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Rural schools to provide better computing education

By Li You | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-06-23 18:26

According to an assessment report on educational needs in the internet era performed by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the information literacy of teachers in rural primary schools is substandard. Forty-one percent of teachers in such areas have only learned the basics of using computers. Only 46 percent have received formal IT training, which is a depressing reality, said Zhong Hongwu, the researcher who led the study.

A seminar to promote IT education in Chinese rural primary schools 

The study was performed on a total of 2,000 teachers and students from 106 hope primary schools, which are charity-funded institutions, in 22 Chinese provinces.

"The demand for professionals who are good with computers and for them to train the teachers in those schools is very strong. There should be teachers who really know about computers," Zhong said in a seminar to promote IT education in Chinese rural primary schools. The event held in June was sponsored by Samsung China.

"Chinese people have achieved much in IT infrastructure construction in rural primary schools, but actual usage is far from satisfactory," said Yu Shengquan, a professor at the faculty of education at Beijing Normal University.

"The root of the problem is that they don't have the ability to make full use of the IT facilities provided to them. And this kind of ability cannot be developed in one day," Yu said.

The key step to improving rural primary schools' IT education levels is to establish a means by which IT methods, can provide the much-needed professional training classes and improve the quality of education offered, Yu said.

Du Xigui, a schoolmaster from a hope primary school in Hebei province said his school started computer courses from 2002. At that time, only 2 percent of families owned a computer. Students were very curious about computers. The school organized typing and drawing games to motivate the students to learn about computers.

Students have been very fond of computers in recent years; they will stand outside the IT classrooms earlier, waiting for the classes to begin, said Du.

"Students in rural areas use computers without access to the internet. They paint with mice, type with word processors, and students in higher grades know a little about making presentations, but that's all. They know little about the information brought by the internet", said Yang Xiaoyu, deputy secretary-general of the China Youth Development Foundation.

At the seminar in June, Samsung China announced the launch of the Samsung Hope Project Fund. Samsung China established the fund with the China Youth Development Foundation in 2004, aiming to facilitate the construction of hope primary schools in impoverished Chinese areas.

Up to now, the accumulated donations made by Samsung China have exceeded 200 million yuan ($29 million), with which a total of 150 hope primary schools in 28 provinces were built.

Eighty-one of the schools were equipped with electronic devices, including computers and networks. For the next step, they will organize training classes tailored for the teachers there.

"To meet the needs of the hope primary schools, we released the assessment report of educational needs in the internet era with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. We have realized that the intelligent classrooms and training classes are the most desirable resources for them, and we created the strategies to facilitate popular science education in those schools," said Fang Jinshun, vice-president of the human resources team at Samsung China.

"Samsung China will give full play to our information technology and high-end products, as well as to our advantages in international resources, in order to improve the educational quality in those rural areas. Students there will have equal rights with those in big cities. They will know more about the world and realize their dreams," said Yun Seong-hee, senior vice-president of human resources at Samsung China.

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