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China to boost vocational education system

2014-06-25 11:02 CNTV Web Editor: Li Yan

China's cabinet, the State Council, has released its guidelines on the development of the vocational education program, aiming at improving the quality of the country's vast labor force and increasing employment.

According to the guidelines, the total number of students at vocational education institutions is expected to increase to over 38 million by 2020, 8 million more than the current number of students enrolled in the vocational training system. This will make up at least half of the total number of students at senior high school and higher education levels.

Local governments will raise their vocational education budgets to at least 30 percent of their total education budget. Enterprises and NGOs have also been encouraged to sponsor such schools and colleges. Their donations will not be taxed. Although China now has the world's most vocational institutions, many problems remain in the current system.

"Firstly, though the employment rate of the vocational schools graduates is very high, we have a problem in attracting enough applicants as vocational schools are traditionally considered an option for students with poor academic performance. Secondly, the enterprises have not participated enough in the development of vocational education, though their need for skilled workers remains high. Also, vocational schools have seen an increase in investment in the past years, but a government guideline was lacking," said Ge Daokai, head of vocational education div., Ministry of Education.

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