China makes educational resources more balanced through the application of information technology

By Qin Ruijie, Shao Yuzi, People’s Daily

As China steadily expands the application of information technology in education, more and more regions across the country now have access to high-quality educational resources.

Information technology is narrowing urban-rural and regional digital gaps and bringing rural students closer to renowned schools and teachers, connecting the students to a broader world.

By the end of 2020, all Chinese elementary and junior high schools had been connected to the internet. As of the end of 2021, 99.5 percent of Chinese elementary and junior high schools had built multimedia classrooms, bringing the total number of such classrooms to more than 4 million. In particular, 87.2 percent of them had equipped all of their classrooms with multimedia teaching aids.

In Dongtai School of Xuanhe township, Zhongwei, northwest China’s Ningxia Hui autonomous region, a number of electronic teaching aids are being utilized.

According to math teacher Li Yunyi of the school, students there take at least 10 online classes a week together with other students from key schools.

“The application of information technology in education has broken resource barriers, enabling students to reach more quality content,” the teacher said.

According to her, students can not only replay the online classes they have attended but also watch a number of videos related to these classes.

A teacher from a bilingual elementary school in Liuhe District, Nanjing, east China’s Jiangsu province gives an online class, on March 18, 2022. (Photo by Shi Jun/People’s Daily Online)

Wang Yuling is an elementary school teacher with 20 years of teaching experience in Xinhua District, Shijiazhuang, north China’s Hebei province. A class taught by her was recently uploaded by the education bureau of Xinhua district onto an online platform, so as to make the high-quality class accessible to more students.

China will continue expanding the supply of high-quality educational resources and ensure the sharing of such resources in regions that are less developed in terms of education, said an official with the Ministry of Education.

According to the official, 20.12 million classes have been shared by 21 million teachers nationwide on an online education platform established by the National Center for Educational Technology. These classes are suitable for all students in the basic education stage.

Besides, a nationwide smart platform was recently launched to provide a variety of educational resources for students in primary and junior high schools. A total of 17,492 online classes of 450 textbooks in 19 versions are available on the platform.

Elementary school students in Hefei, east China’s Anhui province do scientific experiments while Chinese astronauts give a live-streamed popular-science lecture from China’s space station, on March 23, 2022. (Photo by Chen Sandhu/People’s Daily Online)

Information technology, apart from balancing educational resources, is also energizing classes by providing advanced teaching methods and approaches for schools and teachers in educationally underdeveloped regions.

An official from the Ministry of Education introduced that over 10 million teachers have joined a national training program that aims to lift elementary and junior high school teachers’ ability to apply information technology in education.

In addition, more than 30,000 directors of local education departments, principals of elementary, and junior high schools, as well as backbone teachers across China have participated in relevant training courses, the official said.

According to the official, over 80 percent of teachers in primary and junior high schools across China have launched teaching activities with the help of information technology.

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