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Coronavirus - China - New Semester

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

  1. MissTilscher

    MissTilscher New commenter

    As Clovis said - I am a teacher in Beijing and we have been doing online teaching for a week. I am shattered! It takes SO much hard work making lessons engaging and giving instant feedback online etc. Would much rather be in the classroom. If we're told we have to do make-up days I'll be very angry as this is incredibly hard work!
  2. february31st

    february31st Established commenter


    The Secretary of State declares that the incidence or transmission of novel Coronavirus constitutes a serious and imminent threat to public health, and the measures outlined in these regulations are considered as an effective means of delaying or preventing further transmission of the virus.

    I can hear the stable door banging shut all the way over hear in Shanghai.

    Under the measures announced on Monday, the Department of Health said people with coronavirus can now be forcibly quarantined and will not be free to leave, and can be forcibly sent into isolation if they pose a threat to public health.

    A spokesman said: “Our infection control procedures are world leading and the NHS is well prepared to deal with novel coronavirus.

    “We are strengthening our regulations so we can keep individuals in supported isolation for their own safety and if public health professionals consider they may be at risk of spreading the virus to other members of the public.

    “This measure will rightly make it easier for health professionals to help keep people safe across the country.”
  3. Teachallover

    Teachallover Occasional commenter

    I’m in exactly the same position as you MissTilscher, also Beijing but away. I’d much rather be back at work then taking hours of thought and preparation into our plans that I suspect are only 20% used by parents, if that. I’ve heard whispers about the suggestion of make-up days too on Saturdays or summer holidays. I think to myself, then why are we doing these online/home tasks? We currently have no idea how long this will continue. If we get told to do make up days, I for one, will not be returning, if this nightmare ever ends.
    englishdragon likes this.
  4. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Many teachers in China will be checking their contracts to see what the last resignation date is in section 27 page 14. I think April might be the month everything returns to normal here in Shanghai and if the Government tells schools to extend the year into August, so be it.

    But realistically where are yo going to go, with hundreds of teachers heading out of China the job market is going to get very crowded elsewhere, not to mention the plague of PGCEi unqualified teachers flooding the world. At the present rate even Port Moresby will look a good prospect at this moment in time.

    I counted at least 35 new rent-a-name bilingual schools planning to open around Shanghai next year, I wish them luck in recruiting staff. With the large number of expats evacuating the city never to return I fear for some of the internationals schools remaining viable next year. At least 2 international schools will not be economic to run if their student numbers fall any lower and one large multinational school will have to close one of its sites.

    I am sure some schools are already considering sending emails to new recruited members of staff to tell them their jobs no longer exists and their contracts are null and void.

    If you are going to walk away just remember you are not coming back! We all face a very difficult decision in the next few weeks. I suggest we keep banging out the online lessons and don't book your summer flights home till the last day of term is officially announced.

    Keep Calm and Carry On!
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
  5. Teachallover

    Teachallover Occasional commenter

    My last date of term was announced over 12 months ago. My summer flight was booked over 2 months ago, as was, my holiday flights and accommodation for 2 separate weddings in late June and early July. I am happy to ‘keep banging out online lessons’, which, as far as I’m concerned, very much qualifies for, ‘working days’. However, I’m not prepared to then repeat the days at a later unscheduled time for nothing.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
    missmissmiss likes this.
  6. phoenix-xx

    phoenix-xx New commenter

    Out of interest, any hint on who these schools are that you think are most at risk?
    TeacherMan19 likes this.
  7. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    My problem is I just can't believe the data that is coming out of China. The data for China is now being reported as Hubei and then "other regions". Link below is a snapshot of of the regional data provided a couple of days ago. Hubei has around 20% dead, critical or serious. Anhui (neighbouring Hubei), where I was based until a couple of weeks ago has less than 1% critical or dead. I don't do conspiracy theories, only comment on raw data, and those numbers just do not add up in the slightest.

  8. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    It is worth noticing the difference between Wuhan and the rest of China. This is a full on human tragedy and my full sympathy for those who are suffering and their families.

    Looking at the data that is available the fatality rate outside of Hubei/ Wuhan is 0.2% and mostly to people with pre existing medical conditions. The latest infection rates are also dropping so I think staying in Shanghai is less than the risk of getting on a 12 flight back to the UK.
  9. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    There are two problems with the data coming out of China:

    1) China's main concern is protecting the name and reputation of the country. Patriotism is #1. Anything else, including the health and safety of citizens is after. China are reporting what needs to be reported, and nothing else.

    2) The numbers of dead are from confirmed deaths from the virus. These people would have to have been in a hospital and diagnosed with the illness. The state is absolutely overwhelmed and therefore most of the dead probably don't make it to hospital. We've all seen videos of bodies being taken from apartments and straight to the incinerators. Like all such pendemics, the numbers won't be known until long after because those who die at home are not tested for the virus.

    A reason we see a lot less deaths in other cities is probably that quarantines kicked in much earlier in their cases. You can't go to hospital to die if you're not allowed outside.
    Outlaw2012 likes this.
  10. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    I am sure that even at this delicate time many school principals are twisting teachers arms and reminding staff that if they don't return ASAP this will be a breach of contract. No matter that the British Embassy has told citizens to leave the country if you can this is not a valid excuse for not returning from a safe country.

