Internet Plus Education Policy Solves Chinese Education Imbalance
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Internet Plus Education Policy Improves Education In China

Of all the inequalities or imbalances that exist in the world, none are quite like the imbalances that relate to people having the opportunity to better themselves. The first part of people bettering themselves, especially in developing countries such as China, is education. The openness to education may very well be the differentiating factor between mediocrity or failure, and the perception of economic emancipation – what we call success. The plight of developing countries is the lack of resources and that creates problems when there are sectors of interest that are paramount to the advancement of the people. These sectors of interest include health, housing, welfare, safety, and education. The lack of these resources causes a need to look elsewhere for the answer, and at times, it could even mean temporarily ‘enslaving’ the ones that you seek to emancipate. So, where do the answers lie? With online tutoring companies? With the government? Or is with the collaboration of all the stakeholders?

To have a deeper understanding of these questions, we need to dissect the current status of the Chinese educational system in such a way that any solutions we come up with our sound and geared towards change and an improved effort by all, for all.

1. Historical And Cultural Cause

China has been a documented superpower from as early as the 3rd century. For many years now, China has been exploring and influencing the west [1]. The nation has been disregarded by the west, however, and funny enough, many of their technological advancements are from concepts adopted through the exploration of the east. For centuries, education in China has been founded on different ethea.

During earlier times one could not change their social status. One’s future was determined by what his father was. The only people who had a choice in changing their career prospects were the boys, who had the option of becoming soldiers in the military. Ironically, that did not elevate their status in society at all. In a heavily patriarchal society, girls were only taught how to become the best wife possible [2]. Through time, education was offered to boys for free [3]. Girls were forbidden from attending school, despite their social and financial status. There came an era where people from all over the eastern region flooded into China because of the Chinese educational prominence. For once, there existed a job market, where people were not categorized by their social status, but bypassing examination day. For once, even a peasant could elevate himself into a governmental position if he was dedicated enough. This saw the inclusion of women into the economical frame through education. No longer was economical participation based on where you come from, but rather, on how hard you were willing to work for it. China went from a heavily patriarchal region to a region that is open to the possibility of everyone playing a role in its advancement, while still remaining true to their beliefs.

On the other hand, though, there is a boatload of baggage that the country had to carry over from previous generations – most notably, a few notable yet important imbalances.

2. Geographic And Economic Causes Of Educational Imbalances

Geographic And Economic Causes Of Educational Imbalances

China has a population of close to 1.4 billion people. And with less than 10 ‘international’ cities, access to good jobs are limited, and therefore, many are forced to work around the clock like machines to achieve even the slightest chance of becoming a contender in any one of these cities for a good job.

Apart from the international companies who sometimes bring their experienced workers over when they build branches there, the government still remains the most prominent job creator – but that also has a limit. Affluent families are able to afford quality education for their children in international schools that have a mere 15 to 20 students in one class. For the majority of the population, however, families rely on the government subsidies such as the education subsidies for their children. The downside is that the amount of students is anything between 55 to 68 in a class.

With the GDP per capita rate being close to a mere $8.200, it is easy to imagine the plight of the people. Countries such as Japan have a GDP per capita rate of above $32.000, and its people can afford to take their students abroad to obtain a quality education. On top of it all, the population is a key player in the economy. In China, however, the situation is different, and this has some adverse effects on those who seek a better life, or even education.

3. Negative Effects Of This Imbalance

The imbalance creates a perpetual cycle of a sub-par standard no matter how much effort is put in by students. The social pressure placed on students by their parents sees them sleeping at midnight and waking up at 5 in the morning. The idea of learning under a candle-light in pursuit of the dream or promise of economic emancipation is much romanticized in China [4]. Students cannot chase after their dream of being an artist or writer because there is a clearly defined path to ‘success’, and there are jobs that are more ‘respectable’ than others and that way, everyone gravitates towards them. The lack of resources means that everyone is chasing after money rather than personal fulfillment.

The lack of access to affordable housing and affordable quality education has not furthered the cause of much disposable income for many people. That means that some students can only rely on quantity and not quality when it comes to learning. Repetition in classrooms is the order of the day and just like many years ago, when learning English, reading and writing are the most stressed skills, but articulation is neglected because of time. For this purpose, many students have to rely on alternative methods of learning and that takes time and money that these students do not have.

The government has not let this go unnoticed though and recently, a document seeks to change the role that the internet and technology play in the educational system. This document seeks to reshape the government’s responsibility of providing world-class education and tipping the scales of imbalance that exist in a way that will see a student playing a more prominent role in the country’s economy without looking for greener pastures internationally.

4. Introducing Internet Plus: The Dawn Of A New Era

Internet Plus spells the new direction of communication, and China is the first country to adopt this type of policy. China has a wealth of infrastructure at its disposal and utilizing the internet and technology to influence daily activity, business and most importantly, and education. This will see the rise of small and medium enterprises’ economic participation.

The introduction of Internet Plus to China seeks to capitalize on new avenues of business such as eLearning and offer it to a broader market. Given that the average salary in China is so low compared to its counterparts, the adoption of Internet Plus seeks to increase economic participation in the following way:

Many people leave China for the west in order to obtain the quality education with the hopes of getting better jobs. When this happens, those people take their skills out of China and effectively grow the economies of the western countries. With Internet Plus, Chinese people can obtain the quality education and skills development and play an integral part in growing the country’s economy, and effectively increase the GDP per capita. The best way to achieve this is through the initiative of Internet Plus Education.

5. Internet Plus Education: A New Name For Learning

Geographic And Economic Causes Of Educational Imbalances

The climate in China as of recent has not been conducive to a large participation in eLearning through access to resources such as good internet and technology, but Internet Plus Education will change that. This means that students do not have the adequate access to subjects like English (that makes them attractive to colleges and even employers). This forces them to spend money on alternative solutions such as eLearning. This form of learning comprises of utilizing electronic devices to learn, hence the name eLearning. This method of learning is prominent in China and people, from students to working professionals spend a lot of money to even have a chance of bettering themselves.

With current Internet Plus Education, we can see the benefits of merging current teachers with technology and the internet to achieve a comprehensive learning experience. In many cases, it utilizes qualified and native English speakers to teach everyone, including Chinese teachers. This means that not only students’ benefits, but their teachers as well. With this in mind, we may summarize some advantages of Internet Plus Education in the following way:

Internet Plus Education can reach a broader audience through the facilitation of the government and relevant players in the industry. The rolling out of Internet Plus Education will be efficient and effective as most of the audience use tablets such as iPads and cellphones to use the internet, that means that there will not be too much time wasted on integrating the students or educators – accelerating Internet Plus Education’s effectiveness.

In China, internet connection, although not efficient at times, is available almost anywhere. This means that the benefactors of Internet Plus Education can have access to classes, and learn wherever they may be. With the inclusion of international teachers, students in China can feel a sense of integration with the west or other countries without feeling the need to physically be immersed in those countries. Therefore, through Internet Plus Education, we can make the world smaller.

The direction that China is taking is to be commended. The country has remained true to its values and it shows that the leaders have the society’s best interests at heart. The introduction of Internet Plus has already changed the direction that the country and its people are headed, both socially and economically.

 

Footnotes:

  1. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Qing-dynasty
  2. http://china.mrdonn.org/school.html
  3.  http://nationalinterest.org/feature/chinas-3-most-powerful-dynasties-12726
  4. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/my-thinking-educational-resources-imbalance-china-joy-lin/
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