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Vocational training centers aim to promote better lifestyle

By Cui Jia in Hotan city, Xinjiang | China Daily | Updated: 2018-10-31 09:19
Nabi Abudurext (second left), a graduate of the city's vocational education and training center, stands with his family in Kashgar, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. [Wang Jing/China Daily]

On Oct 23, Nabi Abudurext returned to his job as a driver at a telecommunications company in Kashgar city, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. He had recently graduated from the city's vocational education and training center that was established to help people to avoid religious extremism and lead better lives.

"I received my graduation certificate on Oct 10 after passing exams on the county's common language, legal knowledge and vocational skills. Because my skills have improved, my manager has promised to promote me. Soon, I will be head of the group of drivers who drive the maintenance vehicles," the 31-year-old said, sitting at home with his wife and children in Qianjin village, Naizierbage township, Kashgar.

Last year, the family's life changed dramatically after Nabi Abudurext became influenced by religious extremists. "I wouldn't allow my wife to go to work. I was told that it was prohibited to spend money earned by a woman, and I should not call myself Chinese," he said. "I didn't know the extremists' real intentions."

Initially, his father, Abudurext Abudula, was concerned about Nabi Abudurext studying at the training center. "I didn't know what the center was like until I visited. It's just a school, and the teachers were all very nice to my son," he said. "After my visit, I just wanted Nabi Abudurext to learn as many skills as possible there. "

New model

Xinjiang has established a new education model, with professional vocational training institutions as the main platform. They mainly teach Putonghua (the common form of Mandarin), basic law and vocational skills, along with information about avoiding extremists, with the key aim of promoting employment and higher living standards.

During the law classes, legal experts and judges from local courts explain about the Chinese Constitution, criminal and counterterrorism law, and the regulations regarding the region's program to eradicate extremism. Moreover, the experts discuss the articles of law trainees may have broken.

"The center is a just a school to make up for lessons the trainees have missed, such as the country's common language, legal knowledge and vocational skills so they can catch up with other people and our fast-developing society," said Adil Abudulani, deputy head of Yutian county, Hotan prefecture, who oversees the county's vocational education and training center.

"Some people claim that we will never let the trainees leave. That's just ridiculous. They can graduate as soon as they pass the exams. We will also recommend them to employers. What we want is for them to find their place in society."

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