In the recent Novelty, Originality, and Creativity Competition (NOC) focused on IT innovation and practice for primary and secondary school students, participants from Wufeng Tujia Autonomous County in rural central China won three gold medals, 2 silver medals, and 4 bronze medals. The first prize winner will be entered into the national finals.
The 18 prize winners came from the Xingfu and Experimental Primary Schools of Wufeng Tujia Autonomous County. These teams the only ones, out of more than 130, who came from outside the provincial capital of Wuhan. Historically, there has been a significant education gap between urban and rural regions in China, so these students represent the progress and potential of rural school districts.
In rural regions like Wufeng, conducting IT education poses unique challenges including a shortage of qualified teachers and adequate facilities.
In 2014, Mr. Xu Hongjun, a math teacher at the Xingfu Primary School with experience in the IT field, undertook the task of teaching his students information technology. The school used Mr. Xu’s program to organize student programming clubs to promote innovation and creation. The program garnered excitement among teachers and students, but lacked critical resources.
After learning of Xingfu Primary School’s program in 2018, iFLYTEK helped build an exploration hall and a “makers’ center”. Additionally, iFLYTEK equipped the school facilities with demonstration devices, maker toolkits, and other advanced AI products to inspire innovation and ensure that students were learning with state-of-the-art technology. Students at Xingfu Primary School now have access to drones, robots, a 3D printer, and VR glasses, and are frequently use the tools to conduct experiments.
iFLYTEK also hosted a two-day training for Mr. Xu and other teachers, providing them with the knowledge, skills, and teaching methods needed for their lessons. These teachers and the updated technology and facilities provided by iFLYTEK are now an integral part of the programming club activities.
“In addition to the donation of devices, iFLYTEK also assigned professionals to give us continuous training and assistance, which is of even greater help,” the deputy headmaster of the Xingfu Primary School said.
iFLYTEK team members Lan Mi and Yin Jie have worked with the school to customize innovation courses and provide its IT teachers regular AI training. With such assistance, the school has become among the first in China to produce a comprehensive AI course. Several of the NOC competition award winners are members of the Xinfu programming club.
iFLYTEK’s assistance has helped the Wufeng region become a model for innovative science education in Hubei with outstanding schools like the Xingfu Primary School leading the way. More than 200 students from Wufeng have gone on to win prizes in national and provincial IT competitions.
The equitable distribution of technological tools and knowledge can level the educational playing field between cities and rural areas to enable opportunities for all, which is why iFLYTEK launched our “AI Education Charity Program” to promote higher-quality and fairer education for all students by providing equipment and experience.