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Coronavirus days implications

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Coronavirusissues, Mar 3, 2020.

  1. colacao17

    colacao17 Occasional commenter

    What a strange place TES is and what a wonderfully diverse range of views.

    On one hand, over on personal, are panicky people who seem to be only one confirmed case away from seeing armed forces on the streets to enforce quarantine and from having us laying our dead by the kerbside to be collected during the hours of darkness; on the other hand, people for whom the most pressing concern is having to work a few days/weeks more, having to change or cancel holiday arrangements and losing a bit of cash.

    If this really does turn out to be a global pandemic with the kind of mortality rates being suggested, some people might live to be ashamed of themselves and their narrow outlook.
    Duraz likes this.
  2. TusitalaH

    TusitalaH New commenter

    This is ridiculous. Schools making teachers teach extra days simply to please irate parents has no relation to coronavirus mortality rates.

    If our teaching extra hours could save a few lives I’m sure people would think differently.

    You might as well say people should stop complaining about the weather. The two points are completely unrelated.
    Coronavirusissues and Bentley89 like this.
  3. norwichred

    norwichred Occasional commenter

    As Bentley said - here in Kuwait we had our midterm holiday last week and the virus hit during that week. The result was schools were closed for two weeks this week and next, returning on 15th March. There was a big spike, from 2 to 56 cases in less than a week. However, there were no new cases today. All the cases so far have been linked to people returning from Iran where the infection rate is high - so as far as I’m aware no-one has been infected in this country......YET. However a flight of Kuwaiti nationals came in from Italy last Thursday so I think until everyone is back in the country then we could still face another spike at any time.

    Interestingly our school told teachers they could travel during the closure. We now have teachers all over the world during this period which will be interesting when we do return due to quarantine rules. Some are stuck with no internet, some with very limited, however we were very organised from day one and everyone had work set online for the students by 1pm on the first day of the closure with some staff stepping in for those who were unable to set the work for any particular reason.

    The work load at the moment is not stressful to be honest as the students are not the most engaged but if work is returned then we are expected to mark it. My wife has it worse as her school has more engaged students so she is having to do two or three hours a day.

    There have been stories of the upcoming holiday (one week) being cancelled to compensate and some schools I believe have suggested that Teaching be extended to six days a week for one half term to compensate. Whether this happens or not I guess we wait to see.

    We finish really early here - June 10th - and with a month of Ramadan at the end of April we are already (with only a two week closure) losing a large percentage of teaching time. If the closure gets extended then the effect is going to be even worse. The sheer uncertainty and effect on the students education is pretty severe already.

    As for the teachers at this stage the effect is minimal and uncertain.

    I have no doubt this could very quickly change though.
    Bentley89 likes this.
  4. TusitalaH

    TusitalaH New commenter

    That sounds like a very different situation to the online teaching taking place in a lot of the schools in China, norwichred.

    In our school at least, we are teaching full timetables (live teaching every lesson through Microsoft Teams, where students log in remotely and teachers can video teach / share their screen with PPTs etc).

    Students are completing all the work they would normally be doing in school, and teachers are doing more work than they would normally be doing in school (largely because any 'board work' and informal discussion activities that would've been done have to be pre-prepared as PPTs, and there has to be great deal more written feedback due to the reduction of the regular, informal verbal feedback teachers can give in the classroom).

    While it's obviously not ideal, I don't believe the students are losing out at the moment. I'm talking about secondary school students however, and it may well be a different situation in primary.
    skvo likes this.
  5. clovispoint

    clovispoint Occasional commenter

    If we are all doomed, I quite fancy having my holiday before it happens,.

    It is entirely legitimate to want the planned breaks, Teachers don't have the flexibility to take holidays when they want. We are tied in to to specific dates and plan around it. We pay over the odds for flights etc so need to plan well ahead and book to get the best rates- especially if you have a family. If you are single, it doesn't sting as much as a familyy of four losing all their flights.

