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Time to discard outdated bias against vocational education

China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-07 07:44

Time to discard outdated bias against vocational education

Pan Shenhan creates his floral design at the WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. [Photo provided to yowaldo.com]

THE CHINESE PARTICIPANTS at the 44th WorldSkills Competition, held in Abu Dhabi last month, brought home eight bronze, seven silver and 15 gold medals. China won its first gold medal in the competition last year, and ranked first on the gold medal list this year. Legal Daily comments:

The Beijing municipal government said it will reward the seven students from the capital's four vocational schools who took part in the competition and who all won medals, along with their coaches and teachers.

The Chinese team won gold medals in six categories-manufacturing and engineering technology, transport and logistics, structure and construction technology, information and telecommunications technology, creative arts and fashion, society and personal services-showcasing China's strong vocational skills education.

Although the total output of China's equipment manufacturing has topped the world for a long time, there is still a long way to go for Chinese enterprises to catch up with their counterparts in some developed countries in terms of technology, innovation, research and development, and craftsmanship.

China needs large numbers of technicians, skilled workers and engineers. But prejudice against vocational education still prevails in society. Academic education is valued more than skills-centered training, even though it is much easier for a skilled worker to find a good job than a college graduate.

The Beijing municipal government's pledge to reward the medalists and their coaches and teachers is praiseworthy and highlights the significance the government attaches to vocational education.

Local governments should take more concrete actions to support the development of vocational education, and raise the public's awareness of its importance so the outdated discrimination against it is discarded.

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