“In the three months since the publication of the National Implementation Plan for Vocational Education Reform, and in cooperation with over ten other national authorities, we have produced 15 policy documents encompassing almost all the areas covered in the Implementation Plan,” said Wang Jiping, Director-General of the MOE’s Department of Vocational and Adult Education, at a press conference held by the MOE on May 10.
Wang added that the MOE had rolled out a series of major measures to carry out the Plan, including the development of high-level vocational colleges, expansion of vocational education enrollment by one million, launch of the “1+X” (one diploma + multiple skills accreditations) pilot project, cultivating enterprises that facilitate industry-education integration, and organizing national vocational skills competitions and national vocational education week activities.
Wang Yangnan, Director of the Institute for Vocational and Technical Education (IVTE) under the MOE, further elaborated on the “1+X” project at the conference. He said that the initiation of the project was a significant move to shift the model of training and evaluation of skilled labor. Currently, the project has been mainly implemented in vocational colleges and secondary vocational schools above provincial level that are equipped with high-quality resources and supposed to play an exemplary role. In the initial phase, 6 skills accreditations in 5 areas were approved and the related training programs developed, each implemented by 200-600 vocational education institutions with the total number of participating students exceeding 200,000. In the next phase, six more areas, such as industrial robot applications, IoT technology, welding technology and automation are under consideration with corresponding training and evaluation institutions being assessed for final approval in the latter half of this year.
Wang Jiping concluded that the Implementation Plan represented an institutional framework for vocational education, which called for concrete actions at a local level and more results-oriented supportive policies to create a more favorable environment for the development of vocational education. Measures to be taken in the next stage should include balancing the enrolment rates between vocational and regular secondary education, promoting the reforms of curricula and training models, and encouraging the development of application-oriented undergraduate programs.