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Coronavirus - China - New Semester

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Lana55, Jan 29, 2020.

  1. Lana55

    Lana55 New commenter

    Hi,

    Is there anyone here in my situation?

    I work in Shenzhen. My new semester is scheduled to start on Feb.10th

    I came home to London for the CNY holiday, and am worried about going back before the spread of the virus is stopped.

    My employer is not responding to my emails asking for clarification and instructions.

    What would you do in my situation?

    Thank you for your responses.
     
  2. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    There are not going to be any flights, and the government is advising not to go, so you stay here, contact the school, offer to set work and communicate with your students online.

    ( I am not in your situation, but am following the story with interest,- maths teacher with a back ground in genetics, including viral genetics)
     
  3. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Hello, Lana55. Mrs Hippo and I were in Shenzhen for five years. We used to live in the Bank of China Towers, the red blocks just across the road from Lianhuacun Park. I used to teach at a green school in the desert, if you understand my cryptic clue.

    First of all, I think that you will find that British Airways have now stopped all flights between the UK and mainland China. It might well be the case that other airlines are going to stop flying to China as well. We always used to fly with Turkish Airlines (great food!) to HK and then get the MTR to SZ, but according to the BBC there are now restrictions on travel between HK and the mainland. I do not know whether these restrictions apply both ways or whether they are just for people on the mainland who want to come into HK.

    Secondly, if you school's HR people will not reply, then is there anyone else that you could contact? HOD? Deputy head? Is there anything on the school's website?

    Thirdly, the FCO is now warning UK nationals against travelling to China. (I have always found British Embassies around the world to be as much use as a chocolate teapot, although they are very quick and efficient when it comes to taking a lot of money from you for rubberstamping documents.)
     
  4. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    The foreign office advice is to avoid all but essential travel. I don't think getting back for teaching at a school would count as 'essential travel' under any definition. I would follow government advice.
     
    saswaine likes this.
  5. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    I tend to agree. There's no point flying into the middle of this right now.
    It will clear up later and people will return then.
     
    saswaine likes this.
  6. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    It would be good to make contact with someone at your school, nevertheless. I would keep trying, Lana55.
     
    TeacherMan19 likes this.
  7. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    The CNY holiday has been extended until at least Monday Feb17th for all schools so wait until then at the very least. But as other posters have mentioned keep trying to get hold of someone at the school SLT/HR/ friends and colleagues etc.

    From what I have heard from friends in GZ the streets are pretty empty and people are staying indoors apart from going to buy essentials. Luckily we left just before the sh1t hit the fan as we were visiting!
     
  8. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    Just keep trying to get in touch with your school. Tell them you won't plan to come back until you've had direct word from them.
     
    saswaine likes this.
  9. mermy

    mermy Occasional commenter

  10. Outlaw2012

    Outlaw2012 New commenter

    Further to this, I can confirm that a relatively new but high profile British International School in Shanghai is requiring all teachers to be in Shanghai from February 3rd to 17th, working from home. This includes teachers who are presently holidaying outside China. The reason given is that they must undergo a 14 day quarantine in Shanghai prior to the school reopening on 17th. Fly back against FCO advice, into an infected city for "quarantine" when one can work from home just as effectively in London as in Pudong. This is not good.
     
  11. Bytor

    Bytor Occasional commenter

    So, their logic is that for the quarantine it is better to be in a place / region that is likely to have infections, rather than in one that is less likely.

    And to get to bet back to this more likely to be infected place, you may have to travel against FCO advice, on a plane in close proximity to those that may be infected, in an atmosphere of recycled air.
     
    saswaine likes this.
  12. Outlaw2012

    Outlaw2012 New commenter

    Coming back in time for 17th restart from somewhere like London or somewhere out in the sticks in Europe is apparently considered to less healthy than having been stuck in Shanghai for that fortnight. Even if it's real quarantine, isolated in your apartment on the 33rd floor and not popping to the supetmarket/pub, it's much more likely to carry possibility of infection than spending time in Europe
     
  13. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    'when one can work from home just as effectively in London as in Pudong. This is not good'.
    The end of the world as we know It???

    My old school in GZ is also telling staff to work from home - for Secondary I am assuming this just means putting work on managebac. The other downside is that in the past some schools that have been forced to close by local government have inisted on that time being made up during later holidays; e.g. summer break. This is partly due to parental pressure but also of course the IB stipulation that DP students have a prescribed number of hours to complete for each subject.
     
    saswaine likes this.
  14. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    Not much use if they are Grade 12 / Year 13 and have already submitted their IAs and taken their exams.
     
    saswaine likes this.
  15. nemo.

    nemo. Occasional commenter

    I used to be an IB coordinator and I quizzed IB on the hours rules and basically it is NOT a rule. It is advisory. IB run like a gentleman's club. When faced with a lawyered up parent there is nothing legally binding!
     
  16. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    It's their get out clause nemo, nothing is actually in tablets of stone so nothing can come back to bite them, but they have not exactly shied away from the perception that they are soooo much more definite than other weaker exam boards. I have known so many members of SLT brandish the IB stick.

    PS yasf: summer break was just an example, there are other opportunities to make up for lost time between now and May.
     
  17. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    I remember swine flu and all schools in the country I was in were forced to close for a month. we continued to teach online, but the British school didn't. once all schools were reopened the teachers at the British school had to work 6 days a week until the time was made up.
     
  18. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    Not really. Most IAs have to be done by March. and extra classes in the evenings and weekends have diminishing returns - especially at this time of the year.
     
  19. Outlaw2012

    Outlaw2012 New commenter

    Looks like no Yang's dumplings on cards before March in SH
     
    Helen-Back likes this.
  20. PuertaDelVino

    PuertaDelVino New commenter

    Don't risk it would be my advice. I came down with a massive flu in the 90s and I only just survived. After 6 months, I came down with CFS and had it for 15 years before it mostly cleared up. It is not good to catch flu virus as it can wreak havoc to your body and mind. Stay put, it is not worth risking the money for your health.
     

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