Uygur student aces skills competition
Arfanjan Osmanjan eyed the car’s air conditioning system. As part of his training at Anhui Automobile Industry School, Arfanjan’s instructor had introduced an error that would trigger a technical breakdown.
How quickly could the 18-year-old identify the problem and fix it? Pretty fast, as it turns out.
A Uygur student from Changji Hui autonomous prefecture in the Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region, Arfanjan recently won first prize in an Anhui provincial vocational students skills competition.
He is busy preparing for the April tryouts for the national contest.
His natural aptitude and training in diagnostics at the vocational school in Hefei, capital of East China’s Anhui province, means Arfanjan seldom fails to detect and resolve the problems presented to him, even when he must repeat the entire process three times in an hour.
“I cherish the opportunity to study very much and dream of being the best automotive air conditioning maintenance technician through three years of study here,” he said.
Arfanjan enrolled in the school in 2014 through an educational program that offers students in Xinjiang opportunities to study in inland provinces.
His father had also been a vehicle maintenance technician inUrumqi for some years, but went on to run a beef and mutton shop in Changji before Arfanjan’s birth.
The son had dreamed of becoming a dancer, but his father urged him to study vehicle maintenance, which he saw as a more practical career choice.
“Though the Uygur people are good at dancing, to a certain extent, my father just wouldn’t allow me to take up dancing as a future career,” Arfanjan said.
He continued school and pursued dance courses until 2013, when the high school entrance exam loomed. He had devoted more time to dance than academics, so worried about whether he could pass the exams.
“My performance at school was really bad,” he said. “At that time, I learned from my school in Changji that I could participate in the program to attend a technical secondary school in an inland province.”
Arfanjan’s uncle recommended Anhui as a good place to live and his father persuaded him to study vehicle air conditioning maintenance. He quickly became interested.
“Solving problems and fixing cars is amazing,” Arfanjan said. “My father was only able to repair the Volkswagen Santanas, while I want to be good with as many car brands as possible.”
Authorities at the school of 4,000 students said Arfanjan is one of the best, and not just among the 300 Xinjiang students studying there. The school started to recruit Xinjiang students in 2011, and the educational authorities cover the cost.
Mawjut Ablat, a 19-year-old student from Xinjiang’s Artux city, is majoring in welding at the school. He said he plans to go back to his hometown for work after his graduation.
“With the skills learned here, to find a job inmy hometown will not be hard,” he said.
But Arfanjan is determined to stay inHefei for some years.
In the first three years, the Xinjiang students studied together, but the school found that method was not conducive to improving their Chinese language abilities.
By 2014, when Arfanjan arrived, all the Xinjiang students attended regular classes, which has proved effective, as local students quickly helped them adapt, said Shou Peicong, the school’s vice-president.
“One of the best advantages is my improved Chinese language ability,” said Arfanjan, who began studying Chinese in primary school.
“Anhui province is much more developed than my hometown, and I want to learn more here so that I can get a better career in Xinjiang in the future.”
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