Guangzhou schools to start pilot AI courses in September

BEIJING: Guangzhou in Guangdong province will begin offering courses in artificial intelligence to primary and middle school students in September, education officials said.

The provincial capital’s bureau of education is now selecting about 100 schools to feature the pilot AI courses and further promote intelligent education, it said in a statement on its website.

By 2022, all primary and middle schools in the city will have AI courses in their regular curriculum to help train and nurture AI talent for the city, traditionally a commercial hub.

“Guangzhou was chosen in May as a pilot AI education demonstration zone in the country for 2019, and promoting AI education among the city’s primary and middle schools has become an important task for education departments in the months ahead,” the statement said.

Peng Peng, a researcher with the Guangzhou Academy of Social Sciences, said AI is now the main global development trend in science and technology and represents the future.

“Piloting AI courses among primary and middle schools demonstrates the strategic and long-term foresight of the city government, as it will help train and nurture more AI talent for the development of the AI industry in Guangzhou,” said Peng.

However, Xiong Bingqi, deputy director of the 21st Century Education Research Institute, said AI courses should only be taught at schools after education and other relevant departments and teachers’ committees have completed feasibility studies and teaching assessments.

“AI courses should not be rushed among primary and middle schools without seriously considering the needs of society for AI and the schools’ teaching conditions,” he said.

“The AI courses would lack quality if they are blindly opened in the primary and middle schools.” — China Daily/Asia News Network

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