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Peking University Offers Free Training to Migrant Workers
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Migrant worker Liu Jun made a speech in English at Peking University on July 2. He spoke about his desire to learn. And on that day he was delighted to learn that his dream of studying would be realized in a training program launched by Peking University for its temporary workers.


Liu from the Hunan countryside is currently a cleaner at the dormitory management center of Peking University. He became a migrant worker five years ago after he failed the college entrance examination.


There are about 3,000 temporary workers like Liu in Peking University. According to a survey carried out on the campus by the university's Education Department, most of the migrant workers employed on the campus are around 20 years old and graduated from junior high school. In general these people are filling the gap between their academic qualifications, skills and the demands of the job market. And they have a strong desire for training. But hard work, the high costs associated with training and scarce opportunities all contribute to making hard for them to realize their dreams.


The Education Department has been very concerned about the issue. In the second half of 2005 the department formed a team focusing on researching the education and training of migrant workers. The team created the "college plus volunteers" model. The university administrative departments will cooperate to recruit socially responsible teachers and student volunteers to run training programs for migrant workers.


Professor Ding Xiaohao of the Education Department and director of the program said that the recruitment of teachers had been completed. Most of the 40 volunteers are students in Peking University. The first training course will begin in mid-September after the training of the volunteer teachers. Free training on career development, culture and other skills will be given to the migrant workers on campus who are without funds but desire training through volunteer-based teaching.


One training course will last four months and hopefully can be provided at weekends. In addition, newsletters concerning the training programs will be published regularly so that those migrant workers who can't attend the course will also benefit.


According to the Beijing municipal education union, this initiative will be promoted in more than 70 colleges and universities in Beijing to mobilize educational establishments and even society in general to offer more help to the education and training of migrant workers.


( by Li Xiaohua July 5, 2006)

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