With the closure of schools due to the coronavirus China has opened a huge online school and even broadcasts classes on TV
Wuhan's coronavirus is paralyzing China, the world's most populous country has its streets empty for fear of infection. In addition to canceled conferences or stopped factories, schools have also had to be temporarily closed. But the new Chinese school year has just started. The solution? Broadcast classes online and even on national television.
As reported by the Chinese national agency Xinhua, the Asian country has opened an online platform to ensure that its 180 million students can continue studying without having to go to school. The new school semester has just started this week and to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the authorities have asked students to stay at home for the time being and without a definite deadline to return to school.
A gigantic cooperation between the State and technology companies
The solution that China has found in closing schools is to create a gigantic cloud school. In the cloud and on television, since the classes for primary school children are being broadcast on one of the state's national television channels in rural areas where the Internet does not reach. High school and older students, for their part, have a newly created online platform with 169 lessons and 12 different subjects that cover the first week of classes following the national study program. Every week teachers will be able to continue updating and uploading new content.
Achieving such a cloud platform serving millions of students across the country is no easy feat. As indicated, the national government of China has partnered with the country's three largest telemarketers (China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom) as well as with large companies like Alibaba, Baidu and Huawei. For? To secure 90 terabytes of broadband on 7,000 servers across the country that allow tens of millions of students to access simultaneously.
Other teachers have opted for live broadcast platforms like Alibaba's Dingtalk, which allows them to teach online. Platforms like BDSchool allow, for example, that the lessons are given while the teacher is present online to guide and help students.
The situation undoubtedly presents a great opportunity to see how to adapt online and remote learning in critical situations and taking advantage of technological advancement. But it is also necessary to take into account the deficiencies that it may have, in addition to the lack of direct contact between teacher and student, many times not all have the device and tools necessary to access classes. It also implies that an older person has to supervise the child if he stays at home, an older person who does not always have the necessary knowledge to help the child with classes if necessary.