The Chinese government has all along attached great importance to special education since the PRC was established. The state has issued a whole set of laws and regulations which make explicit stipulations on safeguarding the rights to education of the disabled, and formulated a series of both general and specific policies for reforming and developing special education, while earmarking special funds for this purpose. Consequently, special education has developed fast. According to statistics, China has 1,539 special education schools for blind, deaf or mentally retarded children and teenagers, and some 5,400 special education classes attached to regular schools, with a total of more than 378,000 students. In addition, a large number of disabled children and teenagers study in regular schools. Currently, more than 1,700 rehabilitation institutions for deaf infants are operating in China, and over 70,000 children have been or are being trained there. Furthermore, there are more than 1,000 vocational training institutions for the disabled in China.
The Vocational Education Law was issued in 1996. China’s vocational education is mainly composed of advanced vocational schools, secondary technical schools, skilled workers’ schools, vocational middle schools, job training centers and other technical training schools for adults, and training institutions run by social forces or individuals. At present, there are over 17,000 vocational schools of various types and at all levels; more than 2,090 job training centers; and over 400,000 part-time training centers for workers, technical training schools for adults and training institutions run by social forces or individuals. Each year there are tens of millions of people receiving vocational training at various training institutions and vocational schools.