Uygur stu­dent aces skills com­pe­ti­tion

China Daily (Canada) - - XINJIANG - By ZHU LIXIN andMACHENGUANG in He­fei

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.”

Con­tact the writ­ers at zhulixin@chi­

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