Vocational education and training (VET)should be highlighted in the educational system in China

2019-08-30 08:08:38 时代人物 2019年9期

Ruiyi Li


Nowadays, Chinese vocational education and training is in its developing period. And the vocational education plays a vital role in Chinese economy. However, compared with the general higher education in China, it seems that the vocational education has the poor development. So, at the beginning of this article, the background and the current situation of the vocational education in china will be briefly introduced. Then, this article will mainly argue three reasons to prove that it is necessary to develop the vocational education and training in the educational system in China. Therefore, the purpose of this article is emphasizing why the vocation education needs to be developed.

Keywords: vocational education, China, higher education


Vocational education and training(VET) means that students learn some practical skills and receive specialized education in the vocation schools and do some related jobs after graduation (Dubeau, Plant and Frenay 2017). According to the history of the education system in China, the traditional education mainly taught about the Confucius culture which imparted principles and knowledge without practical skills. And the manual skills were learned by low social-status children. Nowadays, the vocational education still have lower development than the higher education. Due to the poor development of the vocational education, the vocational schools and institutions may not be selected by some students after graduating from the compulsory education. In this way, the number of the highlyskilled workers may not meet the huge requirements of the labour market. So, in this article, three reasons will be analyzed specifically to show that highlighting the vocational education is extremely necessary.

Vocational education suffers stigmatized status in China

Nowadays, people still looked down on the vocational education. Chinese parents always hold the prejudice against the vocational education, and it is regarded as the last choice for those poor academic students.Vocational education seems an unwelcome educational form, and it suffers serious stigmatized status in China.

As for the reasons of why the vocational education has the low status in china. On the one hand, Chinese people is influenced by the Confucian cultural which appreciate the traditionally theoretical knowledge (Xiong, 2011). To be specific, in the history of China, those children who come from high social status are likely to study in schools, and children who were born in low economic status may study some manual skills to make a living. Because of the traditional cultural, Chinese parents may stereotypical think the general higher education is the mainstream of the Chinese educational system. And they are likely to perceive the vocation education as a disgrace because the vocational education is considered as a further educational choice for some poor academic students. Besides, Chinese students may also be taught that only the general higher education will help them to find decent jobs. Therefore, the learning options may be impacted by the stigmatized opinions, and parents tend to believe that the traditional higher education may assist students to won the prestige and higher social status in the future. On the other hand, compared with the higher education, the vocational schools may receive less financial supports, and the level of the teaching staffs in the vocational schools may not as good as that in the higher education. As a result, the teaching quality of the vocational schools may be weaker than that of the higher education. So, stigmatized opinion is one of the reasons to explain why the vocational education needs the further development. Except this reason, the shortage of the highly-skilled workers also needs the increased development of the vocational education.

Vacation schools cultivate well-trained workers

The globalization and industrialization brings many benefits in the labour market, for example, a huge number of jobs are provided. However, low skilled workers and their ability is hard to meet the requirement of employers. So, the professional level of skilled-workers is asked to be improved as well. Actually, the shortage of the high-skilled workers is an international trend. Although China has used several years to promote the vocational education, the shortage of welltrained worker is still an urgent issues (Xiong, 2011). Therefore, highlighting the importance of the vocational education may increase the quality of students.if the vocational education is stressed in the educational system, the status of the vocational schools tends to be improved accordingly. It may be beneficial to get more financial supports and investment from social organizations and government. In this way, the infrastructure may be contributed and students in the vocational schools are likely to enjoy more advanced teaching technologies. Besides, the vocational education may be developed preferentially because of the support from government policy. For instance, in the recent years, the importance of the vocational schools are realized by government so that Chinese government has made many policies for the vocational education and training. Whats more, when people realize the importance of the vocational education and pay close attention to the development of the vocational schools. Vocational school organizers may pay more attention to enhance the quality of teaching staffs. Therefore, the quality of the vocational schools may be enhanced, and ability of graduates may improved as well.

Vocational schools teach students more practical skills

Then, in the vocational schools and institutions, imparting practical skills will be related to students further career. It is another benefit of the vocational education. Compared with the academic schools, students will learn special skills that will be used directly in the labour market. For instance, an observation about the classroom tasks was made with 12 teachers in the vocational schools.And it indicated that the vocational education is not the theoretical education, it is more practical (Lindberg el al 2003). It mains that students in the vocation schools may learn more practical skills than that in the general higher schools. In the higher education, students are asked to be develop in an allaround way so students may be taught more general knowledge and courses may be more comprehensive. However, as for students in the vocational schools, they may only focus on specific skills instead of the theoretical knowledge and learners are allowed to practice what they have learned in the classroom directly. Also, in the vocation school, students mainly learn some special courses that will be put to use in jobs directly. Those practices may be helpful for graduates to find jobs in line with their specialty. Whats more, The aim of the vocational education tends to cultivate specialists. And the courses may be more job-oriented so that students may be helped to design blueprints of their career. Thus, when students decided to receive the vocational education and training, they may have already known their future career options. For instance, if a student learn cooking skill, he is likely to be a cooker in the future. So, the vocational education and training may prepare learners for future works.


With the rapid development of the Chinese economy, the vocational education play an significant role and it should be highlighted in the educational system in China. On the one hand, the vocation schools are traditionally stigmatized as the lower position than the higher education. So the first step to promote the vocational education is reducing the prejudice. On the other hand, the shortage of the skilled-workers and the skilled mismatch problem may be challenges to slow down the industrialization and modernization of China. And supplying tremendous skilled-workers may hugely depend on the vocational education and training. Whats more, compared with the general education, students may receive more practical skilled in the vocational schools. It is beneficial to increase the competitiveness of graduates and help students to have clear career options in the future. Therefore, the vocational education should be highlighted in the educational system in China.

As for how to develop the vocational education in China, Personally speaking, it is necessary for government to make policies to foster the promotion of the vocational education. Besides, the government and social organization may make more investment to support the vocational schools and institutions. Also, Changing the stigmatized opinion about the vocational education is also urgent issue.

References list

Dubeau, A., Plante, I. & Frenay, M. 2017, "Achievement Profiles of Students in High School Vocational Training Programs", Vocations and Learning, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 101-120.

Xiong, J. 2011, "Understanding Higher Vocational Education in China: Vocationalism vs Confucianism", Frontiers of Education in China, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 495

Lindberg, V., Institutionen f?r samh?lle, kultur och l?rande (SKL), Stockholms universitet & L?rarh?gskolan i Stockholm (LHS) 2003, "Learning Practices in Vocational Education", Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, vol. 47, no. 2, pp. 157-179.

(Shangrao Normal University, School of Educational Science,Shangrao, 334001)

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