Contestants display their technical skills in Tianjin on Friday during the World Vocational and Technical Education Development Conference. [Photo/CHINA NEWS SERVICE]
President: China willing to step up mutual learning
China actively promotes the high-quality development of vocational education and supports communication and cooperation between China and other countries in the sector, President Xi Jinping said on Friday.
Xi made the remarks in a congratulatory letter sent to the first World Vocational and Technical Education Development Conference, which is being held online and on-site in the northern coastal city of Tianjin till Saturday.
Vocational education is closely associated with socioeconomic development and is of great importance in boosting employment and entrepreneurship and improving people's livelihoods, he said in the letter.
China is willing to work with other countries to strengthen mutual learning and sharing to implement the Global Development Initiative and contribute to the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, he said.
In an instruction on improving the country's vocational education last year, Xi said vocational education has a promising future and great potential as China moves toward socialist modernization.
He called for efforts to speed up the development of the modern vocational education system and cultivate more high-quality technical professionals.
Vice-Premier Sun Chunlan said the government has always attached great importance to vocational education, and has built the world's largest vocational education system, with more than 11,300 vocational schools producing more than 10 million graduates every year.
Vocational education is the most direct, fundamental and effective way to train high-quality technical talent. Through vocational education, students can improve their overall capabilities, broaden their career development prospects and enjoy the opportunity to shine, she said via video link.
The country actively promotes international communication and cooperation in vocational education. It has established cooperation with more than 70 countries and international organizations in vocational education and set up 20 Luban Workshops in 19 countries and regions, she said.
China will build another 20 Luban Workshops in countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative and 20 vocational education centers in African countries, she added.
Li Hongzhong, Party secretary of Tianjin, said that as one of the birthplaces of modern manufacturing industry and modern education, Tianjin has laid solid foundations in vocational education development.
The city is China's only vocational education reform and innovation demonstration area and has successfully held many national vocational education competitions, Li said.
Malaysian Minister of Higher Education Noraini Ahmad said that technical and vocational education and training institutions in Malaysia are already cooperating with Chinese firms such as Huawei, Alibaba and ZTE.
The country looks forward to continuous cooperation between government institutions and industrial players of the two countries, she said.
Chris Hipkins, minister of education of New Zealand, said that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause significant disruption to education around the world, but this disruption also creates opportunities for change.
This is an exciting time for international cooperation on vocational education and training. Since 2014, New Zealand and China have cooperated in the sector and a wide range of opportunities exist for further cooperation, he said.
Around 700 representatives from 123 countries and regions are attending the conference, which is themed"Vocational and Technical Education Development in the Post-pandemic Era－New Changes, New Ways and New Skills".
Hosted by the Ministry of Education, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the Tianjin municipal government, the two-day event aims to build a vocational education communication and cooperation mechanism among different countries and build consensus on vocational education development.