China’s Air is so Bad That Teachers Are Forced to Livestream Lessons on WeChat

Primary and middle school teachers in Xian, Shaanxi’s provincial capital, have been forced to live stream their classes to students via WeChat and other live streaming apps because of heavy air pollution.

Teachers at Xian No. 26 Middle School tutored students in real-time using live broadcasts on live streaming platforms.

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We launched emergency plans after receiving the order to close schools on Monday. We wanted to make sure the ‘closing schools but not suspending classes’ policy was implemented,” the head of the city’s Cuihua Road Primary School was quoted as saying, according to South China Morning Post.

On Dec. 15, the first smog red alert of the year was issued in at least 23 northern cities in China, including Beijing.

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Henan province’s capital of Zhengzhou also ordered all primary schools to cancel lessons on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Meanwhile, in Hebei province’s capital of Shijiazhuang, which is close to Beijing, school and factories were reported to be running on a normal schedule on Monday.

SCMP reported that levels of PM2.5 — the finest pollutant particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter which can which can cause public health risks — and PM10 — particles as high as 10 microns in diameter — rose above 1,000 micrograms per cubic meter — more than 100 times than the level recommended by the World Health Organization.

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According to the Guardian, the UN agency has previously asserted that tiny particles from cars, power plants and other sources are killing 3 million people around the world every year, with more than 1 million dead from dirty air in China in 2012, and at least 600,000 in India.

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On Monday, a middle school principal in Linzhou City instructed 400 students in 8th grade to take an exam on the school field despite the “airpocalypse” that has shrouded most of northern China.

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