Meister as Masters for the new China
Digital Strategies, Circular Economy, climate protection or the development of green industries are in the need of new forms of teaching and new curricula word wide. This is the case for China, too.
The government has a clear view of necessary developments within the educational systems and addressed this to education, society and economy. Eveline Lemke, founder of Thinking Circular und Minister o. d., came to China for an exchange about these topics and visited numerous institutions to discuss the approaches for more practical training and education as well as the development of the German Dual System in China. She also discussed with Li Jian (Member of CPPCC National Commitee) and was guest in a TV show at Bejing University, which was presented by PKUTV.
„The wish for further development of an education system offering practical skills and experience is as big as China itself,” says Lemke. Parents want better education and freedom of choice as well as more options for the chances of their kids. Figures show that from next year on there will be one million High-School graduates without a place to study or chance to continue their educational development. Practical training abilities do not have a high social image within a young middelstand society of the emerging country. Neither do economy institution have established training centers and accepted practical training standards. Even tough many companies have started their own, such as BMW, which is situated in the CGEP in Shenyang, in the province of Liaoning. But directors and trainers of educational institutions have started their on search for better education, just as their government has asked them for.
And the market is moving, too. More and more private schools are founded. Like the school started by Mrs. Gao in Qianna, a history teacher who is already receiving a pension. She started her first own school after retirement to make schools better and raise the quality of education. She does not want to leave a single child behind and takes care that no kids gets lost in a high pressured school system. Just like the private Tonji Experimental School in Qindao or the Shenyang Politechnic College, with whom Lemke discussed programmes for the implementation of Meister trainings as well as institutionalized organisation processes to implement new practical knowledge.
The Liaoning Shihua University 1950 from Shenyang searches for new development, too. And young institutes like the TUS-Clean Energy Institute, situated at TUS Campus in Bejing, which runs an incubator for start-ups has the challenge of finding practical minded creative heads. The survival quota in the incubator is only 10 %. This is too low and effectiveness in incubating start-ups must be driven
China needs creative brains and minds. These cannot come form an education without practical skill training and without an orientation process on the own personality. Societal pressure, pressure from the school-test-systems and strong hierarchy can’t strenghen systemic design thinking. But this is, what is needed.
Another challenge is hat the growth of the educational sector also brings up unserious trainers and bad quality. In china agencies are booming to provide new private schools or international education offers with students. Credibility in this segment is getting lost, when the players do not offer high quality standard. But it is also a chance for those, who can convince by high quality and successful young people.
„China is searching for it’s new practical masters (Meister). And I am sure, China will find them,“ says Lemke.