Two days ago, Anhui city vocational management college set up funeral professional news on the microblog hot search list. According to the school, many students have been booked by the employment units as soon as they enter school, and their income can reach 5000 to 6000 yuan a month after the internship, which has aroused hot discussion among netizens.
Wei zemeng, a sophomore majoring in modern funeral technology and management at Beijing Vocational College of social management, also saw the news. He felt that his major had greater acceptance and recognition. More than ten years ago, after grandpa passed away, he saw that the funeral attendants could properly arrange all the funerals and let people go through the last journey with dignity, which made Wei zemeng have a reverence and a sense of sanctity for this career. After the college entrance examination, knowing that some colleges and universities offer relevant majors, he chose to fill in the form.
Funeral education in China began more than 20 years ago, initiated and established by the Ministry of civil affairs. So far, there are no more than 10 colleges and universities offering this major nationwide. For quite a long time in the past, due to the particularity of the industry, this profession and its practitioners have become a topic that the public has some taboos and is unwilling to mention more. But now, from time to time, the news of good employment and high income treatment of funeral profession has burst out, making it the focus of public attention.
Ambition or high salary?
The modern funeral technology and management major set up by Anhui city vocational management college enrolled 38 people, including 22 boys and 16 girls. This is the first time in Anhui Province to set up the major, which is listed in the schools health and pension college.
Tao Juan, an associate professor at the school of health and pension who is in charge of the teaching of this major, told China News Weekly that the reason for the establishment of this major lies in the lack of talents in the funeral industry. As early as around 2017, the school had the idea of starting this major. In 2018, the university went to relevant funeral service companies, funeral parlors and cemetery for investigation, and found that the demand for talents in the industry is particularly urgent, but there are very few institutions in the society that can provide professional talents, so it applied to the provincial education department for this major and was approved.
The establishment of such a major, whether it will be reported, is a concern of Anhui urban vocational management college at the beginning. Tao Juan said that only 40 places were set for the first enrollment, just in case no one applied for the exam. In order to attract students, the school has waived the tuition fees for the first two years of this major. Among the 40 students, Anhui local examinees are the main ones, and 6 places have been put in Heilongjiang. The final 38 students are the result of students independent choice after enrollment, and there are also applicants who transfer in and out.
Tao Juan said that some of these students wanted to study this major, but their parents objected to it, and finally convinced their parents through communication; some of them had the idea of studying this major because of watching the Japanese film encoffiner. Many people put forward that this industry is noble and holy, and can help others end their lives with dignity at the last moment before they start their professional study. According to Tao Juan, the proportion of students who love this major accounts for nearly one-third, and the other one-third is due to the fact that someone at home is engaged in the funeral industry, and the rest is based on practical considerations such as employment.
The increase of students acceptance of this major is not achieved overnight.
Zhang Lili is a teacher of the school of life and culture of Beijing Vocational College of social management. In 2007, after the establishment of the funeral major, she changed from teaching computer to cremation principle and operation course. Her previous major was mechanical electronics and information engineering. Zhang Lili remembers that in 2007, more than 20 students enrolled in the first funeral major were mainly from Beijing, and a considerable part of them were reluctant to study funeral. The same was true for grade 2008. At that time, nearly half of the students were reluctant to practice in funeral parlors and other places. In the first three years, because of the students low will, the graduation certificate issued by the University said that the major is civil administration. After 2010, the situation has improved and the number of students is increasing. She attributed it to the increase of social recognition of the industry and the development of information, which makes students understand the industry from multiple channels earlier and more comprehensively.
The funeral major of Beijing Vocational College of social management directly under the Ministry of civil affairs now enrolls about 150 students every year, with the ratio of men and women close to 1:1, including one etiquette service class, two funeral technical classes and one class for cemetery management. After the students entered the University, they determined their major direction. In Zhang Lilis observation, whether male or female, students are more willing to choose the direction of funeral technology, because it is more practical.
Employment salary is another factor for students to apply for this major. Tao Juan said that the school had exchanges with Hefei funeral parlor and funeral service company before. After the end of the internship period, when it started working, the salary would be 56000 yuan, and then the salary would increase with years. If you are engaged in cemetery sales or etiquette hosting work with marketing tasks, there is more room for salary increase.
Zhang Lili said that in institutions such as funeral homes, the salary was low at the beginning, but even so, most of the monthly salary of students less than one year after graduation can be between 4000 and 8000 yuan, and the salary can be more than 10000 yuan a year later. About 50% of the funeral graduates of Beijing Vocational College of social management serve in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei. Zhang Lili said that the level of development of funeral industry is also linked to the economic conditions of various regions. In comparison, the funeral industry in the south is more developed and the income may be higher.
It is precisely because of the stability of public institutions and salary factors that some highly educated talents from Tsinghua and Peking University have joined the industry. Yang gen, a professor of sociology at Beijing Vocational College of social management who has long been committed to funeral education, said that compared with college graduates, highly educated talents are more engaged in funeral management, software development and other research work in this industry. For Yang gen, for the front-line staff, the funeral industry should bear high-intensity work and have a special working environment, which is a great test of psychological endurance, so it is no fault to improve the treatment.
