China urges university graduates to work in villages as urban unemployment soars

Local governments should encourage university graduates to work as village officials, says joint statement published last week by the Ministries of Education, Finance, Civil Affairs, Human Resources and Social Security.

The government will provide tax incentives and loans to university graduates who set up businesses to serve the rural community, the statement added. Similar benefits will be offered to existing small businesses in villages that hire university graduates, including in areas such as housekeeping and elderly care.

Generally, college graduates in China prefer to work for high-paying companies in big cities, and there is a significant income gap between rural and urban areas. But this is not the first time in recent years that the government has urged to seek employment in the vast but less developed countryside of the country.

In July 2020, when the first coronavirus outbreak hit China’s economy, authorities encouraged university graduates to move to rural areas, rather than congregating in cities and fighting for limited job opportunities. .

These calls reminded many on Chinese social media of a government initiative during the tumultuous times of Communist China’s founder, Mao Zedong. Known as the “Movement Up to the mountain and up to the countryside“, the original policy was launched by communist leaders in the 1960s, ostensibly to move privileged urban youth to remote corners to learn farming and politics from poor peasants. The result: the “lost generation” of China who wasted their best years in the countryside.

But this year, students are running out of options.

Chinese graduates face toughest graduation season as a record 10.76 million are expected to complete college in the next two months.

The world’s second largest economy slowed significantly in the first half of this year, meaning there are fewer urban jobs available. Small businesses – a major source of jobs – have been hammered by China’s massive Covid lockdowns.
China’s huge tech sector is also facing a severe jobs crisis. The once freewheeling industry has long been China’s main source of well-paying jobs, but big companies are said to have cut their workforces on a scale never seen before to cope with the President Xi Jinping’s regulatory offensive against private enterprise.

The urban unemployment rate for 16-24 year olds reached a historic high of 18.2% in May, according to the latest government statistics. The figure does not take into account new university graduates for this year.

China only surveys employment in urban areas.

The ‘incredibly’ tough college entrance exams

As the employment situation deteriorates, getting into college is becoming even more difficult in China.

A record 11.93 million students sat the country’s grueling university entrance exam last week. These students are competing to enter the best universities in the country, often under enormous pressure from their parents and families.

This year, students took to social media to complain about the exceptional difficulty of the exam, and related topics have been trending on Weibo since the weekend.

According to social media posts, many students burst into tears while taking the math test, and some complained that the Chinese Literature test questions were so “incredibly” difficult that even the authors of these classic books would not be able to understand them.
Responding to the online controversy, the Ministry of Education said in an interview with state media that the challenge of the math exam is to “play the screening role” and better serve the government’s goal of building a quality education system.

About Alma Ackerman

Check Also

Winning numbers drawn in the game ‘Mega Millions’ | State

Country the United States of AmericaUS Virgin IslandsU.S. Minor Outlying IslandsCanadaMexico, United Mexican StatesBahamas, Commonwealth …