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.
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.
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.
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.
Click here and learn more about Weishan.
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.)
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!