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Parents grapple with e-learning as schools stay closed in China

first_imgEric Yang, founder of the Shanghai-based iTutorGroup, said the number of online classes taken on its platforms was three times more than the previous year during the first ten days of February. Growth was especially rapid in smaller mainland cities where more students already relied on offline tutoring classes, he said. The company is controlled by China’s biggest insurer, Ping An Insurance Group Co.“The coronavirus is redefining the online education sector,” Yang said. “I expected online classes would surpass physical tutoring businesses in three years, but now I think the turning point will come much earlier.”Shares of China’s education companies surged this month as the virus spread. Two of the most prominent — TAL Education Group and New Oriental Education and Technology Group — were up 17.2% and 13.3% at the close of trading Thursday, respectively. Expats Flee Hong Kong After Double Whammy of Protests, Virus Ivan Au, 48, works in the city’s insurance industry. With the mainland border largely closed, no Chinese clients are coming across these days, he said, turning him into a full-time educator for his five-year-old daughter and more tired than when he was working full-time.“When she’s learning, I am the teacher,” he said. “When she’s playing, I need to accompany her. When she goes to sleep, I need to prepare for the next day’s teaching materials. I get no rest at all.”Au was relieved when the kindergarten scheduled a session with live instruction from a teacher on video conferencing platform Zoom last week.“My daughter really looks forward to meeting with other kids online after staying at home for weeks. She was excited and took many pictures of the video meeting with her Polaroid camera,” he said.‘Not Stable’There are hurdles to making an online education as impactful as real-life interaction — even for teachers who, too, must remain home with their kids.Hu Bing, 44, a physics teacher in Beijing, steeled herself as her 16-year-old daughter restarted classes last week from home, using an e-platform to continue studying for next year’s all-important college entrance exam.“Every so often our internet cuts out; it’s not stable,” she said. Another foreseeable problem is the additional time it make take to cover class material when students aren’t convening in person.The boost to online learning platforms may also ebb away quickly after the epidemic passes.“There’s no guarantee the this short-term boom can be turned into long-term growth,” said Yvette Chan, Hong Kong-based managing director at consultancy Alvarez & Marsal. “Companies need to have high-quality learning platforms to keep students in the virtual classrooms.”And the virus’ impact could lead to an over-saturation in the market, as companies from new start-ups to China’s tech giants like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. are jumping into the fray, said Chien Wong, founder of Envolve Group, an education-focused investment company.Tencent, Alibaba Apps Find Fans in Virus-Affected SchoolsAlibaba’s DingTalk, now the most downloaded free app in China’s iOS App Store, rolled out new features for classroom settings, including live-streamed lessons for upwards of 300 participants and an online testing and grading system. At least 50 million students from elementary to high school had signed up for its online teaching programs as of Feb. 10, according to the group.For kids already steeped in the digital age, the addition of one more screen to their daily lives might be more seamless than for their bedraggled parents.Lu Yan, a 39-year-old university lecturer in Sichuan province, signed up for English classes for herself and her 10-year-old son via iTutorGroup.“Personally I still prefer to talk to my students in a physical classroom. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last decade,” she said. “But I won’t be surprised more and more classes will be moved online, because our kids were born and growing up with the internet.” The weeks-long closure of schools over virus fears across China and Hong Kong is testing kids — and their parents.Working mom Chen Yan has taken to installing a surveillance camera at home to see what her 12-year-old son is up to during the day while she’s at the office in the mainland city of Shaoguan, in Guangdong province.So far, she’s caught him doing everything but studying, including napping while live-streamed lessons play in the background. “We can’t hear a single sentence from the teacher smoothly given the slow Internet,” she said. “And I’m sure the teacher won’t notice if my son is listening in a 60-student class.” China’s novel coronavirus outbreak has infected more than 70,000 people and shut down large parts of its economy since emerging in Hubei province in December. It’s also forced millions of parents across the mainland and Hong Kong to share space with their children schooling from home as campuses from the elementary to university level extend closures through March.It’s been an unexpected boon for one industry: online education, which now must figure out how to engage students accustomed to classroom interaction. While parents are suffering, Chinese online education companies are stunned at their good fortune. What was a fiercely-competitive, cash-burning market segment is now one of the few business winners from the health crisis. Moving onlinecenter_img ‘Reasonable compromise’Hong Kong entrepreneur Ben Chu, 42, has a nine-year-old daughter studying at an international elementary school that’s using education app Seesaw and Google Classroom to assign tasks, share materials and collect homework.“Learning online is a reasonable compromise at this special time,” Chu said. “But it will never be a replacement for a classroom, for face-to-face learning experiences.” Coronavirus forces world’s largest work-from-home experimentThe market share for online education in China’s 463 billion Yuan (US$66 billion) after-school tutoring business was just 6.5% in 2018. That figure could jump to 35.7% by 2023, according to business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.Some two million Chinese students have enrolled in online classes in the short-term due to the coronavirus, Citigroup analyst Mark Li said in a note this month. Topics :last_img read more

