The Ministry of Education said it would launch a consolidated ID card in Taipei City in September as part of an initiative to promote the increasingly popular concept of lifelong learning.
The public has embraced the concept that one is never too old to learn, but many people taking continuing education and other classes have complained about ending up with too many membership cards, as a separate one is needed for every course at community colleges, cram schools or other institutions, the ministry said.
Working in the initial stage with 13 community colleges in Taipei, the ministry decided to issue a single card for students at the participating institutions.
The new student card will contain a record of the user’s class history, as well as volunteer service hours.
The ministry also plans to use the card to offer incentives, such as tuition discounts or free coupons, to encourage people to take classes and do more volunteer work.
However, details of this aspect of the card plan are still under discussion.
The average rate of adults entering continuing education in Taiwan is 30.96 percent, but the ministry hopes the new policy will gradually boost the rate, with the aim of catching up with developed countries, where the rate is about 42 percent.
“If the results are promising, the mode and pattern will be reproduced and implemented nationwide, which is our ultimate goal,” Minister of Education Wu Ching-ji (吳清基) said on Monday.
Wu also said the ministry was trying to encourage more facilities and institutions to participate in the project.
The new card is likely to include other functions so it could be used as credit card, debit card or EasyCard, which can be used for payment on public transport services or at various retail outlets, the ministry said.