China / Society

$2.4b annually spent on vocational education

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-06-26 21:02

BEIJING - The Chinese government has spent an annual average of 15 billion yuan (2.4 billion US dollars) on vocational education since 2011.

The money has gone on improving basic schooling conditions, teacher training and financial aid for students, vice minister of education Lu Xin told a press conference on Thursday.

Rural students in secondary schools, agriculture majors in cities and students from poor families are all exempt from tuition.

Vocational schools have become the main suppliers of skilled labor. Around 80 million students have graduated from vocational schools since 2006, 60 percent of new entrants into labor force.

More than 70 percent of new recruits to high-speed rail, civil aviation, logistics and tourism are graduates from vocational schools. A large army of technical workers is good for the economy and good for employment.

The number of students at vocational institutions will be over 38 million by 2020, according to a guideline issued by the State Council on Sunday. Currently 29.3 million study at 13,600 vocational schools and colleges.

Related: Chinese leaders urge support for vocational education

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