Education, the foundation of humandevelopment, is Canada’s best offer to the world
Good afternoon colleagues. Thanks CCBC forproviding me the opportunity to speak at the roundtable. My name is Sunny Sang; I am the Director ofGreater China in Ontario Virtual School (OVS).
Education is an essential aspect of humandevelopment; it has long been recognized as the foundation to build andtransform human civilization. In the context of the social value of modernsociety, education is a means of achieving harmony, justice, freedom, andequality for all.
With no exception, and in particular, mylife has also been greatly changed by education. I was born and raised in a farnorth remote forestry region town in China, at the time it had less than adozen small streets, the temperature today is -30 Celsius which is normal. Imoved from the small town elementary school, to a bigger city high school andcompleted my post secondary degree in Peking University. Each step wasintrigued by curiosity and desire of pursuing a dream of better education.
The transformational power of educationtoday has gone much more than just as a means of social mobility but alsobridges of culture and ideology chasm in the context of world economy andpolitics for which Canada has been playing a great role.
Shortly, professor Walid Hejazi of RotmanSchool of Business, and Jia Wang, Interim Director of the China Institute atthe University of Alberta, will provide a deeper dive into the data released inthe two recently published CCBC reports, specifically the education sector.
What I’d like to share with you, however,is the role that OVS has been playing in education. OVS is an online highschool that has been offering on-demand K9-12 credit courses for over 10 years.Currently we have over 10,000 active students from 114 different countries, with15% students from China.
Due to COVID-19, the OVS courses havebecome increasingly popular particularly among Chinese international studentsas they don’t have to travel and live in Canada to get Ontario high schoolcredits for entering the Universities in Canada and worldwide.
Although our student number is relativelysmall compared to the overall number between Canada and China, the impact ofour services to the life of each and every international student are materialand profound.
When the education is conducted onlineand on-demand, the peer teacher interaction, which is one of the learningdimensions relative to the physically attended school, is weakened. Theteachers and tutors must provide one on one support to fill the gaps. Weprovided, in many cases, the high touch services to students and parents tohelp with their demands. I kept many parent’s notes of appreciation, here arethe few “We are lucky to find you at this difficult time, my husband and Iwould like to thank you for your help”, “Your course is clear and easy tofollow, we are confident that our child is in good hands”
Online education is a viable alternativeto in-classroom teaching and it could be the only option in some circumstances;However, it is NOT a shortcut, it mandates the education institutes to makegreater efforts in providing consistent and high quality course materials andone on one tutoring services. Since we have observed many questionablepractices and services by some service providers. We are taking the initiativeto appeal to all service providers to self-regulate and comply with educationstandards, we are also taking a leadership role in protecting the quality andvalue of Canada’s K12 education.
Our journey is long. We are pleased tohave CCBC’s support to our endeavor and wish all of the colleagues in theeducation field to work with us contributing to our great education systemwhich is one of the best offers that Canada can provide to the world.