VIPKID & Jack Ma Foundation Celebrate 1 Year of Bringing Online Education to Students in Rural China

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Jack Ma Foundation VIPKID

A year ago, the Jack Ma Foundation (JMF) and VIPKID embarked on a joint mission to give back to society by bringing education and technology to places in China that have limited internet connectivity.

That’s how the Rural Education Project was born.

From its humble origins as a pilot project, over 100 teachers and 300 schools are now part of this life-changing journey.

This week, as part of the one-year-anniversary celebration, VIPKID Co-founder Jessie Chen travelled to Yunnan province in southern China, where teachers from North America teach one-to-many classes in public schools using VIPKID’s online classroom.

The partnership has shown how online learning can give children in remote areas access to educational resources.

Jessie Chen VIPKID
VIPKID Co-founder Jessie Chen speaks with students in Weishan, Yunnan Province.

VIPKID Teacher Jessica in Real Life

Jessica is one of the participating teachers in the rural education project. Like thousands of other enthusiastic VIPKID community members, she submitted her application. In the end, she was assigned to a school in Weishan.

VIPKID rural china

If you ever find yourself in rural China, be sure you know how to say Thank You in Chinese the right way!

Although she is from the United States, she happens to live in Dali – a city in Yunnan that’s extremely close to Weishan!

During the celebration, students were astonished to see their teacher was no longer on a screen, but right in front of them. Jessica received tons of flowers and paper art (and plenty of hugs) as gifts for her hard work.  

VIPKID rural china

What's Up With Weishan?

Weishan is a charming, old town in central Yunnan. While lacking tech infrastructure, Weishan – located in one of China’s most ethnically diverse regions – is rich with local culture, and boasts breathtaking views.

VIPKID rural education project

A Poetic Partnership

VIPKID partnered with 为你读诗 (WeiNiDuShu) for the event, which is a prominent Chinese organization that promotes poetry. The whole VIPKID family, including our Chinese-language project Lingobus, will be joined in the next few days by a dozen famous personalities to recite and write poetry with local students from Weishan.

And speaking of the VIPKID family, Camila, one of our colleagues from the VIPKID head office, is travelling with Jessie and making one of her dreams come true: Teaching poetry at a rural school.

The Goal of the VIPKID & JMF Rural Education Project ​

The project aims to bring online education to 10,000 classrooms. If you are a VIPKID teacher and want to participate, keep an eye on future weekly updates and the Hutong. Once there are opportunities available, we will let you know how to submit your application. (However, there are no openings for this project currently.)

vipkid rural education project

As always, we will keep you updated on the progress of this event. Keep an eye on our social media channels and follow the blog in order to get the latest news. If you are not a teacher and are interested in helping VIPKID inspire and empower every child for the future through technology and education, check out our homepage and sign up now!

16 COMMENTS

  1. I am in my second semester with my rural school class. I love reading these articles, it’s amazing to get a glimpse of how the project is effecting the life of our students. To often we only see what goes on in the classroom and it’s hard to know the big impact. All I really want is to hop on a plane to China, and give my students all a high five in person!

  2. This is wonderful. I am so proud to be working for a company that has such high values and goes to great lengths to help children from all economic backgrounds. The more I read about Ms. Chen, the more impressed I am with her hands-on approach in this company. I teared up at hearing that Camila got to complete a life goal. How exciting!

  3. Amazing! What a beautiful way to give back to this wonderful country! I am so proud to be a VIPKID teacher! 🙂

  4. I love my rural classes. I am in my second semester teaching classes for the Rural Education Project. It is an honor and privilege to teach my students. I have wonderful Lead Teachers in the classroom that help me each week. The students are excited to learn each week. When I open the camera I am greeted with smiles and eager learners. Thank you VIPKID for opening up the doors for us to step into so many schools and teach for these schools. We have an amazing company.

  5. It is wonderful to see VIPKID take its place at the cutting edge and forefront of EdTech while reaffirming the company’s role as a global citizen that brings English language learning to rural areas. I am deeply honored to be part of such a progressive company.

  6. So amazing to see this. Makes me miss visiting the schools and the students very much. Might have to get over there again when applications open up! Keep up the great work 🙂

  7. What a great thing to do! VIPKids is constantly growing to share the English language and give all students the opportunity to learn and grow. I am so happy I am working for this company!

  8. Reading this article and seeing the video clips makes me remember the years I worked in the Peace Corps in Central America. I’m torn between pleasant nostalgia and a fresh desire to go! and do!

  9. 10,000 more rural classrooms! That’s awesome! VIPKID is changing so many lives for the better! So, proud to be a small part.

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