Online classes gaining popularity in China

China is making inroads into online learning, with several of Beijing's top schools--in joint ventures with technology companies--setting up online classes.

China is making inroads into online learning, with several of Beijing's top schools setting up online classes.

Number 101 High School of Beijing started the trend, with Huiwen High School, Number Four High School and other institutions following suit.

These Internet schools are mainly joint ventures with technology companies, which take care of the technology and marketing.

Not that much marketing is required in China, where parents, restricted to having just one child, seek the best education for their offspring. The online curriculum offers primary and secondary education, with fees ranging from 30 to 50 yuan (S$3.63 to S$6.05) per month

Enrolment is hottest before the school year starts, and students can submit homework online, and hold chatroom discussions with teachers. They can also communicate via email.

Despite having only 17 million Internet users last November among its 1.3 million population, the Net schools are popular, with Huiwen Online School signing 30,000 students in two years.

Despite having to deal with so many extra students, teachers at the schools do not seem to resent the increased workload, as their online tuition does earn them supplementary income.

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