“The classroom is a major venue for training skilled workforce and securing the talent pipeline. Classroom teaching is vital for achieving quality education and for the success of educational reforms,” said Zheng Yali, president of Zhejiang Financial Vocational College, at the finals of an internal teaching skills contest organized at the beginning of the year. Since 2018, the teaching skills contest, superseding the previous “National IT-based Teaching Competition for Vocational Colleges”, has been an important component of the National Vocational College Skills Competition system, with more emphasis on the role of teachers’ teamwork and classroom teaching skills. This is just an example of the ongoing educational reforms being implemented in China.
In January 2019, the State Council issued the National Implementation Plan for Reforms of Vocational Education, which recognizes that “vocational education and general tertiary education are two different types of educational systems of equal importance”.
During the 13th Five-Year Plan period, vocational education played an increasingly stronger role in supporting local economic and industrial development. Vocational colleges nationwide produced around 10 million highly qualified technical talent every year. In hi-tech manufacturing, emerging industries and modern services, more than 70 percent of the new front-line employees graduated from vocational colleges. The Ministry of Education approved 22 schools to carry out pilot vocational education at undergraduate level, breaking the glass ceiling for aspiring young people who did not attend university. A national teaching standard system for vocational education was built, and a number of outstanding vocational school teachers were officially recognized and rewarded.
As China’s vocational education enters a new stage during the 14th FYP period, the gathering reform momentum is expected to generate more fruitful results.