China Focus: Ancient Chinese woodcraft master inspires int'l vocational training cooperation
TIANJIN, May 19 (Xinhua) -- San Veasna, 23, a teacher from Cambodia Luban Workshop teaching communication engineering, has the Chinese name "Long," which means dragon.
He became linked with China in October 2018, when the China-funded Lancang-Mekong Vocational Education Training Center was inaugurated, along with Cambodia Luban Workshop.
He is among the three teachers organized by National Polytechnic Institute of Cambodia to receive a six-week training in Tianjin Sino-German University of Applied Sciences in north China's Tianjin Municipality, as the two institutes are partners of the Cambodia Luban Workshop.
"I was so excited to see so much high-tech in China. And I will learn the knowledge step by step in order to pass it on to my students when I go back home," he said.
Since 2016, eight Chinese-funded Luban workshops have been set up in Asia, Africa and Europe, training more than 4,000 teachers in 17 majors covering mechanics, new energy and automobiles to communications and catering.
The program is named after Lu Ban, an ancient Chinese woodcraft master, and has become a new model for international vocational training cooperation.
"Luban Workshop provides academic education and skills training for foreign partners. Chinese teachers do not teach local students directly, but train their teachers first. This is a bridge connecting China's vocational education with the world," said Lyu Jingquan, deputy director of Tianjin Municipal Education Commission.
He said the program aims at improving the quality of technical talent to serve the local economy and society.
In March 2016, the first Luban Workshop was inaugurated in Thailand Ayutthaya Technical College, with a building area of 2,000 square meters and equipped with training facilities.
"The teaching quality of our vocational teachers has been greatly improved due to the new technology from Luban Workshop, which has attracted wide attentions from other vocational colleges in Thailand and other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations," said Jarun Youbrum, director of the Thai vocational school.
He said that in the past three years the workshop had helped Thai students learn subjects and gain operational experience from new energy vehicle development and the Internet-of-Things to high speed trains. Tianjin Municipality also offers scholarships through the workshop for study in China.
Shen Yi, deputy dean of Tianjin Bohai Vocational Technology College, was involved in establishing the Thailand Luban Workshop.
"We have not only brought advanced knowledge and equipment, but also education concepts and models to Thailand, attracting many visitors from vocational colleges in Indonesia, Malaysia and Cambodia," Shen said.
India was quick to establish the Luban Workshop in December 2017, offering training areas from new energy vehicles to three-dimensional reverse design.
Dai Yuwei, a teacher at Tianjin Light Industry Vocational Technical College, was involved in the building of the Indian Luban Workshop. He said that within one year the workshop had signed training agreements with five Chinese enterprises in India, providing vocational training to help local people gain employment in the companies.
The workshop has trained more than 300 Indian college students, 25 employees in new energy companies and 75 employees in numerical control maintenance positions, he said.
In May 2017, the British Luban Workshop was set up to become the first landing of the program in a developed country. In partnership between the Tianjin Economics and Trade School and British PAM Education, it provides training in authentic Chinese culinary skills, Chinese catering services, Chinese food culture and high-end brands of Chinese cuisine.
In December 2018, the Portugal Luban Workshop was co-founded by Tianjin Vocational College of Mechanics and Electricity and Polytechnic Institute of Setubal.
Jose Lucas, professor of Polytechnic Institute of Setubal, said 16 world-leading sets of manufacturing and artificial intelligence devices had been equipped in the workshop to provide training in a highly-simulated environment.
The Chinese trainers said although foreign people knew little about Lu Ban, born in 606 B.C., they have learned through the workshop program that he represents the highest craftsmanship spirit.
China confers the Lu Ban Prize as the highest honor in the country's construction industry.