The Macao Declaration
Lifelong Individual Development in the Ageing Industrialized
Societies of East Asia .
We, the participants of the 3rd Assembly of the East Asia Forum
of Adult Education (EAFAE) are gathered here is solidarity at a time
when the region is gripped by the economic crisis and when many who
have experienced the War are growing old. We are keen in
establishing Lifelong Education system in all societies in
particular the development of adult lifelong learning in the ageing
societies of our East Asian industrialized countries and areas. We
would like to call upon governments and educators of this region to
pay attention to this issue as well as to implement as much as
possible the content of this declaration. The participants in this
Assembly hereby declare that:
- Lifelong education is a basic human right and adult
education is a key to the development of individuals who have
left the formal schooling.
- Every individual regardless of age, gender, ability,
social-economic status, ethnicity and religion should be given
every opportunity for self-development through access to
- The concept of lifelong learning should be used to integrate
formal, informal and non-formal education. Mechanisms to forge
linkages amongst the three sectors should be encouraged.
- Adult Lifelong learning should extend beyond the walls of
dominant school-oriented education to organized learning
activities in alternative settings like the workplace,
community and family and informal experiential learning should
- The practice of lifelong learning based on economic
imperatives has to be complemented by more humanistic
considerations. Adult lifelong learning has to be buttressed
by humanistic concerns Governments should allocate a larger
- Adult lifelong learning should be a means to surmount the
challenges posed by the serious social problems we are facing.
A holistic approach, balancing of solutions for economic and
social problems with total integrated human development is a
pre-requistite for implementing lifelong learning in the
industrialized societies of East Asia.
- Adult educators in East Asian industrialized societies
should work together to strengthen their network in order to
promote exchange of ideas, share needs and explore
alternatives for more effective adult learning. EAFAE is
committed to be proactive in interacting with others who are
interested in the development of adult education in other
parts of the world.
- Adult educators in East Asian industrialized societies
should also work together to give support and share their
experiences with neighbouring developing countries to
facilitate their development in adult education, adult
lifelong learning and establishing lifelong education system
on their process of industralization .
- Adult educators in East Asian industrialized countries will
maintain close relationship with the related regional and
international organization, such as the Asian-South Pacific
Bureau of Adult Education (ASPBAE), European Adult Education
Association (EAEA) , Council of adult International Council
for Education (ICAE) and UNESCO . We will continuously explore
opportunities to collaborate with these organizations.
- Lifelong learning in East Asia is informed by cultural and
traditional values prevalent in the region. Such understanding
can help to bridge the possible gaps that exist among the
different cultures of East Asia.
- Institutions of higher education can implement lifelong
education by building paths to connect different sectors
within education and industries. This is to facilitate more
open and equitable access to higher education.
- There are positive aspects in ageing and that adult
educators should harness the wisdom of older adults in their
practice. In consonant with the International Year of Older
Persons , we affirm that the life-experience of older adults
is a valuable source for inter-generational learning .
Education about the elderly is as important as education for
- The nuclearization of the family and the longer life
expectancy of the population have created new learning needs
for women in East Asia . Adult lifelong education should
address these changes in the role of women as homemakers,
income-earners and care-givers.
- The globalisation of the industrialized economies in East
Asia has accentuated the need for migrants and migrant works
education. Research is needed to understand the coping
strategies of migrants and educational intervention is
required for societies to better understand these migrants and
for these migrants workers to function effectively in these
- A multi-agency approach should be adopted for the training,
retraining and re-skilling of workers . This is to enhance in
the employability of workers , especially during economic
downturns. Funding should be provided by the governments to
private companies and non-government organizations to support
the re-skilling programmes for their employees.
- Adult educators in East Asia will actively participate in
community development by engaging in health education,
environmental education and moral education. Adult educators
should look at the interconnectedness in health , environment
and moral values when planning programmes aimed at the
betterment of the community.
- Adult educations in East Asia should develop the capacity to
do research in the areas mentioned. This can be in the form of
comparative studies of issues confronting industrialized
societies and the educational programmes and legislation put
in place to ameliorate these problems. The findings form these
studies will be disseminated to adult educators in EAFAE and
the international community. IT will be harnessed to promote
free flow of knowledge and sharing of ideas amongst adult
- Adult educators in East Asia recognize the centrality of the
educational processes in their engagement of various issues
they come to face . The focus has to be on needs
identification, programme planning and evaluation and