Students at a vocational school study practical electronics in Handan, Hebei province, in April. (Photo/Xinhua)
Vocational education should be viewed with equal importance to that of general education, and more effort will be made to improve the recognition of its value, according to a revision to the Vocational Education Law.
The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, adopted the revision as it wrapped up a session on Wednesday.
The new law will take effect on May 1. It is the first time the Vocational Education Law has been revised since it was adopted in 1996.
It aims to promote the high-quality development of vocational education and train more high-caliber technical professionals.
The revision calls for the better use of national education funds so that the investment into vocational education matches its development needs.
Vocational school graduates should enjoy the same opportunities for school enrollment, employment and career development as graduates of regular schools at the same level, the law stipulates.
Governments at all levels should create an equal employment environment for vocational school graduates and no enterprise is allowed to put forward employment requirements that hinder their chances of being hired, it said.
Measures will be taken to improve the social status and salaries of technical workers and the government should reward people and institutions that make significant contribution to vocational education, the law said.
The new law also called for the greater participation of enterprises in promoting high-quality vocational education.
Enterprises that have played important roles in cultivating skilled workers and promoting employment will be rewarded. They are also encouraged to set up trainee posts for vocational students, take part in the compiling of vocational education textbooks, train vocational teachers, and set up scholarships and grants for vocational students, it said.
Higher vocational schools need to reserve a certain percentage of enrollment quotas for secondary vocational school graduates or conduct independent enrollment tests for such graduates, it said.
The law requires vocational education to be further integrated with general education. The country should establish a mechanism to transfer credits and qualifications between vocational education and general education.
Primary, secondary and tertiary schools are encouraged to conduct career guidance for students, it said.
The law also asked vocational schools to strengthen the management of teachers and students to create a better learning environment. Vocational schools should be subject to education supervision and vocational school presidents should be supervised when assuming their duties.
The law requires vocational schools to accept students with disabilities, strengthen the building of barrier-free facilities and offer them necessary help and convenience for their daily lives.