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Vocational schools the latest craze among students

Vocational schools the latest craze among students
Influenced by the test-oriented education for a long time, many parents expect their children to enter the best high schools and advance to the universities and graduate schools. The vocational schools, as a result, have never been the favorite of parents and students.

Based on the published lists of successful examinees for the High/Vocational School Entrance Exams in 2006, more students prefer vocational schools. The traditional concept of "university learning tops everything" is gradually changing.

"The education of children should go the same direction as modern social and economic development," said Tu Cheng-sheng, Minister of Education, R.O.C.
"The development of vocational schools depends on the change in popular attitudes. Most parents are willing to let their children cultivate their talents in a certain area, and this is the goal of our diversified education," he said. "Can our system help them achieve that goal?"

To strengthen the competitiveness of vocational students, the MOE has revitalized the curriculums of vocational schools, by giving credits to students who acquire a professional license, reserving school admission slots for those who win in national or international contests, upgrading the status of professors with outstanding technology innovations, and promoting academia-business cooperation.

For the past fifty years, Taiwan has undergone a transformation from labor-intensive industries to technology-intensive industries. Tu said that in the past society, hard-working people could survive, but to be competitive in the modern world requires individual professional skills.
"Our existing vocational school system has improved a lot. Now the graduates are encouraged to continue studying while working," said Tu.

The MOE started implementing academia-business cooperation projects in 2006, laying the foundation of the new system that focuses on helping students find their vocational niches and acquire good jobs in the future. The new system has gained support among business enterprises.

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