The municipal government of Beijing is rolling out a centralized ed-tech platform for middle schoolers. It aims to meet the still-high demand for academic tutoring after China’s July ban on private tutoring.
The platform has been tested in nine school districts in Beijing but will expand to nine more — covering more than 330,000 students across the entire city — by Jan. 1, 2022. It allows middle school students to access the platform through laptops or smartphones and connect with public school teachers every weekday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
All tutoring activities on this platform will take one of four forms: one-on-one tutoring, live group classes, a Q&A platform that offers automatic replies and human replies and recorded lessons. Some of the features, like the Q&A platform that allows students to upload a photo of an exam question and searches it in an academic database, closely resemble the ed-tech product provided by Chinese companies like Yuanfudao.
Both students and teachers are participating on a voluntary basis. Theoretically, a teacher can be compensated up to 100,000 yuan (about $15,760) in a school year, even though the number isn’t particularly appealing considering how well-paid private tutors were before the ban.