On September 22, the China-ASEAN Smart Ocean Practical Program was launched at the National Western Maritime Training Base, Shaanxi Province. Jointly organized by Tianjin University, Tianjin Maritime Safety Administration, the People’s Government of Tanchang County, Yan’an Vocational and Technical College, and Tianjin University of Technology, the Program is committed to poverty alleviation through education in the impoverished Tanchang County, Gansu Province.
The program will last for four months. Trainees signed a contract with Huayang Maritime Center Co., Ltd. , which ensured that they get employment after finishing the training and their salary will not be less than 1300 US dollars per month if they pass the internship.
Ling Guowei,Party Secretary of Tianjin University’s School of Marine Science and Technology (SMST), Su Rongxin, Vice Dean of SMST, and He Liqian, Vice County Magistrate of Tanchang Countyattended the opening ceremony of the Program and the Forum of “Blue Ocean Poverty Alleviation Project”.
Ling Guowei, on behalf of SMST expressed his gratitude to the cooperative partners for their strong supports. He said that adhering to the concept of poverty alleviation through education and relying on China-ASEAN Smart Ocean Education Center, the SMST organized this training course for the students from poor families at Tanchang County. “Students who finish the training will be able to work on freighters. In a way, the program helps strengthen the cooperation and exchanges between China and ASEAN.
He Liqian pointed out that “China-ASEAN Smart Ocean Practical Program built a bridge between the mountains and the ocean. Every student can take the chance to improve himself. “Life holds infinite possibilities for everyone here. Today’s hard work will reward us and our family a better future,” said He.
“I’m 27 years old now, but I’ve worked for 12 years,” said Du Fuqiang, an impoverished trainee from Tanchang County. Born in a poor farmer’s family, he dropped out of school when he was young. He had never imagined to become a student again before this Program, “I hope I can go outside to see the ocean someday.”
While the infrastructures of schools in remote areas can generally meet the needs of basic education, for the adults, there is still a lack of “soft power”, referring to vocational education and job opportunities. This Practical Program of China-ASEAN Smart Ocean Center will provide a new route for China and ASEAN, not only to overcome the impoverished problems but also to build a better and international future.