While enjoying a rapidly growing economy for consecutive years, China has begun to witness an increasing shortage of skilled professionals.
To resolve the problem, experts urged more efforts to promote vocational education and shed the outdated practice that only stresses the diploma of higher education.
A blue book on the Chinese economy and related policies, published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences recently, points out China needs more professionals of certain skill to support its economic growth, and such people can be trained by developing vocational education.
According to the blue book, expanded college enrollment and decreasing demand for people of higher education have caused a "waste of educated people."
Xia Jiechang, one of the authors of the blue book, said vocational education and polytechnic education should be treated the same as general education.
"The government should increase financial input to vocational education and support low income earners to receive vocational education," said Xia, adding that vocational education should be employment-oriented, which echoed the Ministry of Education.
By late 2003, China had established 908 senior vocational schools and 612 colleges offered courses of senior vocational education, with a total of 4.79 million students at school.
(Xinhua News Agency May 31, 2004)