New research ‘quantifies’ long-term investment premium

first_imgInvestors with a long-term investment horizon could reap a premium of between 0.5% and 1.5% a year, according to new research – but a major shift in mindset and expanded skillsets are needed to do so.The size of the net long-term investment premium depends on investors’ governance, asset size, mindset and investment processes, according to the Thinking Ahead Institute.Tim Hodgson, head of the Thinking Ahead Institute, said: “In the investment world, where there are very few universal truths, it would be hubristic to claim that we and our members have proven the existence of the long-term premium.“However, we are more certain than ever that the costs of developing the mindset and acquiring the skillsets to address long-horizon investing challenges are substantially outweighed by the return enhancements. As such we believe this is ground-breaking research because it provides sufficient evidence to answer – with a confident ‘yes’ – this perennial, billion-dollar investment question.” Liang Yin, senior investment consultant at Willis Towers Watson and lead author of the report, said capturing the benefits of long-horizon investing would probably require “a major shift of mindset and significantly expanded skillsets by investors”.“It is reasonable to assume the long-horizon premium exists precisely because it is so hard to capture,” he said. “In fact, 80 years ago, Keynes wrote a whole chapter on how hard long-term investing was and clearly nothing much has changed since then.”The institute came up with the net premium from long-term investing on the basis of a case study of two hypothetical pension funds using a combination of what it identified as eight “building blocks” of long-horizon investment value.It split these into strategies that provided return opportunities and those that led to lower long-term costs and/or mitigated losses.The return opportunity strategies are:active ownership and investing in long-term oriented companies;liquidity provision;capturing mispricing effects via smart beta or factors;capturing an illiquidity risk premium; andthematic investing.The institute attributed potential gains to the strategies, for example arguing that engagement on average generated positive abnormal returns of 2.3% in the year following the initial engagement with an investee company.The strategies or actions that could create a drag on returns are:firing and replacing managers (“round-trip decisions”);forced selling; andtransaction costs.The institute again quantified the costs entailed in these strategies, for example saying that forced selling could reduce returns by 1.5% to 2% per annum.Not all of the building blocks were independent, and some were contradictory, it said.In the case study, the smaller pension fund focused its long-horizon efforts on avoiding costs and mistakes, while the larger pension fund, with better governance and financial resources, was able to consider all available options for capturing premia.The institute’s next phase of research is to find out how to successfully implement a long-term investment orientation across the industry.The Thinking Ahead Institute was set up by Willis Towers Watson.The research can be found here.last_img read more

Bongbong Marcos wants history textbooks revised; critics raise howl

first_img“Naisng mga Marcos na ibaon na lang salimot ang mga pag-abusong nangyari noong panahon ng diktadurya kung saanlibo-libong Pilipino ang pinatay at pinahirapan at bilyon-bilyong piso mula sakaban ng bayan ang nakulimbat,” he said. (With ABS-CBN News/PN) “The decision of Sandiganbayan todismiss the cases was solely based on the technicality that the PresidentialCommission on Good Government did not use original documents as evidence,contrary to the Best Evidence Rule,” CHR spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guiasaid in a statement. Marcos’ family and supporters have beencriticized for painting a rosy picture of the strongman rule, even as killings,human rights abuses and plunder during that time have been proven in courts.  The Marcoses have been acquitted inseveral graft and malversation cases and as of 2019, the Sandiganbayan and theSupreme Court have dismissed at least 20 of the 43 civil and forfeiture casesagainst them. Another human rights lawyer and one ofthe authors of Republic Act 10368 Erin Tañada also blasted Marcos’ call torevise history books as a “desperate attempt by the Marcoses to erase thememory of the horrors of martial law and absolve the sins of their father.” “What has beenproven wrong is essentially what they continue to contend in the textbooks ofour children. Essentially you are teaching the children lies,” Marcos stressed Marcossaid in a news forum in Manila on Friday, saying the dismissal of the severalforfeiture cases against his family is enough proof that the allegationsagainst them were lies.“‘Yungkanilang sinasabi na ninakaw namin, naginawa namin, hindi lahat totoo.Pa’no ko nasasabi ‘yun? ‘Yan ang desisyon ng korte. There was no evidence,”he added.The government lost at least five ill-gottenwealth cases against the Marcoses in five months last year, including aP200-billion civil forfeiture case that was dismissed only last December.“I can call anyone a murderer, I can call anyonea thief, but I have to prove it,” Marcos said. “Kung hindi, salita lang ‘yan. That’s just hot air coming out of mymouth. And it turns out even in their case it was only propaganda.”Marcos said that his family has been calling forthe revision of history textbooks for years. He added that the revision taskshould be given to history professors and not to political appointees.center_img MANILA – Formersenator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said history books must be revised,claiming the decades-old criminal accusations against them were proven to befalse. Defeated vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. calls to revise history textbooks as an effort to twist the truth and hide the numerous human rights violations during the regime of his father. ABS-CBN NEWS These include a P1-billion civil case inOctober last year and a P200-billion civil case in December 2019. But the Commission on Human Rights (CHR)said these are not proof the Marcoses are innocent.last_img read more

