Beijing Normal University
Amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, Beijing Normal University (BNU) has stepped up to make valuable contributions at a broad scale. These contributions benefit not only its community but also the entire nation.
Beijing platform for assessing and warning the risk of transmission
Tian Huaiyu, associate professor from the BNU College of Global Change and Earth System Science, was recently appointed as a data analysis expert for the Beijing Center for Disease Control (BCDC). Prof. Tian, along with his research group and the BCDC team, conducted analysis and research relevant to COVID-19. In early January 2020, they successfully established the Beijing Platform for Assessing and Warning the Risk of Transmission of COVID-19. This platform was designed to generate mathematical models and analysis reports related to epidemic prevention. The output of this platform has been adopted by the World Health Organization and continues to aid research and decision-making processes. This platform is expected to offer vital support for the formulation of measures relevant to the fight against COVID-19.
Handbook on facilitating flexible learning during educational disruption
To address the major disruptions across learning institutions due to the pandemic, the Smart Learning Institute of BNU teamed up with UNESCO IITE and UNESCO International Research and Training Centre for Rural Education to publish the “Handbook on Facilitating Flexible Learning During Educational Disruption: The Chinese Experience in Maintaining Undisrupted Learning in COVID-19 Outbreak.” Designed under the “Disrupted Classes, Undisrupted Learning” initiative of the Chinese Ministry of Education, this handbook comprehensively presents the online learning strategies implemented in China to ensure the continuity of learning for 270 million students at home. The detailed examples highlighted in the handbook may guide educators in implementing their own approaches for their students.
Mental Assistant Hotline
BNU also recognizes the importance of caring for one’s mental health during a crisis. To open a channel of communication with those suffering from anxiety or panic, the Faculty of Psychology and the Psychological Counseling and Service Center for Students of BNU quickly set up the Mental Assistant Hotline. Available from 6 AM to 12 MN, the hotline caters to all people across the nation who may be feeling down and overwhelmed; at present, the hotline receives 200 to 300 calls daily. Meanwhile, the online counseling service provided through the hotline has recorded an average of 60 counseling sessions every day. As of February 9, 2020, the hotline and the online counseling service have helped over 2,800 people.
As part of its response to the growing demand for medical supplies and additional funding, BNU provided 20,000 disposable medical masks to the Central China Normal University and engaged 1,228 of its staff in various fundraising activities, which ultimately raised over 500,000 yuan. Its alumni have also been actively involved in its efforts; for instance, Qui Jiduan, a 1962 graduate of the School of Chinese Language and Literature, recently donated 150,000 masks to Wuhan.