Vocational school in Xinjiang creates employment, promotes stability

A trainee packs tea leaves at the vocational training center. (Photo/Huanqiu.com)

Like many other cities in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Hotan offers vocational training to residents. Western media has previously described these schools as places of horror, where locals are “imprisoned.” However, these labels are false.

At a training center in Yutian County, Hotan City, a sign outside the center reads, “Turn people who need work into people who have the necessary skills for work.”

Extremist ideas previously poisoned the minds of many trainees here, and some were even coerced or lured into terrorism. This behavior breaks Criminal Law, Anti-Terrorism Law, and other relevant laws and regulations.

To better adapt those affected, the local government provides free, education-oriented training sessions for people to improve their skills, as well as learn laws and Mandarin Chinese.

Workers pack local specialties at the center’s food factory. (Photo/Huanqiu.com)

After acquiring the necessary skills and eliminating radical ideas, trainees can work in the training center’s industrial park.

Everyone wants to have a job, to be capable in a specific area and have a steady source of income, said a group leader of the training center’s printing house.

The training center has introduced a printing factory, tea factory, and shoe factory to provide jobs for the trainees. The basic monthly salary is around 1,500 yuan ($216) plus bonuses.

The printing house recently completed a project that had been running since July, printing elementary school exercise books worth 3.7 million yuan, according to the group leader.

Students greet their teacher at a school in Yutian County, Hotan, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. (Photo/Huanqiu.com)

Additionally, the training center has a daycare service and school for children whose parents work in the center. The school is only a few minutes away from the factory.

Previously, many of the children didn’t have a chance to go to school, because their parents had been influenced by religious extremism, said Luo Hongmei, chief of the Party committee of the education bureau of Yutian.

Now, they are more open and smile a lot. Moreover, their personal hygiene has improved, and they perform well in their studies, said Luo, adding that these changes lay a solid foundation for their future development.