After months of interruptions to schools, colleges and universities across the world, a new academic year has finally begun in Macao. This month, actual in-person classes have resumed for all nursery, kindergarten, primary, secondary and tertiary schools and institutions. To mark a return to life as we know it – almost – we have dedicated our September stories to the importance of education in nurturing young people and training them to be tomorrow’s leaders.
We look back over more than 450 years, from the early days of education in Macao to the modern multifaceted school and higher learning system. And then we look beyond all that at the future of education in the city. Today, almost 101,000 students out of a population of 685,400 are in some form of education. This is down to the significant efforts made by the government, as well as social and religious groups, to ensure education is accessible for all. In our in-depth stories, we find out exactly how the city has evolved and advanced, learning from successes across the world as it’s been building its own A-grade education system.
A significant investment in education often leads to creating a society full of good and honest characters. Six ‘good and honest’ people in Macao – and another now living in London – are the stars of two of our stories. These articles tell the tales of these ‘young heroes’ who have gone above and beyond to help others, whether it’s nursing children in refugee camps in Africa, saving COVID-19 patients in Wuhan or chasing down robbers on Macao’s streets.
This year is a year we will remember for centuries to come due to the COVID-19 pandemic – but on a local and more positive side, 2020 is also an important year for Macao as it marks the 15th anniversary of UNESCO’s decision to include the city on the World Heritage List. In another article, we detail what this means for the city, what it has brought and how we can protect Macao’s heritage so that it remains alive and an important local tourism attraction.
With life in Macao returning to normal and visitors from Mainland China being allowed back to the city from the end of this month onwards, the new Hengqin Port border checkpoint – which was inaugurated last month – represents a major development in the context of Macao’s deeper integration into the Greater Bay Area. It’s also a boost for bringing more tourists in to use the city’s services and attend the many events that are being organised between now and the end of the year, as we detail in another story. With schools going back and more visitors coming into Macao, life really is returning to normal this month. Almost.
*Photo by António Sanmarful