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China’s small schools go digital

Dec 28, 2014 by

BEIJING, (Xinhua) — Small schools in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region have “gone digital”, meaning that all 63,600 of the country’s small schools now have access to digital teaching devices and resources.

Small schools, or the official term “teaching spots”, are seen by many as the weakest link in China’s elementary education. Most are nestled in remote and mountainous areas; are understaffed; and, as a result, were often unable to offer all eight compulsory subjects to elementary-level students.

To ensure rural children have access to quality education, the education and finance ministries initiated a joint program in November 2012 to install information technology at all education centers.

During the past two years, government funds have financed the installation of digital satellite receivers, computers, flat-screen TVs and electronic whiteboards, enabling the small schools to utilize standardized digital teaching resources.

The program is changing the educational landscape.

Ma Fujun, 48, is the only registered teacher in Huayagou Primary School in Xinmin Village, northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. The school has 22 students across grade one, two and three.

“It’s hard to attract teachers because of transportation issues,” Ma said. “I cannot teach all three classes alone.”

The digital program has really helped Ma.

“We can offer all compulsory subjects now. Distance education means our kids can have music, art and English classes, and their Chinese and math levels are advancing thanks to other people’s teaching methods.”

“We like to have classes on the computers, especially music ,” said student Yu Jiaojiao, 8. “We’ve learned several songs. It’s fun.”

Primary schools are required to offer eight courses to grade one, two and three students in China — Chinese, math, English, ethics, science, music, art and PE.

via China’s small schools go digital – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

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1 Comment

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    Ned

    I suppose this is good news however going digital never made anyone smarter. What is the CONTENT of their curriculum like? Is is rigorous? Are there white board sessions for clarification on lessons taught? This reminds me of “smart boards”. No one became smarter suing that devise. It’s just a devise. What is most important is the curriculum and its CONTENT. A course with no substance can be delivered on any devise but if the content has no substance it is a waste of time and money.

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