Kashgar training center: A school for new opportunities
Located in the south of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the Xinjiang Kashgar Vocational Education and Training Center was opened by the local government to prevent outbreaks of terrorism by helping people who have been infected by extremist ideology, and with minor offences. The center provides free classes on mandarin, law, and craftwork skills, along with free food and accommodation.
Even in the off-season in early March, the Ancient City Food Plaza in Kashgar is still crowded with people. Tourists from home and abroad are enjoying stage performances, as well as local delicacies like roast meat and grabbing rice.
Imam Hasan is talking with the guests at Ancient City Food Plaza in Kashgar. [Photo: China Plus/ Du Junshuai]
Imam Hasan is the director of the Food Plaza. He ran a small noodle shop before he moved to the Plaza in November last year. This leap forward in his career benefited from his study at the Kashgar Vocational Education and Training Center.
"I received education in the center, and after graduation, because the government and school leaders are so concerned about us, they offered us with this place. It's a very good place for employment. Business is good! Our Plaza is very popular."
Though he has been at the new market for only four months, Imam said that he has already earned enough to cover half of his costs.
Spacious classrooms, well-equipped dormitory buildings, delicious food – this center have much to offer. There are also sports facilities such as football field and table tennis tables.
Students are playing soccer at the Xinjiang Kashgar Vocational Education and Training Center. [Photo: China Plus/ Du Junshuai]
Nurli Turgun, a college graduate, says the center is just like his second university.
"I study Mandarin, law, and various skills here. The artisan classes I chose are writing and art. I definitely learned more than what I did in my previous university."
Nurli Turgun sits in the classroom at the Xinjiang Kashgar Vocational Education and Training Center. [Photo: China Plus/ Du Junshuai]
Nurbiya Yunisi is about to graduate from the center. She already has a new plan for her career, and appreciates the training offered by the center.
"I'm now learning fashion design, which I've mastered really well. After I graduate I want to open a shop and sell clothes, beautiful ones, so I can make more money and be a boss. I must study well. I don't want to leave the center, because the conditions here are so very good."
Nurbiya Yunisi (1st R) and her classmates at the Xinjiang Kashgar Vocational Education and Training Center. [Photo: China Plus/ Du Junshuai]
Countries around the world are looking for solutions to the scourge of international terrorism, and exploring solutions to counter extremism that are in line with their domestic policy.
In Kashgar, the infiltration of religious extremism has been severe. Developing vocational skills not only provides employment-oriented education and training, but also helps people from becoming victims of extremism.