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China takes firm steps in developing vocational education

Updated: Dec 3,2015 8:32 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China has increased money going into vocational education, with good results, in the past five years, according to an interim evaluation published on Dec 2.

Statistics show that in 2014, the country’s input into secondary and higher vocational education was 190.7 billion yuan ($29.8 billion) and 151.8 billion yuan respectively, increasing by 59.02 and 64.78 percent respectively compared to 2009.

Published by the Ministry of Education on China’s National Plan for Medium and Long-Term Education Reform and Development (2010-2020), the evaluation report specifically focuses on vocational education in China.

Around 91.5 percent of students in secondary vocational schools from rural areas or families with financial difficulties are enjoying tuition-free education, while 40 percent of them get an annual 2,000-yuan education grant from the government.

Nearly 10 million graduates from vocational schools are hired as technical personnel every year, accounting for 60 percent of the total employed population.

The employment rate of secondary vocational school graduates has been above 95 percent for five years in a row, and the number for higher vocational schools reached 91.5 percent in 2014, making vocational schools an important base for technical personnel.

However, as many as 12 provinces still don’t have a standard for the average expenditures on students in secondary vocational schools, while nine provinces don’t have one in higher vocational schools.

“Vocational education is still a weak link in our education system,” said Wang Jiping, an inspector on vocational and adult education at the ministry, stating that various problems for graduates, school conditions and others still need to be dealt with.