After watching a 13-year-old boy operate a desktop PC at the Shanghai Exhibition Hall in 1984, China's senior leader Deng Xiaoping famously said, "To universalize computers, one must begin with the little ones."
These words have pushed the development of China's technology infrastructure forward over the last 25 years. Even today, computer teachers in Shanghai proudly echo Deng's remark, even as they readily acknowledge the shortcomings of tech education in Shanghai classrooms.
"Some teachers don't have much knowledge of computers and the Internet, and some school administrators don't view computer education as a priority," says Guo Dazhong, assistant director of computer education in the state-run Jingan District Youth Center in Shanghai. The hurdles to getting more technology into Shanghai classrooms are many, and include a lack of computers, do-or-die standardized testing and a heavy homework burden, Guo says.
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What percentage of Chinese schools are equipped?
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