Box Factory: how an entrepreneurial initiative transformed the teaching in China’s rural areas

Not too long ago the rural population of China was surpassed by the urban. Today, 51.27% live in cities.


Meanwhile, sectors such as industry and construction suffer downturn while the service sector starts to see a rise at a small pace. The country must therefore contain the arrival of the population in urban areas and at the same time enable it’s dwellers to work in service jobs.


One way to do this is to invest in education in rural areas. The reality is that teachers suffer from overcrowded classrooms, with no time to pay attention to individual student development. At home, students become loners as parents face an extended work day.


Thinking about this situation Andrew Yu had an idea, inspired by the “Mais 1 kg” (1 kilogram more) project, which encourages backpackers to bring a kilo of non-perishable food to take to the poorer areas of the countries they visit. In Andrew’s project, this 1 kg is all about knowledge and entrepreneurship.


He created the concept of Box Factory, which are boxes with learning kits on various topics. The “craft box”, for example, comes with materials to create works, a use guide and suggestions for discussion of the subject. Educators still have access to the lesson plan through a mobile app.


Box Factory has already made available over 5,000 free courses in 542 schools in China. Much depends on the co-creation of volunteers who work on the concepts of the boxes. One of the project volunteers developed teachings on the solar system using the theater box kit. A couple of young people created a geometry class to be given with the tools of the craft box. Foundations and companies are also important partners, buying boxes and transporting them to schools.


Andrew’s entrepreneurship has resulted in more interested children in classes, with the opportunity to use creativity. Educators also have more room to develop learning by incorporating advanced educational methods such as group work, gamification, and student-centered learning.


Education and entrepreneurship at school that can transform the economy of one of the most populous countries in the world.

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