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China Leveraging AI and VR for Science Education

According to a recent guideline, China intends to reform science education in primary and secondary institutions over the next three to five years to vastly improve students’ science literacy.

New technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) will be utilised to teach students how to conduct experiments and to close the educational resource gap in underdeveloped schools and regions, according to a guideline issued by the Ministry of Education and seventeen other departments.

Local authorities must ensure that science courses in elementary and secondary schools adhere to their curricula, and instructors of other subjects should not interfere with the time used to teach these courses.

Each school must also have a vice-principal responsible for science education and a science student counsellor. The guideline encourages schools to invite experts and scientists to deliver lectures on campus and to organise student trips to scientific sites.

In addition, science education should become a central subject in after-school services provided by schools, and activities like science lectures and experiments should be conducted to pique students’ interest.

Universities, research institutes, science centres, and museums are expected to improve their service to elementary and middle school students. The guideline also encourages businesses, particularly those focusing on cutting-edge technology, to offer equipment, software, and personnel to schools in underdeveloped regions and to invite elementary and middle school students to visit and observe how scientific knowledge is applied in the real world.

The report of the 20th National Congress emphasised the need to further integrate the development of education, science, and talent, and this document represents another step in China’s efforts to establish an education- and science-driven nation.

In the meantime, engineering and science majors have acquired popularity among Chinese university students, with AI topping the list of the most popular majors for incoming freshmen.

Wei Yungang, director of the experimental education centre at Beijing Normal University’s School of Artificial Intelligence, stated that while larger cities provide superior science education, smaller cities and rural schools lack the necessary resources. He stated that it was notable that the guideline emphasised closing the education divide using AI.

With the advent of AI, schools must assist students in adopting the technology so they can develop the ability to solve problems using AI, he said, adding that AI proficiency will be crucial for future global competition.

Wei stated that less-developed regions can gain access to high-quality educational materials using AI and digital education. While more work is required to integrate AI into classroom learning and instruction, it will, ultimately, result in significant changes to the way students are educated.

“The vast amount of data and information gathered daily in classrooms can be analysed by AI so that we can gain a better understanding of how students learn and how teachers and education authorities can apply this knowledge in policymaking,” he said.

Additionally, the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong strengthen educational cooperation by facilitating exchanges of teachers and students for mutual learning. The largest delegation since travel resumed is a group of 200 Hong Kong principals and teachers on an exchange tour to Beijing.

The visit seeks to provide insights into the mainland’s socioeconomic progress and basic education achievements. Officials emphasised the need of developing talent and lead pupils towards a better understanding of the country.

The trip aims to enhance experience sharing, leverage teacher training platforms, and strengthen basic education cooperation between Hong Kong and Beijing. The effort is in line with national education reform and promotes student national identification.

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