Special industry, special pressure
Similar to other colleges and universities in China, the funeral major of Anhui urban vocational management college is divided into three directions: etiquette service, funeral technology and cemetery management. Etiquette service mainly includes funeral planning, hosting, reception in funeral parlor, funeral hall layout, funeral products marketing, etc.; funeral technology refers to body preservation, plastic surgery and body cremation, etc.
According to Tao Juan, students mainly study public basic knowledge in the first stage of their freshman year. The sophomore year will have a detailed understanding of the major. The real knowledge of the major direction needs to be learned in the third year of their freshman year, and the internship will begin in the third year of their freshman year.
As the subject has just been established, some of the teachers have been transferred from other majors to the funeral industry for retraining. In addition, the school also cooperates with enterprises. For example, courses such as embalming and plastic surgery should be taught by experienced teachers in funeral homes.
In the comprehensive training room of the school of life and culture of Beijing Vocational College of social management, Wei zemeng, 20, introduced to the reporter of China News Weekly the use steps and differences of various cremators in front of him, how the remains enter the crematorium, how to cool down afterwards, how the family members collect bone ashes, etc. Entering the door of the training room, on the right hand side is the students flower arrangement, on the other side is the rehearsal hall, where you can practice the presiding over of the funeral ceremony. There are also small body farewell hall and family memorial hall in the training room.
In this years Qingming Festival, Wei zemeng and his classmates went to Beijing Overseas Chinese Cemetery to volunteer. They need to guide their families and wipe the tombstones. They get up at 4:00 in the morning and arrive at the post at 6:00. They have to work until about 3:00 in the afternoon.
In contrast, etiquette service is actually a more bright job among funeral practitioners, because it can deal with people. The working space of the body plastic surgeon and crematorist is more closed and has greater psychological pressure. In the cremation workshop, it is necessary to endure high temperature, noise, dust and other environment. Her students as cremation teachers have sought psychological guidance from her. When cremation indirectly saw some young dead lives, students found it hard to bear. When Zhang Lili trained the employees, she found that the etiquette service personnel were more cheerful, while the cremators were not talkative because they burned their bodies all day long.
Its not easy for the body plastic surgeon. In the face of some severely damaged bodies, the plastic surgeon should splice and sew them up, and shape them with plasticine, so as to give dignity to the dead and comfort to their families. According to reports, at present, funeral service company launched business, there are remains spa and other services.
Zhang Lili suggested to the students that they must cultivate hobbies outside of work to relieve psychological pressure. Although the social acceptance of this industry is increasing, she found that discrimination and confusion still exist in the society. The school teacher once joked and suggested that students should solve the problem of love in the school. One of her students was a body plastic surgeon. She fell in love several times and was rejected for professional reasons. When other students mentioned their identity, it was difficult to rent a house. Many people were reluctant to shake hands with the funeral staff.
Unknown funeral Education
The demand for talents in this industry is hot. He Zhenfeng, vice president of the school of life and culture of Beijing Vocational College of social management, said that every December and may of the second year, the college will set up special job fairs, with more than 80 and 40 funeral homes, funeral service companies and other units coming to recruit, respectively. The former and the latter provide 500 and 300 job gaps conservatively. Facing about 150 graduates in each class, there are plenty of jobs Yu. Since 2007, the number of graduates from the school of life and culture working in Babaoshan funeral home and Dongjiao funeral home in Beijing has exceeded 70.
In Zhang Lilis view, in the past few years, the number of funeral service institutions such as funeral parlors and cemeteries in China has been in a relatively stable state, even shrinking, and the number of employees has been relatively stable, which means that the demand for talents in the funeral industry may come more from the rapidly expanding market-oriented funeral service companies. It is understood that the establishment of funeral parlors, cemeteries and other institutions now The quota is also limited.
The beginning of funeral education in China can be traced back to 1993. Yang genlai introduced that sun Shuren, who taught in Jinan civil affairs school, was entrusted by the Ministry of civil affairs of the peoples Republic of China to prepare for the construction of funeral major. He enrolled students for the first time in 1995, but was later suspended.
Up to now, there are 5 funeral colleges and universities in China, including Changsha civil affairs vocational and technical college, Beijing Social Management Vocational College, Wuhan civil affairs vocational college, Chongqing Urban Management Vocational College and Anhui urban vocational management college. In addition, Heilongjiang civil affairs vocational and technical college, Fujian civil affairs school and Henan civil affairs school also set up this major. In recent years, these colleges and universities have provided nearly tens of thousands of talents to the funeral industry.
The reason for the slow development of funeral education, Tao Juan said, may be related to the social prejudice against this major. If the school starts this major, it will build training rooms and other places, which may have an impact on the enrollment of other majors in the school, resulting in students dare not apply for the school. According to Yang genlai, the more important reason is that funeral culture is a kind of subculture, which is beyond the mainstream value. The public has a sense of mystery, incomprehension and exclusion, which leads to the closed circle. As far as practitioners are concerned, many of them have worked for a lifetime, or even inherited their fathers work, which determines that the practitioners of funeral industry are relatively stable. In addition, Chinas funeral industry still has problems such as backward mechanism and system.
Yang genlai said that for every funeral professional student, practitioner and even the public, it is more important to do the funeral without extravagance and with a sense of ceremony, to understand that this is an occasion where the living and the dead talk in a special period of time, and to understand the significance of being cautious in pursuing the future.
Source: China News Weekly Author: Du Wei editor in charge: Su Hongyu nbj9980