Arsene Wenger praises Arsenal for standing up to the “Stoke battle”

first_imgArsene Wenger saluted Arsenal for emerging from another Britannia Stadium battle with a point that lifted them back to the Barclays Premier League summit. The Gunners arrived at Stoke with just one win in Staffordshire in the Premier League era for another instalment of a rivalry that was spawned by Wenger’s dislike of the Potters’ tactics under Tony Pulis. Mark Hughes has promoted a more aesthetically pleasing brand of football since succeeding Pulis, yet Wenger felt their hosts still presented a physical challenge that they were forced to overcome in a 0-0 draw. Stoke boss Hughes was perplexed by Wenger’s insistence they had to contend with a robust approach. He said: “I don’t think there was a yellow card, was there? “I don’t know why the physical aspect of the game needs to be mentioned. I thought it was a good football game, with both teams trying to win a key Premier League game. That’s certainly what we were doing.” Having already beaten both Manchester clubs and Chelsea at home in the league this term, the Potters’ hopes of defeating Arsenal on their own patch too were thwarted by Cech’s second-half brilliance. He followed up a one-handed save from Joselu by denying Bojan from the rebound before using his feet to repel Joselu again late on to record the 172nd Premier League clean sheet of his career. “I didn’t think there was too much between the two sides,” Hughes added. “From our point of view, that shows how far we’re progressing this year – we’re prepared to go toe to toe with every team in the Premier League and see where it takes us. “We’ve added Arsenal to Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd, teams that are elite teams in the Premier League and Europe and found it very, very difficult to get positives results. I’m sure Arsenal and Arsene are delighted that they’ve come here and got a point out of it.” In a clash that featured few chances and no yellow cards, goalkeepers Jack Butland and Petr Cech took centre stage with brilliant saves from Olivier Giroud and Joselu in either half. “Overall it was a battle, an old-fashioned Stoke battle,” Wenger said. “They made the game very physical, the crowd were up for it, the players were up for it. They went for a very direct game and we had to show physical response, solidarity, fighting spirit, togetherness – which is what we did. “We lacked a bit of creativity to force the way through and on top of that we missed two or three good chances. They were really up for it, they really tried from the first to the last minute. “We of course wanted to win the game but, looking at the history we have here, it is a positive result. Looking at the results of the other teams that play at the top, it’s a positive result. But, overall we missed two points today.” Although Butland produced a terrific stop to smother Giroud before the break, the visitors struggled to create too many chances without injured playmaker Mesut Ozil. The German was watching on television instead because of a foot injury and illness, yet Wenger expects the man leading the Premier League in assists to be back against Chelsea on Sunday. “Yesterday morning he was not very well,” Wenger revealed. “He already was not 100 per cent at Liverpool so I decided to leave him out. I think he should be back for next Sunday.” Press Associationlast_img read more

Gallery: Virginia Tech defeats Syracuse, 83-73

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse (10-7, 2-2 Atlantic Coast) dropped its second conference game on the road when it lost to Virginia Tech (13-3, 2-2), 83-73, on Tuesday night. Here are images from the game. Comments Published on January 12, 2017 at 4:25 pmlast_img

