Shanghai schools to begin online education from March
A primary school student attends an online English class at home. [Photo/Xinhua]
Schools in Shanghai will begin online classes from March, according to an announcement at a press conference by the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission on Feb 18.
Learning can't stop, even if it takes place outside the classroom. Online education is our only viable alternative at this point, said Lu Jing, director of the education commission.
Lu said that online curriculums for primary and middle schools in the city have been formulated to suit the needs of students of all different ages.
The length of each class and the number of total lessons per day varies.
The best teachers in Shanghai will record courses in different subjects according to the curriculum standards.
The courses are mainly televised; students who cannot watch TV can listen to classes in a variety of different ways.
The Department of Education also provides course videos for download.
After listening, students can interact with their teachers through a variety of platforms.
Lu said that for the small number of students unable to take classes on TV or online, schools will tailor individualized plans to meet their needs.
The Shanghai Municipal Education Commission proposed that students should not be forced to check-in online every day or upload videos of themselves studying.
The curriculum stipulates that there will be a rest interval of at least 20 minutes between classes, during which eye exercises and calisthenics will be arranged for their physical health.
Lu said that online learning is different in that students must discipline themselves. "We hope that students can learn to manage themselves, study independently, and develop good learning habits."
The Shanghai Municipal Education Commission is encouraging colleges and universities to make use of various online courses released by the Ministry of Education and the city and share their online courses with each other.
Ding Kuiling, executive vice president of Shanghai Jiao Tong University and a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that the university is offering 1449 courses for undergraduates and 657 courses for graduate students.
Teaching methods include live video, recorded video, MOOC, and seminars. No matter the medium, the quality of classes is top priority, Ding said.
Lu said that the back-to-school date depends on how the epidemic progresses and will be strictly science-based.
During the outbreak, training institutions are barred from offering offline classes, Lu said.