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More support for vocation training

[ 2009-04-23 13:41]     字号 [] [] []  
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Despite ensuring better job prospects after graduation, vocational training remains a vulnerable link in China's education system.

And it's a link that needs strengthening, lawmakers said yesterday.

"Chinese people usually put general education ahead of vocational training and look down on skilled workers," said Wang Zuoshu, vice-chairman of the Education, Science, Culture and Public Health Committee of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC).

Lack of funding and proper administration are also contributing factors, he said.

More than 30 million students attend middle and higher vocational institutions across the country, the same number as those studying at normal high schools and universities.

When other vocational programs are taken into account, about 150 million people take part in vocational training every year.

Going to vocational schools is often the last option for Chinese students who believe a university education ensures them a bright future.

But college graduates in China are finding it more and more difficult to get jobs, especially during the global financial crisis. At the same time, many factories are badly in need of senior skilled workers.

"It is an urgent task to promote vocational education and enhance the quality of labor on our way to building a well-off society," said Huang Yao, director of the department of vocational education and adult education at the Ministry of Education.

A survey by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences estimated that more than 12 percent of fresh college graduates in China couldn't find a job last year.

But more than 95 percent of graduates from middle vocational schools found jobs, according to the Ministry of Education.

China has been intensifying vocational training. From 2006 to 2010 it will have poured 14 billion yuan ($2 billion) into the vocational education system.

"But the funding is far from enough," the NPC committee's field work report said.

In many provinces, vocational institutions have poor teaching facilities and lack equipment. Limited financial support from local governments has led to rising tuition fees, the report said.

In 1996, China released its first Vocational Education Law to provide legal protection for the improvement of vocational education.

The law will be revised by the 11th National People's Congress to give more support to vocational education.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

More support for vocation training

About the broadcaster:

More support for vocation training

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.