Online Education Firms to Rescue Students in Crisis
COVID-19 and China
Schools in parts of China to remained shut down until further notice. Image credit: Jerry Wang/Unsplash

As an unexpected epidemic casts a long shadow over the festive mood of the New Year, and the updated data strikes fear among citizens, many Chinese internet companies have tried to play their part in helping out the populace as it confronts a trying situation. 

We will specifically talk about educational firms and their efforts to help. Recently EqualOcean reported about the notification issued by the Ministry of Education, requiring localities and educational institutions to actively participate in joint prevention and control, including detecting the symptoms as early as possible and reporting them so that treatment can be done in time.

With time more and more education firms have stepped up. Yuanfudao (猿辅导), an online education company, announced that it has donated CNY 10 million to Wuhan to fight the new pneumonia epidemic. Yuanfudao is a domestic K12 platform that owns science and technology education products such as Yuanfudao Online Class (猿辅导网课), AI Courses (斑马AI课), Yuantiku (猿题库) and more. 

The company said in an official statement: “Yuanfudao will fully support the materials and funds required by the frontline staff. It is the responsibility of each worker to carry out their responsibility in such a situation, provide students with online courses and high-quality intelligent learning products.”

Zouyebang (作业帮), another online education firm, has launched a free-of-cost synchronous live broadcast class for elementary and junior high school students (currently Hubei Province) whose schools have been shut due to the epidemic.

According to the official public account of the company, the plan includes the following:

• Classes will cover all grades from elementary and middle school;
• Classes will start from February 11th until the school starts normally;
• The live broadcast classes will take place during the daytime hours from Monday to Friday;
• The course content is specially designed for the academic situation in a specific area (Hubei province), which is basically synchronized with the school's normal progress;
• The number of attendees is unlimited and it is completely free of cost. 

Xueersi, a Beijing-based educational training site focused on primary and middle school students, suspended all offline classes and has shifted to online classes. 

Chinese education giants such as TAL and New Oriental have also played their part by either donating funds to the local government or by providing free online classes. 

The notice stated that, due to the recent situation, in order to reduce the risk of contagion due to large gatherings and to protect the health of all teachers and students, Beijing Xueersi has suspended offline courses for winter vacation classes. 

It further stated that, in order to ensure the continuity of children's learning, and also take into account the learning needs of the majority of students and valuable learning time, all offline courses (face-to-face classes, dual-teacher classes) in the winter vacation class will be converted to online courses.

Editor: Luke Sheehan

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