Over the past 16 years, 72,000 students from 248 high schools in poverty-stricken areas have attended livestreaming classes simultaneously with one of the best high schools in the nation, the Chengdu No 7 High School.
The livestream enables students with poor education resources to have classes, homework and exams simultaneously with mostly middle class peers in the renowned school in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China’s Sichuan province.
Wang Hongjie of EASTEDU, operator of the online school, said 88 of the 72,000 students got admission in Tsinghua and Peking universities, the two most prestigious universities in China. Most of the students went on to study in universities.
This is what was described in an article that went viral on WeChat on Thursday. Entitled “The screen that changes children’s destiny”, the article narrates how a reporter from China Youth Daily witnessed the schooling on the two ends of the livestream, the school in Chengdu and Luquan No 1 School in Yunnan province, nearly 1,000 kilometers away.
Ding Lei, the founder and CEO of NetEase, reposted the article in his WeChat Moments with a post promising that the company will allocate 100 million yuan to support more schools to join the online education mode, “making knowledge flow between classes”.
The practice of the Chengdu online school was praised by netizens. Sina Weibo user Sheng Jiao Niu Rou said: “I think this is where the value of the internet lies.”
As China’s first distance learning high school, the online school was founded in 2002 by Chengdu No 7 High School and Chengdu EASTEDU Sci-Tech Development Co Ltd.