On Monday, China vehemently disagreed with tech utopians’ idea of ’digital education’ during the COVID-19 pandemic, as it forced the online education sector by $ 100 billion dollars to make no profit with its latest regulation banning EdTech companies from going public, according to a Bloomberg report. confirmed. In addition, the Chinese government has tightened its grip on online education companies by prohibiting them from accepting foreign capital or issuing shares in case they are already public. This implies that these companies cannot raise capital with the online education system, leaving investors empty-handed.
Some of the investors reportedly affected by the latest Chinese regulation are Warburg Pincus, Temasek, General Insurance Corporation (GIC), Sequoia Capital, SoftBank, Tiger Global, among others. The Chinese Communist Party has launched a nationwide crackdown on EdTech companies, drawing criticism and backlash from supporters of new generation education services. The pandemic has largely transformed traditional classrooms into virtual classrooms, creating a need for students, teachers and parents to interact online. Experts have also called online learning a “silver bullet” that appears to save higher education tools and businesses from the financial hardships of the coronavirus pandemic, unlike other businesses.
Online learning ‘torments young people’, says China
As politicians around the world call online education a ‘new normal’ and ‘the future of learning’ during the COVID-19 pandemic, China reportedly believes that online learning is ‘tormenting young people’ . He goes on to say that the highest online education systems charge “expensive fees” to parents, adding that online learning creates “social inequalities” among the richest children with gadgets and tools and poor children.
A UNICEF report previously similarly claimed that children are at increased risk of harm online during the global COVID-19 pandemic. The agency has highlighted aspects of cyberbullying and other threats, calling on governments, ICT companies, educators and parents to protect children in confinement.
“The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented increase in screen time,” said executive director of the Global Partnership to End Violence Dr Howard Taylor.
“School closures and strict lockdowns mean more families are relying on technology and digital solutions to keep children learning, entertaining and connecting to the outside world, but all children lack the knowledge, skills and resources to stay safe online, ”added UNICEF’s Dr Taylor.