and adolescents.
(6) Zoological parks.
(7) Other institutions performing social education functions.
2. Cultural institutions:
(1) Cultural museums and exhibition venues.
(2) Cultural centers, art centers, and performance venues.
(3) Living arts centers.
(4) Other institutions performing cultural functions.
3. Educational institutions, government agencies, community learning centers (also called “community colleges”), and non-profit organizations and groups, other than those already referred to in the preceding two subparagraphs, that provide people with a diverse range of learning activities.
Lifelong learning occurs in the following contexts:
1. In the formal education system: occurs in the systemized learning opportunities provided by compulsory education and higher education. This is characterized by a hierarchical framework.
2. Non-formal education: occurs through organized learning activities designed for specific purposes or target groups, outside the formal education system.
3. Informal education settings: informal education refers to the non-organized learning that occurs carrying out daily activities and within everyday settings.
The competent authorities at all levels shall undertake overall planning of lifelong learning policies, programs, and activities.
The competent authority at each level shall in accordance with the preceding paragraph coordinate, integrate, and supervise and oversee the lifelong learning institutions within their jurisdiction and may collaborate with individuals, educational institutions, agencies, institutions, or groups to organize lifelong learning activities.
The competent authority at each level shall work together and in coordination with any other competent authority involved to undertake any matter undertaken to achieve the aims stipulated in this Act.
The competent authorities at all levels shall hold meetings on a regular basis to promote and implement lifelong learning. The meetings shall:
1. Deliberate on and evaluate lifelong learning policies and directions.
2. Review major lifelong learning programs.
3. Consultation on other related matters.
The competent authorities at all levels shall invite scholars, experts, representatives of lifelong learning institutions, representatives of government agencies, and representatives of the target groups specified in Article 20, Paragraph 1 to attend the meetings referred to in the preceding paragraph.
Public social education institutions and cultural institutions are those established by the central government, municipality, county, and city governments, district, township, city offices and mountain indigenous districts of special municipalities in compliance with the respective laws and regulations governing the organization of such institutions.
Private social education institutions and cultural institutions are established by the submission of an application by individuals, legal persons, or groups to the municipality, county, or city government. The regulations governing the establishment, modifications, suspension or cessation of operations, supervision and oversight of such institutions, incentives they may be granted, and any other associated matters with compliance requirements any other matter with compliance requirements shall be prescribed by the central competent authority and by the central competent cultural authority.
If the social education institution or cultural institution referred to in the preceding two paragraphs is a library, or a museum, its establishment shall also be governed by the Library Act, or the Museum Act and related regulations.
After the amendments to this Act take effect, unless another law or regulation is applicable, the provisions of other laws and regulations pertaining to social education institutions and their personnel shall be applicable mutatis mutandis to cultural institutions and their personnel.
To implement and promote lifelong learning, the competent authority at municipality, county, and city level may establish community learning centers (also called “community colleges”). The measures for their establishment and development shall be separately prescribed by law.
In the learning activities they provide, educational institutions of all levels shall foster students’ understanding of the concept of lifelong learning, positive attitudes towards it, and their ability and ways to engage in it, and establish lifelong learning habits.
Educational institutions of all levels may offer recurrent education, thereby providing learning opportunities catering to the needs of the general public for lifelong learning.
The term "recurrent education" used in the preceding paragraph refers to education undertaken on a full-time or part-time basis, by individuals who have already graduated from an educational institution at a particular level or left before graduating, who return to an educational institution to continue studying. Recurrent education is a form of education that allows people to undertake education, work, and leisure on a rotational sequential basis.
A lifelong learning institution may establish a formal record of the learning undertaken and associated achievements of individuals participating in non-formal education. Such records may be used for reference for the recognition of learning achievements and provide a link with formal education in educational institutions of all levels.
To encourage members of the public to be willing to participate in lifelong learning, the central competent authority shall establish a system to officially recognize the learning achievements resulting from non-formal education learning activities, and use such recognized achievements as reference material for assessment of eligibility for admission to educational institutions, credit offsets, and job promotion evaluations.
