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Online learning widens China's education gap, study warns

Only half of rural children have undisrupted access to internet classes

A primary school student attends an online Chinese class at home during in Shanghai. Access to distance learning is less widespread in rural areas, a study finds.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- China's shift toward online education due to the coronavirus pandemic means students from less-developed regions are likely to fall behind their urban peers, a new survey shows.

Only half of rural students had undisrupted access to online classes, according to the study by the China Development Research Foundation, a Beijing-based nonprofit organization. Their peers in small cities and towns, meanwhile, had unimpeded attendance rates of 80.1% and 70.3%, respectively.

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