【中国日报】美团骑手上大学 Drivers get set to deliver own degrees
Drivers get set to deliver own degrees
Food delivery worker Jiang Hailong used to take breaks from 3 pm to 5 pm and after 10 pm, when there were fewer orders. However, since he signed up for an online program to get a higher vocational degree last year, he uses his free time to study.
Since 2017, the 24-year-old in Shanghai has worked as a deliveryman for Meituan, an online meal provider, having graduated from a secondary vocational school in the city the previous year.
He has always regretted not pursuing higher education, so a program launched in 2021 by the Open University of China and Meituan has given him the opportunity to realize his dream of becoming a university graduate.
The 2 1/2-year online program allows food delivery workers to attend courses for free via smartphones or computers. After they finish all the courses and tests successfully, they will receive a higher vocational degree in logistics management, according to Men Hailong, vice-dean of the Experimental School at the Open University of China.
Last year, the program was expanded to offer bachelor's degrees in modern logistics, and 251 workers have participated in the program so far, he added.
Jiang said he had been eager to attend the program ever since he heard about it, and his parents also insisted that he take the opportunity to improve his academic background.
He said he has worked very hard on the courses and on balancing his tight schedule of delivery work and studying, taking advantage of any spare time he has to attend the online courses.
"The classes were difficult for me at first, and I just told myself to watch the lessons again and again," he said. "It is just like food delivery, the more orders you take, the more money you make. Every effort you make pays off."
Jiang said he enjoys being a food delivery worker and riding his motorbike on Shanghai's roads. He remembers all the streets in the communities he serves, so he is like a "living map" for his colleagues, he said.
His dedication to work saw him become a team leader in 2019, and he hopes that he can become the manager of a delivery center after he gets his degree.
Du Jinping also cherishes the opportunity to attend the online school. The 36-year-old is the head of a food delivery center in Beijing, and he believes that getting a bachelor's in logistics will help improve his management skills and could result in a promotion at work.
He also wants to set an example for his 10-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son to show that it is never too late to start learning, he said.
He takes the courses in the afternoon and evening. "It is not very hard for me, but the most difficult part is the English," he said. He does not think taking the courses is too tiring, despite his already busy life overseeing more than 100 delivery workers.
Li Jiulong, another participant, from Jinan, Shandong province, has been awarded scholarships worth 10,000 yuan ($1,456) as a reward for his good performance because he scores more than 85 points out of 100 in every subject he studies.
He usually attends the online courses in the evening, and sometimes his two sons accompany him as he watches the lessons, he said, adding that the boys both perform well at school.
"I like being a delivery worker. During the COVID-19 outbreak in December, when many people were infected in the city, we provided much-needed goods and medicines."
With delivery orders surging and many of his colleagues also getting sick at the time, Li vividly remembers the hectic scenes when he had to deliver more than 100 orders every day.
"People never gave us bad reviews, even if we were late with their delivery, and they often reminded us to watch out for ourselves and drive safely. It really gave me a sense of pride and reaffirmed my determination to continue this work," he said.
After he gets his bachelor's from the program next year, he hopes to get a promotion and a better life, he added.
（中国日报 2023年4月5日 https://enapp.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202304/05/AP642cbfcaa3103705a5f436e6.html）