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THE LARGEST EDUCATION SYSTEM IN THE WORLD IS GOING ONLINE.
The K-12 education system in China is the largest in the world: 230 million students, 12 million teachers. The Premier of China has announced that the China Central Government is mandated to allocate 4% of Chinese GDP to education annually. In 2010, this was equivalent to approximately USD235 billion (4% of USD5.9 trillion). The Ministry of Education is currently concluding a ten year plan which would result in the allocation of 10% of the annual education expenditure in education digitalization (approximately USD23.5 billion based on 2010).
In regard to these forgoing budget allocations, the Ministry of Education has set the following targets:
In grasping the scope of this market it is also important to understand some of the social factors that drive the market. In China, education related expenses consume the largest portion of household income. Unlike the system in North America where attendance in public schools is mandated by location, it is competitive in China with schools able to dictate entrance requirements for students. This tradition encourages parents to ensure that their children have access to the best materials and resources. The CERSP.com portal represents a tremendous opportunity for parents to now have a central location for these resources.
- In 2012, demonstration schools will be identified in digital education trial regions to test and establish the digital school environment. This is intended to clarify recommended bandwidth and internet infrastructure in order to support the necessary applications relating to classroom, laboratory and individual learning platforms.
- By 2013, selected demonstration schools will be designated model schools, to showcase their experiences internationally and share these experiences with other districts in China.
- From 2013 to 2015, the experiences and results of the initial demonstration schools will be analyzed and used to establish the national, provincial, municipal, county and school level online service criteria.
- By 2015, all provinces of China will have digital education trial regions and all cities and counties will have demonstration schools, to be used to lead the large scale education digitalization program. At least 60% of all schools will have high speed broadband access and all rural schools and kindergartens will be equipped with multi-media classrooms. The overall student to computer ratio will be 10:1 in primary schools, 8:1 in junior schools and 5:1 in high schools. The teacher to computer ratio will be 3:1.
- By 2020, all urban schools will have access to at least 100M broadband and all rural schools will have access to at least 10M broadband. All K-12 schools will have access to broadband internet, all school classrooms will be equipped with multi-media equipment and all K-12 schools will be safe, green and digital. The overall student to computer ratio will be 6:1 and the teacher to computer ratio will be 1:1. All students will have access to individualized internet-based learning services regardless of location.
The portal also plays an important role for teachers who have to be trained in the new curriculum. Historically training on new material was done in a classroom setting, this is now being moved online which will lower the cost and dramatically speed up the process. In 2006, CER launched a new teacher online training model involving 10,000 teachers from 28 provinces in China. This program was the first of its kind in China and has been adopted by the Ministry of Education, China for national level teacher training program. The reaction from the various education authorities, experts and the teachers involved in the program has been exceptional. CER has been engaged by fourteen provinces in China to train an increased number of teachers using the CERSP portal.
CER is on track to become the world's largest provider of online educational and administrative services to the K-12 market. CER is also committed to becoming the world's largest provider and repository of e-portfolios for students, teachers and academic institutions.
i Forbes.com, April 3, 2006;
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