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Last weekend, VIPKid was thrilled to join the 10th annual China Education Symposium at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. For two days, we gathered together with over 400 participants passionate about education and China to hear from prominent speakers in academia and organizations from the U.S. and China. “As the earliest and most well-known symposium on Chinese education in the U.S, our event gathers educators around the world to present progress, share ideas, and ignite enthusiasm in various topics related to Chinese education,” noted the Harvard student organizers of the symposium.
One highlight of the event was the opening speech from Yu Lizhong, Chancellor of NYU Shanghai. He emphasized the importance of global exchange in education and spoke about children needing more opportunities to engage with not just the world around them, but also across borders. He expressed great enthusiasm for the limitless possibilities that online classrooms provide to both student and teacher. These themes echo strongly with our work at VIPKid: connecting students and teachers across the world, online, to improve education for all.
Later in the symposium, VIPKid’s Head of Global Public Policy, Wenchi Yu, spoke with Professor Edward Cunningham, Director of China Programs at the Ash Center, Harvard Kennedy School, on stage. Moderated by Pam Vachatimanont from VIPKid’s US office (who happens to be a Harvard Graduate School of Education alum!), Wenchi and Professor Cunningham discussed the changing nature of philanthropy and social impact in China. “Innovators in China are increasingly finding ways to thoughtfully engage in social impact earlier on in their careers and in their company’s history,” noted Professor Cunningham.
In addition to VIPKid’s contribution to quality education access through its pioneering the 1:1 online learning model, we at VIPKid also care deeply about social impact and philanthropy. Last month we were excited to announce the launch of VIPTeach, a new non-profit foundation that will further the work of our Rural Education Project, among other social impact initiatives. Wenchi remarked, “To further develop our social impact, beyond basic philanthropy, VIPKid founder Cindy Mi has recently launched VIPTeach, to help support online teaching and learning in both the US and China.”
We were also excited to have three VIPKid teachers from the Boston area attend the event. It was a fantastic opportunity for the teachers to learn more about education in China and build greater understanding of the culture, community and families that they passionately support through their online classrooms. VIPKid Teacher Sam shared, “This event helped me to further understand and appreciate the educational impact we make on our students. Learning about the economic, psychological, and physical challenges children in rural communities face created an even deeper passion to make a difference in the lives of the students we have the honor of teaching trough the Rural Education Program. I am so proud to be a VIPKid teacher and am excited to continue to be a part of the bridge that hopes to close the gap between these two amazing countries.”
We left the symposium feeling a renewed dedication to our mission and grateful for all that we had learned over the weekend. We are proud to be a strategic partner for the 2019 China Education Symposium at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and look forward to future events!