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College program for domestic helpers

SHANGHAI will introduce a college degree program next month for domestic helpers to prepare them for the high-end market.

Shanghai Women's College plans to admit 100 students for the 30-month program, which cost around 10,000 yuan (US$ 1,573).

The program, the first in the city, mainly targeted at underprivileged migrant women, offering practical courses ranging from spoken English to cooking and nursing.

The courses will be taught in the evenings and at the weekend to avoid overlapping with the working hours of these students, the college said.

Some domestic service agencies said they are willing to pay the tuition for their employees on the condition that they must sign a labor contract of certain years with them.

The city is short of about 50,000 middle-level and high-end domestic helpers, according to the college. Graduates will be introduced to work in old-age nursing homes as the city's aging population increases.

The women's college was launched in February with support from the Shanghai Women's Federation. None of its students are males though the college also welcomes male students who can take courses such as baby care.

In the new semester, the college will provide more than 100 courses in the evenings and at the weekend at different locations in the city. The courses include etiquette, tea ceremony, flower arrangement, cosmetic makeups, Chinese composition, photography and child rearing.


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