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Level playing field for vocational education

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Students at a vocational school study practical electronics in Handan, Hebei province, in April. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, recently adopted a revised Vocational Education Law, effective from May 1, the first time the law has been revised since it was adopted in 1996.

The revised law stipulates that vocational education is as important as general education and that vocational school graduates enjoy equal opportunities with students from ordinary schools in terms of enrollment, employment and career opportunities. Such a new orientation will help further enhance the social recognition of vocational education.

China has built the world's largest vocational education system, with 11,300 vocational schools enrolling 30.88 million students and churning out 10 million graduates annually. But the system remains underdeveloped comparing with the demands of the society.

In recent years, China has introduced a series of policy measures, laying a solid foundation for the enactment of the amended Vocational Education Law.
Equating vocational education with general education means the former will receive the same attention, same inputs and same guarantee as general education.

This will push central and local governments to improve the level of running vocational schools, perfect the system of service guarantees required for vocational education, and fundamentally solve some longstanding systematic and institutional problems that hinder the development of vocational education.

There is no higher or lower education, only different types of education.
So, equating vocational education with general education will provide diversified career development paths for young people.

However, greater efforts are still needed to break the barriers in the development of vocational education to provide young people with broader choices, give skilled workers broader space to make use of their talents, and guarantee more talent and support for the country's all-round socialist modernization drive.



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