Michael Heinrich, a German professor at the Minzu University of China, recently published an article on the improvement in the "educational situation of Xinjiang Uygur Muslims" based on his interactions with one student from Xinjiang in his class.
The Uygur Muslim student told Heinrich that she lived in a place where she received Islamic religious education and China's nine-year compulsory education at the same time, which led him to take a closer look at the education system in China in terms of its policy about ethnic minorities.
In Heinrich's article, he laid out the efforts China has done to coordinate Islam education with secular education.
Ethnic minority people should be participants in the country's development, but due to a lack of educational resources and limited quality of education in the past, some felt marginalized or had encountered economic or social disadvantages due to the imbalanced regional development.
In order to compensate for the disadvantages of the ethnic minorities, Heinrich pointed out that the Chinese government has been promoting policies and investing in the personal development of the people there, which include extra college entrance examination points, special policies for college admissions and employment policy support.
Additionally, he recognized the benefits brought about by the vocational education and training centers in Xinjiang. Trainees participated in education and training programs of standard spoken and written Chinese, understanding of the law, vocational skills and preventing the breeding and spread of terrorism and religious extremism at these centers.
Carrying out vocational skills education and training in Xinjiang is not only a move in fighting against extremism and terrorism. It is an effective measure to promote the rule of law in Xinjiang and a practical action to protect the vital interests of people of all ethnic groups, writes Heinrich.
According to Heinrich, the student in his class said that "since she can be admitted to a university to receive higher education, she needs to thank the support of the government policies on education in Xinjiang."