Vocational education should be considered with the same importance as general education, and more efforts will be made to improve recognition of its value, in line with a revision of the Vocational Education Act.
The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, adopted the revision when closing a session on Wednesday.
The new law will come into force on May 1. This is the first time the Vocational Education Act has been revised since it was passed in 1996.
It aims to promote the development of high-quality vocational education and train more high-level technical professionals.
The review calls for better use of national education funds so that investment in vocational education matches its development needs.
Vocational school graduates should enjoy the same opportunities for school enrollment, employment and career development as regular school graduates of the same level, the law says.
Governments at all levels should create an equal employment environment for vocational school graduates and no company is allowed to present job requirements that hinder their chances of being hired, he said.
Measures will be taken to improve the social status and salaries of technical workers and the government should reward people and institutions that make a significant contribution to vocational education, according to the law.
The new law also calls for greater business involvement in promoting quality vocational education.
Companies that have played an important role in training skilled workers and promoting employment will be rewarded. They are also encouraged to create internship positions for vocational students, participate in the development of vocational education manuals, train vocational teachers and set up scholarships and grants for students. in vocational training, he added.
Higher vocational schools must reserve a certain percentage of enrollment quotas for secondary vocational school graduates or conduct independent enrollment tests for such graduates, he said.
The law requires vocational education to be more integrated with general education. The country should establish a mechanism for the transfer of credits and qualifications between vocational education and general education.
Primary, secondary and higher schools are encouraged to organize career guidance for students, he said.
The law also required vocational schools to strengthen teacher and student management to create a better learning environment. Vocational schools should be subject to pedagogical control and presidents of vocational schools should be supervised when taking office.
Vocational schools are required by law to accept students with disabilities, reinforce the construction of barrier-free facilities, and provide them with the aids and amenities necessary for their daily lives.