Time to acknowledge vocational training

Time to acknowledge vocational training

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Is vocational school the answer to China's higher education problems?
Is vocational school the answer to China's higher education problems?

While disgruntled British pupils protested against a GCSE problem, "Hannah's sweets", Chinese students battled maths questions written in archaic text on their gaokao, the country's gruelling university entrance exam. A Beijing student has a 1 in 190 chance of entering Tsinghua University, but it's 1 in 7,286 for their Anhui counterpart: the fundamental flaw in the Chinese dream of upward social mobility

Instead of modifying the exams or using drones to catch cheats, the nurseries, kindergartens and primary schools should be improved. Like in Finland, teachers could be encouraged to help the weaker students, rather than enforcing a rigorous curriculum to push the high-achievers.

What's more, rather than having too many people with university degrees, a vocational training programme may provide a viable alternative that would produce highly-skilled technicians. Although gaokao can offer opportunities for bright, poorer students, tackling inequality is not about lowering the requirements for the disadvantaged - it's about helping the disadvantaged to rise to the level of the privileged.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Time to look beyond gaokao

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