Weeks after China shut down its schools due to COVID-19, 22 other countries announced school closures.

The coronavirus pandemic has revealed to us that no nation is immune to what the United Nations has called an 'unparalleled' disruption to the world’s education systems. In order to continue preparing our next generation of students for the future, our schools must adapt to the uncertainties and rapidly changing realities of the 21st century. In the last few years, China has increasingly turned to technology as a solution – pumping money into AI education and fostering the growth of education startups, which have introduced new technologies that claim to revolutionise the future of learning. But, despite its potential, as China’s development of AI applications in education accelerates, it is imperative that students, parents, educators and policymakers around the world observe China’s push for AI in education with a critical eye, think through important questions of educational equity, effectiveness and ethics and learn from its missteps.


Yi-Ling Liu

Visiting scholar at the NYU Arthur L Carter Journalism Institute