Schools short of 400,000 teachers
The mainland faces a shortage of 400,000 vocational school teachers that could hamper the country's efforts to boost employment rates.
Quoting Huang Yao from the Ministry of Education's department of vocational and adult education, the China Youth Daily reported yesterday that the number of vocational school teachers had remained stable in the past eight years while the number of students enrolled at the schools had more than doubled.
Mr Huang added that many vocational school teachers lacked basic professional training and workplace experience, which did not bode well for the push for better access to vocational training.
Vocational training schools have been neglected in the blind development of universities, forcing many tertiary vocational schools to reinvent themselves into degree colleges.
But the unfettered expansion of universities in the past decade has led to a growing number of jobless graduates, and the Ministry of Education has had to shift its focus towards job-related training.
More than a fifth of last year's 5 million university graduates failed to find jobs by September, according to the Social Development Blue Book, and the higher jobless rate among college students has been blamed on a lack of skill-based training.
There are 1,169 tertiary vocational schools across the country, and 8.61 million students had been enrolled there by the end of last year.
However, due to the shortage of qualified teaching staff, many schools have one teacher responsible for up to 21 students, compared with the accepted maximum ratio of 1:18.