Local governments should further improve the conditions of vocational schools so more than 80 percent of them reach set standards by the end of next year and more than 90 percent by the end of 2025, a new notice said on Wednesday.
Schools that are of low quality and social recognition and fail to meet standards should be merged or closed, the notice said, which was released by the Ministry of Education and four other departments.
For schools that remain, local governments should work hard to deal with inadequacies, such as shortages in land, dormitories, classrooms and laboratories.
Local governments should also improve the quality of teachers, build more high-quality training bases for vocational students and equip schools with enough books, computers and training equipment.
Vocational schools need to make good use of funding tools such as special bonds for local governments and foreign government loans.
More investment from private sectors and other channels is encouraged so the conditions of vocational schools can be improved without new implicit debt.
The progress of local governments in the sector will be announced starting next year and it will be important for the selection of national vocational education reform programs.
An official from the Ministry of Education's department of vocational and adult education said government investment for secondary vocational schools has been low for a long time, so it is common for schools to not meet standards.
Meanwhile, higher vocational schools have increased enrollment by 4.13 million in the past three years, with total enrollment this year up by almost 40 percent from three years ago, so there is a shortage of education resources, the official said.