The Provisional Plan of New Vocational Farmers’ Education at Secondary Vocational Schools was jointly issued by Ministry of Education and Ministry of Agriculture on April 3rd, 2014.
According to the Provisional Plan, farmers under age 50 are eligible for education programs at state-acknowledged secondary or higher vocational schools. Specialized farmers, family farm holders, heads of farmers’ cooperatives, rural agents, managers of agri-business, social service staff and grassroots cadres in rural areas are the targeted groups.
The secondary education for new vocational farmers is of five disciplines, namely crop production, animal production, aquaculture, agricultural engineering and business administration. The curriculum is composed of public basic courses, core courses and capacity-building courses. Students can make their choices in the course pool based on their own needs or the latest local industry developments.
It is decided to introduce a flexible credit system, i.e. students are allowed to finish their education within 2-6 years by either learning full time or part time. Given that 16 hours equals 1 credit, only after acquiring 170 credits or 2720 credit hours of learning, students were to be accredited with secondary vocational education certificate. Students of good grades are allowed to choose a second major, and will be accredited with the second major certificate after obtaining requested credits.
The Plan stipulates that certain period of working experience can offset some credits. To be specific, students that have worked over two years as accountant, plant protection staff and animal disease control staff, or in large-scale horticulture farms and animal farms, or in large-scaled storage and processing of agricultural products may be granted with 3 credits, to the maximum, based on the proof to be provided by the students.
As long as students can finish the courses, pass the examinations and obtain requested credits within the given period, they will be accredited with the state-acknowledged secondary vocational education certificates. The graduation certificate issued by the secondary vocational schools will be noted as for new vocational farmers, clearly stating the student’s specific major, attached with the course list and the curriculum. Such certificates should be registered at the provincial educational authorities.