China has scrapped a requirement of formal education for people seeking to be certified as caregivers for the elderly in a bid to increase their number by 2 million and plug a supply shortage.
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BEIJING: China has scrapped a requirement of formal education for people seeking to be certified as caregivers for the elderly in a bid to increase their number by 2 million and plug a supply shortage.
The issue was the second-most popular topic on Chinese social media on Friday, with many welcoming the relaxation of the rules.
Previously, those seeking certificates to qualify to care for the elderly had to have attended at least junior high school.
Children traditionally look after ageing parents, but in a country that only abolished its one-child policy in 2016, the burden is a heavy one.
A son or a daughter may end up having to take care of as many as four ageing people, including in-laws. Often, children have also moved to distant cities for work, adding to the need for caregivers.
By the end of 2018, China had a population of 249 million people aged 60 or older. About a quarter of that number have either physiological or cognitive disabilities, requiring care, according to the World Bank.
In contrast, a recent official estimate puts the number of certified caregivers at 300,000.
China aims to increase that by 2 million before the end of 2022, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said this week.
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