China has built the world's largest digital learning platform, providing educational resources to hundreds of millions of students and teachers from all over the world, Minister of Education Huai Jinpeng said.
The Smart Education of China platform, (www.smartedu.cn), which started operations in March, has been visited almost 4 billion times by more than 600 million people, he said at a recent news conference held by the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee on the achievements of education reform and development since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012.
The platform, which covers all stages of education from primary school to university, offers digital learning resources to students from 146 countries and regions. Moreover, the platform's employment service also offers job opportunities to millions of new college graduates, he said.
In the past decade, the enrollment rate of preschool education grew by 23.6 percentage points to 88.1 percent last year, while higher education's enrollment rate jumped by 27.8 percentage points to 57.8 percent, he said.
The enrollment rates of preschools and primary and middle schools in the country have reached the average level of high-income countries, Huai said.
The long-existing problems of students dropping out of primary and middle schools have been resolved and the country has realized dynamic-zero dropout for primary and middle school students, he said.
In the past 10 years, financial aid was given to students with financial difficulties almost 1.3 billion times. Under a special program, more than 950,000 students from rural and underdeveloped regions have been enrolled in key universities, he said.
Lyu Yugang, director of the ministry's department of basic education, said the "double reduction" policy, aiming to reduce the excessive homework and after-school tutoring burden of primary and middle school students, has achieved great progress since it was introduced last year.
According to third-party surveys, 87.8 percent of students said their homework has been reduced considerably and more than 90 percent of students said they can finish it in a set time, he said.
Huai said the employment situation of new college graduates this year remains stable despite unprecedented challenges such as a record number of graduates, the COVID-19 epidemic and an economic downturn.
In fact, the employment work of college students has faced many challenges and difficulties in recent years, he said.
A host of employment-friendly policies have been implemented and the employment situation has stayed stable for many years, Huai said.
More employment guidance has been offered and graduates are encouraged to work in the grassroots levels and in central and western regions. Moreover, authorities have provided targeted employment assistance to graduates with financial difficulties and disabilities, and their employment rates have exceeded the national average in recent years, he added.
Sun Zao, deputy Party secretary of Xi'an Jiaotong University, said the university has built a targeted financial aid system based on big data on students' spending habits.
Since 2006, the university has collected students' spending data in and outside the campus, so that whenever there were sudden changes in their spending or significant drops in their grades, the system would remind student counselors to check up on the students, he said.
Zhang Zhiyong, education professor at Beijing Normal University, said promoting equality has been the main focus for the reform in nine-year compulsory education in the past decade.
All counties have realized balanced development in compulsory education. Schools in rural areas have been renovated and all classes with a large number of students have been redistributed, he said.