EGBA warns against Swedish ‘one-size-fits-all’ deposit limits

first_img Winning Post: Swedish regulator pushes back on ‘Storebror’ approach to deposit limits August 24, 2020 Related Articles Soft2Bet continues new market drive with Irokobet launch August 26, 2020 Submit StumbleUpon Global Gaming adds sportsbook extension to Ninja property August 25, 2020 Share Share The European Betting and Gaming Association (EGBA) has suggested that the Swedish government heeds advice from the country’s gambling regulator, Spelinspektionen, to not impose mandatory deposit limits over concerns regarding channelisation.The limits, which have been proposed by the country’s health minister Ardalan Shekarabi, have suggested a number of restrictions on online gambling, including an enforced deposit limit of 5000 SEK (€471) per week for online gamblers.Spelinspektionen has cautioned against the measures, stating that it will have a ‘marginal effect’ but also emphasising that players will have less consumer protection measures if they were to gamble via unlicensed operators.Backing the Swedish regulator, the EGBA has added that ‘the proposed deposit limit could have unintended and detrimental effects – and harm more customers than they protect’ and ‘will do more to hit gambling and tax revenues’.The trade body also reiterated that any positive effects of a deposit limit would be negated by the negative effects on channelisation.Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of the EGBA, explained: “We understand that politicians seek to reassure and protect their citizens during these difficult times, but the proposed gambling restrictions could actually harm more customers than they protect.“Many Swedes are already gambling on unlicensed websites and these restrictions will make unlicensed websites – which don’t apply any limits – even more attractive to them. We must remember gambling is human behavior, consumers will always make their own choices and top-down regulation rarely works. In this case, it could have detrimental or counterproductive effects by pushing more gambling onto unregulated websites.”The EGBA underlined that, according to available data, there has been no increase in online gambling in European countries since countries went into lockdown. It suggested that ‘targeted measures, including tailored interventions’ were used to protect those at risk of problem gambling.last_img read more

Dodgers weighing options amid coronavirus shutdown

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “There are not a lot of questions we can answer now, but we are setting up channels of communication to keep people posted as we learn more,” Friedman said via conference call Friday. “We are trying to get at all the questions and doing the best we can with all the information we have, and trying to wrap our arms around this and figure out what makes the most sense.”All major league facilities were closed to outsiders as of Friday with some players going through light workouts.As the coronavirus crisis deepens, Friedman said no Dodgers players have illnesses and that nobody on the roster has been tested. He said the facility in Glendale already has received a deep cleaning.Friedman was asked if the complicated situation has been deflating for a club that is considered one of the favorites to win the World Series.“We haven’t even gotten there,” he said. “We’re just trying to figure out how to do things in the most responsible, supportive way for our players, our staff, the community we’re in right now and that is taking precedent. All 30 teams are going through this together, as well as the country, and that is where we are focusing our attention right now.” GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Dodgers were in the process of counting heads and raised hands on Friday, trying to determine exactly where all of their players are headed now that they were granted the ability to choose from a number of options.After a Major League Baseball Players’ Association meeting on Friday regarding the coronavirus protocol, players can either stay near the location of their team’s spring training facility, return to their offseason home or head to the city where their team is located.According to Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, the club was still trying to get an accurate count of who was doing what.With the Dodgers required to facilitate workouts in both Glendale and at Dodger Stadium, the team is not only trying to figure out who on the roster is going where, but it is trying to figure out which coaches should be placed at which location.center_img At Dodger Stadium, Friedman said construction on the outfield pavilions is still ongoing. Team employees based in Los Angeles, however, are now working from home.The status of the All-Star Game, scheduled for Dodger Stadium in July, still is to be determined.Figuring out the logistics of the 300 staff members in Arizona, including players, has been a bit complicated.“Were just working through it and give as much clarity as we can provide to everybody who is here,” Friedman said.And while he might not know where all of his players are headed at the present time, Friedman knows exactly where he plans to be.“My mindset right now is to be here for a little while,” he said. “I guess I will also read and react based on what is going on, but I am of the mind to be here as far as I can see out.”last_img read more

Kobe Bryant absent in Los Angeles Lakers’ 115-100 loss to Phoenix Suns as team prepares for future

