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Tailored education thrives with internet

By Zou Shuo in Beijing and Hu Dongmei in Yinchuan | China Daily | Updated: 2018-08-29 09:09
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang inspects Internet Plus education at a middle school in Yinchuan, Northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region, June 4, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]

About 600 students from Xinshuiqiao Hui Primary School in Yinchuan's Daxin township in the Ningxia Hui autonomous region have two teachers for each subject.

One is the class-based teacher at the school; the other is a Ningxia Excellent Teacher from No 2 Hui Primary School in Yinchuan, who offers individualized tutoring classes online.

The students benefit from an online tutoring service platform installed by the Department of Education in Ningxia in October 2015. The platform encourages core teachers from Ningxia public schools to offer free and real-time tutoring to schools in rural areas with fewer educational resources.

Through the public service platform for education resources, students from Xinshuiqiao take classes simultaneously with their counterparts at No 2 Hui Primary School, said Li Juan, president of Xinshuiqiao Hui Primary School.

They can raise questions and interact with students and teachers from No 2 Hui Primary School, Li said. "It is like they are in the same classroom."

Li said students take online classes at least once a week and have really benefited, including achieving better grades and becoming more confident in expressing their views and participating in class.

The platform collects data from students' whole learning processes. It then diagnoses and analyzes learning problems and models the knowledge and ability structure, she said, adding that it presents a personalized analysis report for students, teachers and parents.

It has collected teaching materials covering every level of students from preschool to university. More than 62,000 teachers, 665,000 students and 777,000 parents in Ningxia have registered on the platform, according to its website.

Huang Li, president of No 2 Hui Primary School, considers the platform an innovative public service, thanks to the development of the Internet Plus strategy and big data technology.

"This is a very effective way to share high-quality educational resources and provide an accurate, personalized educational service," Huang said.

During his visit to a middle school in Yinchuan on June 4, Premier Li Keqiang said online education and Internet Plus education enabled students in remote and poor areas to get access to good teachers, and broaden their horizons.

He inspected Minning Middle School in Yinchuan's Yongning county, and reviewed local development of Internet Plus education.

By introducing the platform, nearly all primary and middle schools in the autonomous region have connected to the internet.

In a "smart classroom", all of the students held up their tablet PCs, showing the premier their online lessons and study notes.

The government should invest more to improve the information infrastructure and increase internet speed, he said.

According to the Yinchuan Municipal Education Bureau, the city plans to invest 1.3 billion yuan ($189 million) in the next three years to improve the internet infrastructure in schools and create smart campuses based on cloud computing, the internet of things and big data.

The goal is that by 2020, all schools in Yinchuan will have internet speeds faster than 10 Gb per second, and all classrooms will have internet speeds of at least 1 Gb per second, the bureau said.

Contact the writers at zoushuo@chinadaily.com.cn

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