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Vocational Education In China(II)
2001-01-01

                           The System of Vocational Education and Its Development 

The system of vocational education consists of education in vocational schools and vocational training.

Vocational education in China is provided at three levels £º junior secondary, senior secondary and tertiary.

Conducted mainly in junior vocational schools and aimed at training workers, peasants and employees in other sectors with basic professional knowledge and certain professional skills, junior vocational education refers to the vocational and technical education after primary school education and is a part of the 9-year compulsory education. The students in secondary vocational school should be primary school graduates or the youth with equivalent cultural knowledge and its schooling lasts 3 to 4 years. To meet the needs of labor forces for the development of rural economy, junior vocational schools are mainly located in rural areas where the economy is less developed£® At present, there are 1,472 such schools with the enrollment of 867,000 students.

Data of Junior Secondary Vocational School Development
in the '90s (in 10 thousand people)

Year
Number of Schools
Enrollment
Number of students at school
Number of graduates
Full-time teachers
1990
1509
19.36
47.88
13.91
2.87
1991
1556
23.82
52.33
13.68
3.01
1992
1593
26.68
56.38
14.10
3.20
1993
1582
26.65
56.24
14.52
3.31
1994
1538
28.51
63.05
13.80
3.54
1995
1535
28.84
69.69
16.96
3.72
1996
1534
30.68
77.52
18.76
3.92
1997
1469
30.88
80.99
20.93
4.01
1998
1472
34.89
86.70
22.92
3.96

The secondary level mainly refers to the vocational education in senior high school stage. Composed of specialized secondary schools, skill workers schools and vocational high schools, and as the mainstay of vocational education in China, secondary vocational education plays a guiding role in training manpower with practical skills at primary and secondary levels of various types.

Consisting of secondary technical schools and normal schoo1s, specialized secondary schools enroll junior high school graduates with a schooling of usually 4 years and sometimes 3 years, A few specialities are open only to senior high school graduates with the schooling lasting 2 years. The basic tasks of these schools are to train secondary-level specialized and technical talents for the forefront of production, and all the students should master the basic knowledge, theory and skills of their speciality in addition to the cultural knowledge required for higher school students.
Aiming at training secondary-level skill workers, skill worker schools enroll junior high school graduates and their schooling lasts 3 years£® Quite capable of practicing and operating, their graduates will directly be engaged in production activities.

Developing on the basis of the structural reform of secondary education after China adopted the policy of reform and opening to the outside world and directly coming from the reorganization of regular high schools, vocational high school enrolls junior high school graduates and its schooling lasts 3 years. Its main task is to train secondary-1evel practice-oriented talents with comprehensive professional abilities and all-round qualities directly engaged in the forefront of production, service, technology and management£® Accordingly, the specialities offered in vocational high schools are mainly related to the third industry.

In 1998, there were altogether 17,090 secondary vocational schools (including vocational high school¡¢specialized secondary schools and skill workers school), with the enrollment of 11,460,000 students and the recruitment of 422,900,000 students.

With the schooling lasting 2 to 3 years, tertiary vocational education mainly enroll graduates from regular high schools and secondary vocational schools. In recent years, the proportion of graduates form secondary vocational schools has been increased, establishing the link between secondary and tertiary vocational education gradually. Aiming at training secondary and high - level specialized technical and management talents needed in the economic construction, tertiary vocational education emphasiz6s the training of practice-oriented and craft-oriented talents. At present, institutions providing tertiary vocational education are divided into five categories. The first is the 30 higher vocational technology colleges£» with the enrollment of 149,000 students, the second is the 101 short-circle practice-oriented vocational universities with local figures £» the third is the 5-year higher vocational classes provided in the regular specialized secondary schools£» the fourth is the tertiary vocational education provided in some regular higher education institutions and adult higher education institutions, which has been experimented in over 130 specialites among 180 institutions£» the last is the reformed regular institutions offering 2 to 3-year higher education with the emphasis on training practice-oriented talents, namely high-level professional technical talents, for the forefront of production.

Data on development of vocational universities

Year
Number of Schools
Enrollment
Number of students at school
Number of graduates
1990
114
24059
72449
26425
1991
114
22930
63459
24943
1992
85
27053
66219
20315
1993
83
35274
79909
19647
1994
87
35518
93939
21456
1995
86
37050
98300
28863
1996
82
38596
98831
31766
1997
80
44665
112092
29818
1998
101
62751
148561
35480

Vocational training of various forms has been playing a more and more important role in vocational education. At present, vocational training is mainly conducted and managed by the departments of education and labor, but enterprises are encouraged to provide vocational training for its own employees. In 1997, there were 2, 800 employment training centers for the administration of departments of labor with the capacity of providing training for 3 million person-time per year and 20, 000 employee training centers with the capacity of 30 million person-time per year.


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