As many as 40% of students and teachers at Chinese international schools remain abroad as the new term starts, according to a news report. Reuters news agency says the country’s international schools, which cater mainly to foreign nationals, will be opening their doors for the new academic year this month with a distinct lack of two important key elements — teachers and pupils.
Many expats find themselves still stuck abroad after leaving China for the Lunar New Year holidays, right at the start of the deadly Covid-19 outbreak. Little did they know that nine months down the line, the virus would have spread all over the world and they would still be unable to return.
The Association of China and Mongolia International schools, which represents 58 learning institutions, told Reuters that a survey of its members in July found that 3,000 teachers and their dependents were still unable to enter China. A further 700 from schools that didn’t respond may also be in the same boat.
Tom Ulmet, the executive director of the association, said schools were trying to survive by increasing class sizes and keeping some lessons online. Meanwhile, foreign teachers who are currently in China report heavier workloads and longer hours. “This is probably the biggest issue that we have faced as an organisation since SARS in 2003,” Ulmet said.
Although China has begun processing visas for select groups of foreigners and some schools have been given permission to bring back stranded teachers, other teachers have had their visa requests denied or simply been unable to get on the still very limited number of flights allowed to come into China.
Even when travel restrictions are eventually lifted, some expat families may not be returning at all as foreign firms scramble to slash their costs amid the fallout from the pandemic and rising China-US tensions. Whether or not there will be a lasting impact on school budgets remains to be seen.
Non-international schools in China are also struggling with a shortage of foreign teachers. According to a text message sent to parents by the Chinese-run YK Pao school, some lessons will remain online this term as seven of 19 staff members are unable to start the academic year.
Warning：The use of any news and articles published on eChinacities.com without written permission from eChinacities.com constitutes copyright infringement, and legal action can be taken.
Keywords: teachers at Chinese international schools
All comments are subject to moderation by eChinacities.com staff. Because we wish to encourage healthy and productive dialogue we ask that all comments remain polite, free of profanity or name calling, and relevant to the original post and subsequent discussion. Comments will not be deleted because of the viewpoints they express, only if the mode of expression itself is inappropriate.
Please login to add a comment. Click here to login immediately.
To my knowledge, there are schools willing to pay higher salary to foreigners who are currently in China but surprisingly, I find out some are still currently seeking for a job despite the demand remain high now. It is a good time to negotiate for a better pay at this moment.
Oct 29, 2020 13:06 Report Abuse
My friend who works as a piano teacher from Italy, he could enter China recently with special invitation letter from local government . So now, China has been opened to accecpt teachers who are coming back to school. Now problem is; 1) Very expensive airfare to China, 2) Still need to stay at hotel for 2 weeks after arrival. (It costs so high.!) These are key issued for all teachers who have been struggling own country.
Sep 09, 2020 17:24 Report Abuse
there are a few ways at looking at this as far as the adults with jobs are concerned. first of all I would propose that the stastic is much higher than 40% locked out. The reason for this is to do with what I am going to say next. There has long been a tradition of western people coming to work in China, earning money (fair and square) but always looking to get out of the country at the time of any national holiday, which to me always seems like they are only coming for the money. It is not hard to imagine that a lot of these types of people were sat in places like Bali, Cebu, Australia etc. in February feeling smug that they got out in time, only to then find out a fw weeks later that they cannot come back. Irony at its finest. But put that into context against the expats who decided to stick it out, under conditions that were severely strict for weeks and in some cases months. Who deserves the respect when articles like this are written?
Sep 08, 2020 18:41 Report Abuse
China is taking all necessary steps to ensure that the Covid 19 is under control and the well being of its citizen is well protected. The situation in certain countries are still out of control. It is not an easy job to strike a balance in between. A challenging task indeed.
Sep 08, 2020 10:37 Report Abuse