China’s Ministry of Education is calling for colleges and universities to offer courses in domestic work to meet demand, particularly in care for the elderly.
Xie Li, deputy director of the ministry’s department of vocational and adult education, said at a press conference Friday that authorities plan that every province offers at least one university undergraduate program and several programs at vocational schools focused on domestic services.
The announcement sparked discussion online, many of which highlighted stereotypes about domestic workers in China, most of which were negative.
Some said such courses have no place at academic universities, while others said many universities would be unwilling to offer such programs because it would lower their prestige.
The Chinese public needs to change their prejudice of domestic work before domestic training finds a place in universities, wrote Bing Qi, a commentator with the Beijing Youth Daily.
Authorities should work to raise awareness of the pressing demand for trained domestic workers in elderly care, healthcare and childcare, especially in the wake of China’s quickly graying population and two-child policy, Bing wrote.