The learning achievement recognition system referred to in the preceding paragraph shall include course and curriculum approval, issuing of certification for credits earned, assessment of eligibility for admission to educational institutions, criteria for credit offsets, and other associated matters. The regulations governing this system shall be prescribed by the central competent authority.
The competent authorities at all levels shall formulate plans for the promotion and implementation of senior citizens’ learning, allocate specific funds for this, and encourage lifelong learning institutions to conduct learning activities for senior citizens.
The competent authorities at all levels may as they see fit provide funding subsidies to the lifelong learning institutions conducting learning activities for senior citizens referred to in the preceding paragraph. The regulations governing subsidy recipients, eligibility, methods, review criteria, inspection visits, guidance, and any other matter that has compliance requirements shall be prescribed by the competent authority at each level.
The central competent authority may as it sees fit provide incentives to a municipality, county, or city competent authority that has a good performance record undertaking senior citizens’ learning activities and developing such activities in a distinctive way. The regulations governing the incentive recipients, eligibility, methods, review criteria, inspection visits, guidance, and any other matter that has compliance requirements shall be prescribed by the central competent authority.
Lifelong learning institutions may preferentially select and appoint lifelong learning professional staff to promote and implement lifelong learning activities.
The rules of the lifelong learning professional staff, including the forms of approval, area of professional expertise, issuing and revocation of professional area certificates, training, and advanced training of lifelong learning professional staff for its professional area, and any other associated matters, may formulate regulations governing by the government authority in charge of subject industry at the central government level.
Regarding the lifelong learning professional staff for each of the professional areas referred to in the previous paragraph, the government authority in charge of subject industry at the central government level may set up a human resource database listing the lifelong learning professional staff in its professional area that lifelong learning institutions within its jurisdiction.
Where circumstances require it, governments at all levels and lifelong learning institutions may incorporate a combination of the internet, mobile communication devices, television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and books when planning lifelong learning activities and thereby expand the range of informal education learning opportunities for the public.
To boost the widespread availability of channels for lifelong learning, the government may as it sees fit provide funding subsidies or openly publicized incentives to media entities that actively participate in the broadcasting or production of lifelong learning programs or content, or that provide a set number of hours or scheduled time slots for cost-free or low-cost broadcasting of lifelong learning programs of various kinds. The regulations governing such subsidies and incentives shall be prescribed by the central competent authority.
Governments at all levels shall vigorously promote the establishing of study systems for their employees by government agencies (organizations), educational institutions, public enterprises and institutions, and legally established, incorporated, or registered private institutions and groups, and may provide incentives to those that do so.
The study systems referred to in the preceding paragraph may take the form of study leave on full pay, subsidies for expenses, or official leave from work.
The regulations governing the recipients, eligibility requirements, procedures, and the forms that the incentives referred to in Paragraph 1 may take, and other matters associated with the incentives referred to in the preceding paragraph shall be prescribed by the competent authority at each level.
Governments at all levels shall allocate ample funding in their budget to implement and promote lifelong learning activities.
To promote balanced regional development of lifelong learning, the central competent authority shall give priority to providing funding subsidies to outlying islands, remote areas, indigenous peoples, and special regions.
The competent authorities at each level shall develop and make widely available opportunities for lifelong learning, and taking into account the specific characteristics of people of different ethnicity, cultures, economic circumstances, and physical and mental capacities, design programs that meet their needs, and provide them with accessible services. The regulations governing the programs, teaching materials, teachers’ qualifications, subsidies, and other associated matters shall be prescribed by the competent authorities at each level.
At its discretion, the central competent authority may subsidize the tuition paid by the people referred to in the previous paragraph when they participate in an approved program that is in compliance with the provisions of the regulations referred to in Article 13, Paragraph 2. The regulations governing eligible subsidy recipients, forms of subsidy provision, proportions, procedures, and other associated matters shall be prescribed by the central competent authority.
The competent authorities at all levels may, in consultation with any other competent authority involved in charge, provide guidance, undertake inspection visits to lifelong learning institutions, and establish a performance assessment system. Incentives may be given to lifelong learning institutions or individuals with a good performance record promoting lifelong learning activities.
This Act takes effect from the date of promulgation.