The Adream Academy of Education and its Quest for Equitable Quality Education: Reflections from an NGO in China

Date: March 6, 2023 (Mon)

Time: 2:15pm – 3:30pm

Venue: Room 646, 6/F, Meng Wah Complex, HKU

Speaker: Mrs. Shirley Pan, Founder, Chairwoman, Adream Academy of Education, Shanghai

Chair: Prof. Gerard Postiglione, Faculty of Education, HKU



This talk will describe the achievements, challenges and possibilities of an NGO dedicated to competency-based education across underprivileged counties in China. Shanghai Adream Charitable Foundation was established on August 14, 2008. In January 2014, it was approved by the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau to become a local public foundation. With the mission of “developing competence education, promoting education equity, and promoting social progress through education”, and the vision of “For every child to grow up in confidence, composure, and dignity”, it helped students in the compulsory education stage to fully grow through the “dream education” public service system.

Since its establishment in 2008, Adream has built a “Dream Education” public service system that integrates “Dream Center+ Dream Courses (school-based courses, comprehensive practical courses) +Dream Coach Training+ Dream Box+ five-year offline operation services”.

“Dream education” is a kind of competence education in which Adream cooperates with the country to implement the requirements of “having ideals, skills and responsibilities” for the cultivation of people in the new era. On the basis of helping students gradually improve their self-awareness, they learn to establish the relationship between themselves, society, and future development, choose the appropriate development direction according to their own personality and potential, and put it into action.

Adream Foundation’s PPPS cooperation model, featuring Public-Private-Philanthropic-School alliance with Chinese characteristics, which enables education bureaus, schools, teachers, donor agencies and volunteers to become “Adream’s Partners”.  This inter-agency collaboration promotes restructuring of the local education system and ensures high quality competency-based education accessible for every child.

By December 2022, Adream has donated more than 5300 school Dream Centers, benefiting more than 6.05 million teachers and students.



Mrs Pan graduated from the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing in 1994. She also earned her EMBA in the Changjiang Business School in China. She quit her professional work from the business sector and started her charity work in education 15 years ago. She was convinced to support teaching much needed life skills to deprived children in rural schools. She founded the Adream Foundation in 2007, which brought in over 5,000 Adream Centers across the country and benefited around six million students, mostly from underdeveloped areas in inland China.

Mr Pan also created the Adream Academy of Education three years ago to institutionalize regular training for rural teachers. In that capacity she was invited to deliver her keynote speech at the prestigous CIES 2023 annual on Feb. 21th in Washington D.C. and Columbia University in New York.



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