China will give financial support to 30 training bases in six provinces and regions, as the first step to start a more practical vocational education for would-be blue-collar workers, sources with the Ministry of Education said in Beijing Monday.
Vice Minister of Education Wu Qidi said at a press conference that vocational education, despite a rapid progress in recent years, was still the weak link of the education industry. At present, the ill condition of the training bases and the low level of the teaching staff led to insufficiency of the students' practical capability.
If taking digital controlling as an example, said Wu, most on-campus students had less than three weeks of practical training due to the lack of equipment, which was the same case in other industries.
Pinpointing this, China will give financial support to some vocational training bases and some important industries such as digital controlling, vehicle repairing, computer and software, electricity and electronics, as well as architecture, Wu said.
Wu also called for relevant administrations to work out policies to support vocational education.
Statistics showed that China has 70 million blue-collar workers, among which high-level technicians only account for four percent, far behind the 30 to 40 percent in developed countries.
In terms of vocational education, China has 908 higher vocational training schools, which account for 58.5 percent of the Chinese universities.
(Xinhua News Agency June 15, 2004)