first_imgPHOENIX >> For every day that passes with his 36-year-old body aching seemingly everywhere, Kobe Bryant’s continual on-court absence fits a larger purpose that goes beyond improving his energy level.The Lakers are waiting for next season.Bryant sat out the Lakers’ 115-100 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Monday at U.S. Airways Center, his eighth absence in the past 15 games coinciding with the Lakers (12-29) owning the NBA’s fourth-worst record. Meanwhile, Bryant has one more year left on his contract worth $25 million and the Lakers will have enough cap space to sign a maximum-salary free agent. “That’s part of the process,” said Lakers coach Byron Scott before mentioning general manager Mitch Kupchak and vice president of player personnel Jim Buss. “They’re all on board with that as well. We knew this would be a tough year, but we also want some answers. The answer with Kobe is he obviously can still play at a very high level.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The Lakers could have used Bryant against Phoenix. Despite Nick Young’s team-leading 24 points on 7-of-12 shooting keeping the Lakers in contention, the Suns closed out the final 2:41 with 11 unanswered points, The Lakers dropped their fifth consecutive game and fell in a regular-season sweep to the Suns (25-18) for the first time since the 2004-05 season after committing 23 turnovers, including six from Jordan Hill and four from Wesley Johnson and Young. The Lakers also provided no answer for Isaiah Thomas (24 points), Goran Dragic (24 points) and Eric Bledsoe (17). To lesser fanfare, the Lakers also missed Ronnie Price for the second consecutive game because of persisting right elbow soreness, while rookie reserve center Tarik Black left with five minutes remaining after spraining his right ankle. Black, who posted six points and three rebounds in 21 minutes, appeared to step on a teammate’s foot close to the basket. “It hurt bad when it happened, but I think I’ll be back soon,” said Black, whose x-rays turned out negative. “It’s just a matter of keeping the swelling down.”As for Bryant, the Lakers have not yet considered shutting him down entirely for the team’s remaining 40 games. Bryant will travel to Phoenix for a shooting session in today’s practice with hopes to play in Wednesday’s game in New Orleans. But Scott noted his strategy addresses “trying to preserve him as much as possible,” considering the Lakers are destined to miss the NBA playoffs for the second consecutive year and the seventh time in franchise history.center_img “We want to get to that point next year where he can play at that high level again,” Scott said. “He’s going to go out and play the hardest he can possibly play. He’ll take the whole summer to recuperate and that’s not him, either. He wants to continue to work to get better.”Meanwhile, only Young, Julius Randle and Ryan Kelly also have guaranteed contracts that go beyond this season, leaving the Lakers with as many as 11 roster spaces to fill. Starting July 1, will the Lakers fill out those empty slots with potential marquee free agents, such as Kevin Love, Rajon Rondo, Marc Gasol, Dragic, LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan, Rudy Gay, Greg Monroe and Paul Millsap?“That’s a question that won’t be answered until next year,” Scott said. “Obviously it’s a big summer for us with the free agent market. We have a plan on what we want to do. But that’s three or four months away.”The Lakers’ ugly present explains why they are already thinking for the future. last_img read more

Hockey Players from BiH won with Result 12:1

first_imgIn the first women’s international match in the history of BiH hockey players, BH players have recorded a convincing victory over a team KHL Sisak with a score of 12:1.The most efficient player of the match was a 18 year old Amra Požegija who scored five goals, while 12 year old Uma Nea Zaimović recorded four goals. Lora Ciglar achieved only goal for Sisak.This friendly match was played in front of hundreds of fans on the open ice rink Zibel in the Croatian town of Sisak, announced the Anadolu Agency (AA).Hockey players from BiH led by selector Anthony London, outscoring team from Sisak demonstrated teamwork and physical readiness. According to London, this victory is an additional motivation for the future assignments.“They were fast, dangerous and disciplined, and played their first international game with dignity. This is an incentive and motivation for even greater engagement of these girls in the future, although elementary conditions for training are lacking, and that is, the existence of ice in the hall where we could train at least six months a year. Zetra will take off the ice surface at the end of February, which for us means that training must continue to dry”, said London, adding that with mentioned circumstances is difficult to maintain the enthusiasm of the team.The hosts of the match, KHL Sisak, showed hospitality for BiH team and agreed a new game for the future.(Source: Faktor)last_img read more

Wellington Police Notes: Thursday, April 23, 2015

first_imgWellington Police notes for Thursday, April 23, 2015•7:50 a.m. Elisa M. Gonzalez, 30, Wellington was issued a notice to appear for illegal lighting.•11:05 a.m. Emily A. Jacobs, Paw Paw, Illinois was issued a notice to appear for expired registration and speeding 57 mph in a 40 mph zone.•4 p.m. Jeffrey T. Willis, 43, Wellington was issued a notice to appear for dog at large.•5:08 p.m. Officers conducted a welfare check in the 700 block N. A, Wellington.•8:30 p.m. Non-Injury accident in the 1500 block N. Vandenburg, Wellington involving a vehicle operated by Gary R. Koehn, 56, Fall River, Kans. and a deer.•9:22 p.m. Officers took a report of suspicious activity in the 900 block N. C, Wellington.•11:24 p.m. Officers took a report of a mental subject in the 800 block N. Woodlawn, Wellington.last_img read more