China’s education authorities will take the burden off parents school-aged children. A proposal was posted last week by the Department of Education in China’s eastern province of Zhejiang which said that teachers will be banned from using WeChat, QQ or mobile apps which could be used to assign homework or ask parents to grade students’ assignments.
As mobile internet has boomed in China, phones have become an extension of daily activities, and this includes school practices. Instead of announcing homework in class or handing over the notices to students in person, teachers have been seen dumping assignments into WeChat groups which have been designed to interact with parents. Many teachers were keen to exercise their power with the help of these digital channels and asked parents to help students with the problem sets and grade their homework as well.
The local guidelines to take action pursues many national rules discharged by the Ministry of Education in October guiding instructors and schools to take a bigger number of obligations instead of moving the heap to guardians. “Instructors will have to be held responsible for their activity, treat educating truly, correction of homework with reasonability and help students.“
One of the parents said- “Different schools have been treating technology differently and I’m not against its usage. It is helpful to use a digital device to learn English since much of the process involves audios and videos. I think sometimes the media paints teachers and schools in a negative light just to get some attention.”
The new directives have come as Beijing has tried to rein in what and how private technology services would infiltrate students’ lives. In one move, the government has ordered video-game publishers to cap children’s playing time, and send shares of industry leaders Tencent and NetEase downward. Recently, the Ministry of Education asked schools and universities to audit apps which were used by teachers and students on campus in compliance to a few guidelines set by the regulator.
Despite the government’s intent to ease stress and unplug the devices from students, education apps could have flourished in China. Those which help students outperform their peers have done better. Yuanfudao is a startup which offers live courses, exam prep and homework help, and it has gained a $3 billion valuation in their latest $300 million funding round in the month of December. Its rivals Zuoyebang and Yiqi Zuoye have attracted big-name investors and sizable funds which will help young users go ahead.