    Teaching is not like other jobs with perks and bonuses. It is a steady career and offers a level of security. Having a pop because people are upset at losing holidays is pretty low. I've been online teaching since schools closed here in Hong Kong. It is no fun and the students need a break from it, never mind the teachers.
  6. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    In Shanghai many school contracts expire end of June aswell as the visa. Basically schools want leaving staff out the country by the end of July. When your visa expires end of June HR will renew a returning teachers visa or else replace the work visa with a 30 Exit visa for leaving staff.

    It going to take the threat of not paying July and August's summer pay to get staff to even consider staying to teach extra days. Even then I don't think that will stop staff leaving China ASAP.

    International schools (Real) will do as they like but the (fake) international schools will follow government recommendations. So Chinese law will require staff to work extra days as required to make up the lost time.

    This mess is not going to over by August.......
  7. norwichred

    norwichred Occasional commenter

    We’ve just been informed this morning that our HR will be monitoring us to make sure we are doing what we are expected to do during the closure. We were further informed that our Easter break has been cancelled.

    I am not happy.

    Not happy at all.
  8. mr1303

    mr1303 New commenter

    I was just coming on here to write what norwichred has just written.
  9. StrangePanda

    StrangePanda Occasional commenter

    Will they compensate for any travel costs you might have already paid?
  10. moscowbore

    moscowbore Lead commenter

    Just the beginning. Mass resignations soon
  11. norwichred

    norwichred Occasional commenter

    That’s being discussed.

    It is a difficult one to be fair. Here in Kuwait it is a short academic year with a lot of pressure to cover what we need to cover.

    In addition my school told people they could travel during the closure and quite a few people took them up on that.

    So from that point of view you can kind of see why the cancellation has happened. But it’s going to mean a long run for staff and pupils without a break - if we go back on March 15th then basically three months with no holiday.
  12. Coronavirusissues

    Coronavirusissues New commenter

    Sorry to hear that you are having to deal with this. It's a very frustrating situation especially since you were following advice.
  13. Bentley89

    Bentley89 Occasional commenter

    That's dreadful.

    I was hoping noone would be the first to announce any holiday cancellations - as you know what this place is like - everyone will follow suit...
  14. mr1303

    mr1303 New commenter

    It got worse.

    Not only did they cancel the April holiday, they have said we have to work the Saturday of that week too.

    My wedding day. :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:
  15. Bentley89

    Bentley89 Occasional commenter

    Simply do not attend and lose the day's pay. They are ridiculous to make that demand.

    I assume you & NorwichRed are the same school? Or maybe you don't know...
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2020
  16. Bentley89

    Bentley89 Occasional commenter

    Not me. And I desperately hope noone else does either.

    It is not the teaching population's fault that a virus has spread almost worldwide, so how ludicrous is it of you to even attempt to make teachers, who are simply looking out for their family's well-being, feel bad about caring about their pay, holidays and mental & physical health!?
    TusitalaH likes this.
  17. norwichred

    norwichred Occasional commenter

    We don’t know if we are or not but I don’t think so. We haven’t been told anything about Saturdays......

  18. Bentley89

    Bentley89 Occasional commenter

    That's bad news as that means at least two schools have called it. I am now very concerned!
  19. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    If you where happy in your school before the plague struck, I would not consider resigning just yet as you don't know where your next job will be found. Better the devil you know as it where.

    The expat population has evaporated from Shanghai/China and its not coming back any day soon and this means hundreds of teachers been made redundant and flooding the jobs market in August.

    I would just suck-it-up and hope you have a job left when the sneezing has stopped. Nothing you can do about the situation, just go with the flow.
    T0nyGT likes this.
  20. Bentley89

    Bentley89 Occasional commenter

    I get an email a day about jobs in Mainland China, Shanghai & Hong Kong. Does that mean that not all schools are closed? Or are they looking to interview and employ prospectively?

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