Press conference on China's achievements in education reform and development since the 18th CPC National Congress

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21st Century Business Herald:

Since the beginning of this year, the MOE has been vigorously promoting national education digitalization strategic action and launched the National Smart Platform for Public Educational Services. What is the status of the development of this platform? What are your considerations for future work? Thank you.

Huai Jinpeng:

I will take this question. That is an area that I am particularly interested in. As we all know, not only China but many countries in the world attach great importance to the digitalization of education. Digitalization is an important part of education transformation worldwide. This year, the UN Summit on Education also listed digital education as an important topic. This is the general development background. 

With the scientific revolution and industrial reform, digital and information technology has played a significant role in supporting and promoting economic and social development. General Secretary Xi Jinping has attached great importance to education and the Digital China Initiative. I believe digital education is an important component of the Digital China Initiative. In that sense, promoting digital education, advancing the modernization of education, and achieving the aim of building a strong nation in education are of great significance for providing a better education platform for Chinese society and the world, building a learning society, and realizing life-long learning.

We are vigorously advancing the digitalization of education. The MOE has long been promoting the informatization and digitalization of education. One of the highlights of the ministry's work this year has been a significant project to fully launch a national education digitalization strategy to accelerate the digitalization of education. We have focused our efforts on the following aspects. 

First, a national big data center for the digitalization of education has been built. It provides public education resources and services for the whole country and the world. In his answer to the question, my colleague emphasized that an important part of our work, such as the national smart education platform launched on March 28, is the development of the National Educational Resource Center. There are 34,000 pieces of resources available on the basic education platform, 1,194 educational resource libraries and 6,628 high-quality online courses on the vocational education platform, and 27,000 courses on the higher education platform which has attracted users from 146 countries and regions across five continents. Therefore, we have integrated the resource development of basic education, vocational education, and higher education and built the national educational resource center by mobilizing quality resources.

Second, the Educational Resource Center has five important functions, including serving students' learning, serving teachers' lesson preparation and teaching, serving school management, serving education research, and serving reform on education in the future. In terms of employment this year as I just introduced, we have expanded and upgraded the "24365" platform into the National Employment Service Platform, offering big data of high-quality educational resources and providing services for the education system and society. The number of job opportunities shared on the platform for college graduates has reached 13.7 million.

With a large number of teachers nationwide, especially teachers for basic education, how can we improve training for teachers? This year we tried to use digital education online to provide basic services for national basic education, especially science education. We have improved training efficiency and provided development opportunities by combining online and offline training. At the same time, in the development of basic education in China, the development of educational resources to promote equity and improve quality can benefit all aspects more conveniently and rapidly through such methods and platforms. The work in this area has been very effective.

Concerning the application of the platform, we have launched pilots in 31 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government) and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, with the world's largest digitalization center and service platform for educational resources basically coming into being. We have combined the data center for resources with public services, providing strong support for students' learning, teachers' education and teaching, school's educational management and research on educational reform. This support has enabled us to expand and integrate the basic contents of online learning in digital space based on current classroom teaching and campus education. That has played a significant role in ensuring online learning when schools are closed and pooling quality resources across the country amid COVID-19. I would like to share a figure. As of yesterday, our platform has been visited almost 4 billion times by more than 600 million people. We can say that this digital education platform, which has been launched rapidly on the existing basis to accelerate the development of quality resources, has gone a long way toward advancing the digitalization of education and increasing the influence and voice of China's digital education in the international community.

Next, we will continue strengthening our work on basic, vocational and higher education. In particular, we have delivered good results in higher education. Two days ago, Mr. Wu Yan told me that the total number of learners at was over 100 million. It has become the world's second-largest online education classroom, which proves that our work in this regard has been positive and effective. With the high-level MOOCs going international, we hope to effectively increase education quality in China and promote high-level international cooperation and exchanges.

We will keep improving the National Educational Resource Center and strengthening its capacity to provide better services. For example, through digital education and dynamic interaction, we could keep track of the key and hard parts for the students as a whole in the process of learning and how to effectively help them understand the knowledge, boost their interests in science, and achieve "double improvements" in both their ability and knowledge. Besides, the center supports teachers in educational practices to combine the imparting of knowledge with the all-round development of students more effectively. At the same time, it also enables schools to further improve their educational practices and management abilities. It is also an important platform for us to provide services for society, serving as a crucial part of a learning society and lifelong education. At this time, the classroom has been expanded to society. It is also an important carrier for us to offer Chinese education and other types of education to the international community. Therefore, digital education and digitalization of educational resources are what we will strengthen in the future as they are necessary for developing a digital China. We are willing to work with all sectors of society to promote digitalization and modernization of education and contribute to building a strong nation in education. Thank you.

Chen Wenjun:

Thank you to Mr. Huai and all the other speakers. Here, we would like to wish all the teachers across the country a happy Teachers' Day and wish you all a Happy Mid-Autumn Festival in advance. Today's briefing is concluded. See you!

Translated and edited by Wang Yiming, Wang Wei, Qin Qi, Zhang Liying, Zhang Tingting, Zhang Rui, Zhou Jing, Xu Kailin, Liu Qiang, Ma Yujia, Liu Jianing, Yang Xi, Yuan Fang, Li Huiru, David Ball, Jay Birbeck, and Tom Arnstein. In case of any discrepancy between the English and Chinese texts, the Chinese version is deemed to prevail.

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