The objective of OEL316 is to provide students with the conceptual tools and learning experiences to develop a deeper understanding of the educational opportunities and challenges in Yunnan. The objective is achieved through a combination of service-learning, e-learning, classroom activities, and participation in an overseas trip to Yunnan, China. According to Yue, Tang, Shi, et al (2018), rural educational provision in China has improved by leaps and bounds in the past 40 years. Only a small number of children attended preschool in the 1980s, whereas more than 90 percent of rural children are now receiving formal education. After the implementation of the compulsory education policy, more students are able to complete their grade six training and move on to junior high school. However, achieving educational equity still faces many challenges in rural areas, including high dropout rate, poor learning environments, and a low quality of campus life. To deal with these problems, many non-profit organisations have tried to organise activities and teacher training programmes in order to improve upon the existing education system. This course encourages students to critically analyse the complexities facing the provision of quality education to rural residents in China. Students will work with local youth organisations to design a series of service-learning activities in a school located in a rural area of Yunnan. They will get to explore the education system in the city of Yunnan and immerse themselves in its remote areas to better understand the educational needs, challenges and opportunities from the perspective of the locals. Through such comparative collaborations, students will have the opportunity to reflect on the relationships between educational challenges and opportunities and the issue of educational equity.
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every July