    So if you don't return to China by a due date, no job, no reference and no visa release letters.
  11. Teachallover

    Teachallover Occasional commenter

    I hardly think anyone deciding to not return to China, which is perfectly reasonable, is going to be transferring jobs/ requiring visa release within China at this time. I know somebody who’s already secured an Easter start post elsewhere. You remind me, how references are used as a weapon or bullying tactic. It’s not the first time I’ve had to explain a difficultly after a school closed down and didn’t pay nor insure it’s staff. This is an extraordinary case and these things happen in life. As I say, I’m only not returning if we are unjustifiably told we need to repeat work we’ve already done. If others are happy to do ‘working days’ now online and then later work 6 days a week or in their summer holidays for no pay, then that’s their decision.
    Outlaw2012 and englishdragon like this.
  12. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Without the cooperation of your school in China it is next to impossible to obtain a police clearance certificate. Without a police clearance certificate from your last county of employment it is impossible for a school to employ you if they are following standard child protection policies.
    It also requires a teacher to be in China to obtain the police clearance certificate, so unless you return to China you are screwed. A school can cancel your visa without you been in China so you may never get into the country again and can place you on a blacklist for 5 years.

    But we all know how loving and full of human compassion the average international school principal possesses !
  13. Teachallover

    Teachallover Occasional commenter

    I can’t speak for other provinces but I know what you’re saying for Beijing is bunkum. Individuals can get obtain a police check without involving your workplace whether in or out the country. Again, it’s sad you seem so sure about bullying tactics. If an individual decides it feels too unsafe for them or their family to return to China, as my friend has, they have the right to make this decision. They’re not going to be rushing to make a reappearance into the country to work.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
  14. Radian43

    Radian43 New commenter

    This is dumb and its annoying to see seemingly educated people repeating this conspiracy rubbish. There are now 394 confirmed cases outside China with 1 death. Are you saying that every other country in the world is also in on this?

    The reasons for the discrepancy in CFR between Hubei and the rest of the world are pretty simple and nothing to do with data being manipulated:

    (i) There is a general natural selection pressure on viruses to mutate in to less lethal strains over time because very sick and dead people don't spread viruses very well. Consider the current case of the UK 'superspreader.' Contrast being able to get infected in Singapore, travel to France to ski for 4 days and then go back to the UK infecting multiple other people along the way with a scenario where the virus infects him and makes him bedridden or kills him in Singapore.
    (ii) Hubei has more cases than it can deal with, reducing the standard of care being provided and increasing its death rate. A city can only have so many ECMO machines and when they are all gone the people without those machines are going to have a lower chance of survival. Other provinces have manageable numbers of sick patients and so can currently cope. Right now, the UK has 8 patients - all in isolation wards and probably with round the clock care. Do you think we could maintain that if there were 42000 cases in the country (given that Hubei is approx equal in population to the UK)?

    This is true, but it also isn't evidence of China misreporting data. Doctors in China record death in a different way. They record the actual final cause of death, rather than the overriding reason. For example, there is a saying in the medical community that you can't die from flu in China, If you are infected with influenza then you will most likely die from pneumonia or something else and that is what will be recorded as your cause of death. This isn't new and nor is it a 'bad' way of doing things - its just different. You can draw a parallel between this and the recording of deaths by HIV. You can get various estimates of how many people have died from HIV over the last 70 years, but HIV has not actually killed one single person on this planet. I'm not denying HIV exists, but the actual virus itself does not kill humans.
  15. Radian43

    Radian43 New commenter

    Agree with a lot in this post. Good teachers won't struggle to get another job through contacts or just general understanding of the situation and shouldn't be scared of reference threats.

    We have been told we will be paid for the extra days, but a lot of my colleagues are echoing this sentiment of 'if you want us to make the days up anyway, why are we also having to deliver online classes.'

    In the UK, I believe staff have to be available for 195 days per year which the school can designate but that those days can't be changed retrospectively if school was closed. I have never been asked to make up snow days/weeks from previous schools. Who knows what the law is in China. I suspect its agree to what we want or leave.
    Teachallover likes this.
  16. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    OK compare Anhui with Tianjin then, I just said I don't believe the data coming out of China and whilst I accept sound logic on your part it does not mean that I now believe the data coming out of China. It's not conspiracy theory to say I personally don't believe the data that is being presented, it's an opinion. I haven't' offered an alternative viewpoint that the conspiracy theorist will do. You have an opinion, I have an opinion, time will tell whose opinion is more correct. I also have extensive recent experience of the complete incompetence of Chinese health care in both Hainan and Anhui so it may not surprise you that I remain very unconvinced by what I see (yes I am aware that anecdotal evidence counts for nothing)
  17. TeacherMan19

    TeacherMan19 Occasional commenter

    They can be redesignated.
  18. Radian43

    Radian43 New commenter


    I don't know either way but if that is the case I find it weird that none of the 3 UK schools I've worked at in the last decade that lost 4-5 days each to snow have ever mentioned making up days.
  19. TeacherMan19

    TeacherMan19 Occasional commenter

    Sorry - I may have been generalising a bit too much. It is in my contract that they can do that and there will be certain expectations of the odd weekend day for a summer fair or something. I can't be sure but I'd wonder if other schools are hugely different or not.
  20. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    I am sure "real" international schools in China will decide to end the academic year when they wish as the Chinese government dosen't care about them.

    But if a school has Chinese students under 15yr old they will dutifully have to follow any Government directives on extending the school year.

    So if you are in a Chinese Bilingual or Private School you will have to follow any changes to the school calendar set by the government.

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