Chinese teenagers experience German vocational education
In a classroom in Dortmundbased vocational training center, Berufsfoerderungswerk (BFW), 12 Chinese teenagers, working in pairs, are assembling pneumatic cylinders while discussing with their partners in Sichuan dialect.
The teenagers, mostly aged 17, are students of the Pujiang vocational Secondary School in Pujiang county of Southwest China’s Sichuan province. Financed partly by the county government, they are on a study tour from July 2 to 21 to get a glimpse of Germany’s vocational training savvy, with courses at BFW as main activities.
Back home, they are among the first 28 Chinese students in Pujiang to receive a German-style duel system of vocational education on a demonstration project jointly initiated by the German Chambers of Commerce (AHK) in Shanghai, the Pujiang government and a technical college in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province.
Across China, the China-German AHK demonstration programs have been carried out by more than 10 institutes in various economic hubs.
Bridged by the AHK in Shanghai, the 12 students got the opportunity to study in BFW, a professional reha- bilitation center offering quality vocational training for those who want to find or change jobs.
In the BFW classroom, desks, chairs and a blackboard are installed in the front, while operation platforms for various devices in the back. The Chinese students took to operation platforms to practice right after listening to instructions on pneumatic circuit by Tobias Haehnel, their German teacher, aided by an interpreter.
Seeing that cylinder assembled by most students worked, Tobias said “I think these students have grasped what I’ve lectured.”
The Chinese students were most impressed by the state-ofthe-arts machineries used in BFW. “Components I manufactured with German tuning mills here are of great precision,” says
Yang Kailun, one of the students.
Huang Yike, another student, marveled at rigorous implementation of the 5S, a workplace management methodology, by German teachers and practitioners. “We were required to remove all the scraps and vacuum leftovers after using the turning mill, as delicate maintenance helps sustain precision of the tuning mill.”
“Our students’ horizon has been broadened,” says Xiong Jiping, a Chinese teacher with the Pujiang Vocational Secondary School heading the group. He found out Germany’s strong suit in vocational training lied in quality machineries adopted in teaching and teachers with both substantial theoretical training and hands-on experience.
“The lecturer who taught our kids digitally controlled programming is an expert from Siemens, and he worked in BFW on a part-time basis,” Xiong says.
Meanwhile, Xiong also noted the progresses made in China’s vocational training. “Nowadays, both the government and schools have become aware of the necessity of the dual system.” The dual system in Germany was marked by participation of both schools and enterprises in vocational education.
The progresses came partly as a result of closer cooperation between China and Germany in vocational training.
Xiong believed, as China’s economic restructuring demands sufficient supply of high-end technicians, cooperation in vocational training between the two countries will be closer.