Shenzhen to support vocational education

Updated: Apr 21, 2021 By ZHOU MO and PEI PEI in Shenzhen, Guangdong China Daily Print
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A worker learns how to control a robotic arm in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. CHAI HUA/CHINA DAILY

Shenzhen will spend 10 billion yuan ($1.54 billion) by the end of next year to support the development of vocational education as it strives to play a leading role in a field that is vital for driving the country's high-quality development.

The technology hub in southern Guangdong province will step up efforts to build an internationally advanced vocational education system, with the aim of developing two to three vocational schools and 10 to 15 majors into world-class ones by 2025.

A total of 18,000 new vocational school places will be provided in the city within the next three years.

China is attaching high importance to vocational education as the country pushes forward with high-quality development. In a recent instruction, President Xi Jinping said vocational education has a "promising future and great potential".

Xi urged the acceleration of the building of a modern vocational education system and the cultivation of more high-caliber technical professionals.

Chen Ziji, director of the department of vocational and adult education at the Ministry of Education, said the ministry will provide full support in helping Shenzhen explore a new model for high-level development of vocational education and create a new educational ecosystem in the era of smart technology.

It will also assist the city in promoting joint development of vocational education in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area by strengthening cooperation between the Chinese mainland and the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions on student enrollment, recruitment, talent cultivation and training, and other aspects, he said at a news conference in Shenzhen on Monday.

Greater efforts will also be made to promote mutual recognition of academic qualifications between the Chinese mainland and the two regions, Chen added.

The ministry and the Guangdong provincial government issued a guideline in December on boosting the high-quality development of vocational education in Shenzhen, which was listed as a pilot city for national reform of vocational education.

In the guideline, 20 measures were introduced, including building world-class vocational schools, establishing outstanding teaching teams, deepening reform of teaching and learning methods, promoting joint development in the Bay Area and increasing international influence.

Jing Lihu, head of the Guangdong Provincial Education Department, said vocational education should be developed to better meet market demand.

"Recent economic data showed growth in the country's exports and imports," he said.

"More and more Chinese enterprises are going global and that requires our vocational education to follow the trend to better serve the global market."

Nie Xinping, vice-mayor of Shenzhen, said the city has invested over 26 billion yuan in vocational education over the past five years. It is currently home to 31 vocational schools, with 130,000 enrolled students.

The city will take moves to improve integrated development of vocational education and industries, and carry out reform of talent cultivation through cooperation between schools and enterprises, he said.

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