Education Talking Points | 30/11/2017

In today’s talking points: Beijing district education officials under investigation over supervision of kindergarten; 2018 New Colombo Plan scholars announced; Australian Education Union calls for Mandatory Postgraduate Degrees for Teachers; China invests in AI education.

Beijing district education officials under investigation over supervision of kindergarten

Three Beijing district education officials are under investigation for inadequate supervision of a private kindergarten that is embroiled in abuse allegations. Last week, police launched an investigation into claims of child abuse at the RYB Education New World kindergarten and on Tuesday detained a female teacher for allegedly using a sewing needles to “discipline” children. China Daily reported a trio of officials – including the head, deputy head and a lower official of Chaoyang district education committee – are now being investigated for “not doing their jobs.”

Read more at: China Daily

2018 New Colombo Plan scholars announced
The latest round of New Colombo Plan scholarships have been named, with more than a dozen Australian undergraduate students gaining the opportunity to live, study, and work in China next year. Announcing the list on Monday at Parliament House in Canberra, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said 120 Australian students will study in 20 locations, including, for the first time, programs in Tonga, the Federated States of Micronesia and New Caledonia. Griffith University undergraduate Conor Gould was among those who won a scholarship to study in a university in Beijing and said he hoped to learn more about data science through an internship. “I know that China is making leaps and bounds and leading the way in the industry of computer science,” he said. “China is making emphasis on pushing innovation.”

Read more at: Xinhua

Australian Education Union calls for mandatory postgraduate degrees for teachers

As part of a submission to a federal review of the education system, the Australian Education Union (AEU) has criticised current training offered to aspiring teachers. AEU President Correna Haythorpe stated that raising the requirements for entry into teaching degrees and making postgraduate degrees essential would increase the quality of teaching countrywide. A greater focus on practical experience during studies was also sought. Opponents claim however that mandatory degrees of over 5 years would deter many candidates from applying, and criticised the financial burden it would place on them.

Read more at: ABC

China Invests in AI education

Under the new national ‘AI development plan’ China looks to invest $79.48 billion in artificial intelligence by 2025, including a compulsory introduction into the education system. STEMedu, authorised by the Ministry of Education, has already collaborated with a number of international universities, and is set to begin training teachers in addition to conducting research in the area. The organisation is already involved in providing 2200 schools across China with teaching and product services. Business Manager Ms Zhang Caifang said that STEMedu have currently reached more than 300,000 students in China, and are considering an expansion into Singapore in the future.

Read more at: The Independent