The impact of the epidemic on foreign teachers
Source: China Business News,
the impact of the epidemic on the education sector is continuing. VIPCID, an online English Language Education Company for Children and young people, has postponed a North American conference of foreign teachers due to be held in Atlanta in March. And with the announcement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Immigration Administration of China on the temporary suspension of the entry of foreigners holding valid Chinese visas and residence permits (hereinafter referred to as "the announcement") ,
more language training institutions and international schools, with foreign teachers as their "selling point" , are feeling the pinch. "In March, the situation in China gradually improved, but countries such as the UK and the US were caught up in the fight against the epidemic, and many foreign teachers who had previously chosen to delay their arrival in China now face entry barriers. Teachers have become a big problem for schools,"an assistant principal of an international school told China business daily. Early departure, immigration delays, recruitment difficulties "at the beginning of the new pneumonia, I anticipated that I might have to take some time off, and I thought since I had this free time, I would go home, but my American family said that since I was working in China, I would stay there and work hard, " Dan, a foreign English teacher in China for young people at EF education, now finds, he is not so leisurely, Internet classes, exercise alone has become his daily life in Shanghai alone. But not all foreign teachers in China are as lucky as Dan, many of whom can not return to teach in China because of the country's restrictions on foreigners due to an escalation of the epidemic. On March 26, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Immigration Administration issued the "notice" ,
which decided to suspend the entry of foreigners into China with valid visas and residence permits from 0000 hours on March 28,2020 To suspend entry of foreigners with APEC Business Travel Cards; Visa suspension at ports, 24/72/144-hour visa-free transit, Hainan visa-free entry, Shanghai Cruise visa-free entry, 144-hour visa-free entry to Guangdong for groups of foreigners from Hong Kong and Macao, and visa-free entry to Guangxi for ASEAN tour groups. Entry on diplomatic, official, courtesy and C visa will not be affected. Foreigners who come to China to engage in necessary economic, trade, scientific and technological activities, as well as for urgent humanitarian needs, may apply for visas from Chinese embassies and consulates abroad. The entry of a foreigner on a visa issued after the announcement shall not be affected. "This policy is undoubtedly a big news for language education institutions like ours, where about half of the foreign teachers in our school district have not returned home, " said the head of teaching at a school for young people in Beiwai. "when the epidemic is serious in China, some foreign teachers who have left the country have chosen to leave their posts early; the subsequent outbreak of the epidemic abroad has made the recruitment of new teachers even more difficult; many candidates from english-speaking countries, even if they have agreed to join the post, can not apply for the relevant documents because of the suspension or shutdown of the government services in the host country, and can not be eligible for entry into China; and when the epidemic spreads overseas, the new immigration policy has been introduced, which has also made it impossible for many foreign teachers to return to their jobs, " said Wang Xiaoping, Senior Vice President of education and enterprise affairs at EF, the combination of several conditions has led to a serious shortage of foreign teachers. At the same time, Wang Xiaoping told reporters that during the epidemic, the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (hereinafter referred to as the "foreign affairs bureau") actively promoted the "e-government" platform and implemented the "no face-to-face" procedure, the government also has a positive policy on the entry and exit of foreigners whose visas are about to expire, so as to help foreigners get visas smoothly, which is timely and effective.
In addition to language training institutions, international schools and some private schools are also among the most affected groups. "At present, the ratio of Chinese and foreign teachers in international schools is generally 1:1, and even more than half of them are foreign teachers. There are about 100 foreign teachers in private schools with international educational characteristics, and currently about 50 percent in China,"said Li Meng, director of the International Education Research Center at Shiqing International School. Of course, some international schools sensed the seriousness of the problem ahead of time and made preparations in advance, such as the Yiu Wah Education Group of Hong Kong, which felt the outbreak was getting worse in January, it was one of the first schools to announce a delayed start on January 23rd with a quick response. At the same time, the group in a very early epidemic prevention measures, timely "recall" most foreign teachers. "However, many international and private schools will face a severe 'shortage' of foreign teachers, and there is no timetable for the start of classes in first-tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, " said one industry source. Reporters learned that for online English training, the impact of the epidemic is still limited. "since most of our foreign teachers in North America teach online, there is not much concern about their return home, but we have set up offices in San Francisco, Washington, New York, Dallas and many other places in the United States, and as a result of the outbreak, all of our American staff will also be telecommuting, " Vipkid told reporters. It is understood that the company postponed the original March in Atlanta to hold the North American Foreign Teachers Conference. The conference is a regular event organized by the Vipkid North American community of foreign teachers, which has more than 700 participants and is a teaching community in Atlanta and surrounding cities. As a wholly owned online Foreign Teachers Broadcasting Company of New Oriental, we have more than 1,000 teachers in service. We require all foreign teachers to come from 4 countries. Qiao Lei, CEO of New Oriental Neighborhood Foreign Teachers, said, "it's true that some foreign teachers have not been able to return to their jobs in time, but we have ensured that they can complete their lessons properly by buying equipment locally. ". Due to the need for more open space, our foreign teachers had to set up a temporary 'shed' in their garage to record the lessons for the students. " Facing uncertainty "children have been attending international schools, since the outbreak of the epidemic, schools have started to teach online, but the former foreign teacher courses have been moved online, the effect is not to say, jet lag is also a problem. " Mother Xin Xin, a parent of an international school, has recently been "tortured" by the school's online classes. "Now many foreign teachers in Europe and the United States can not come back, or even cancel their contracts temporarily, which will make the future of this field face great uncertainty, " an industry insider told reporters, "Most international schools have two-year contracts with foreign teachers and three-year management contracts.
Most schools have more American teachers. This epidemic has resulted in many schools having to take online classes. Because of the time difference, the teachers of online classes have to work at night, according to Chinese time, but in some schools students have to take the time difference of their teachers. Parents have a lot of opinions. " The market for foreign teachers in the future will also be different from that in the past. Li Meng tells a reporter: "Besides time difference factor, how smooth transition also is a problem. ". The adjustment of class hours, the psychological counseling of parents and students, the management of foreign teachers staying in China, and the payment time of tuition fees are all the best times to test the management and operation ability of an organization or school. In doing these work, but also to ensure that teachers'salaries, if the reduction of staff is a big thing, on the future of the business will have a great impact. In the future, the training industry is likely to be a strong and constant situation." Many training institutions with foreign teachers understand and worry about the uncertainty of future policy. "with the classification of visas for foreigners by the National Immigration Administration and the introduction and implementation of new regulations for foreign teachers by the State Administration of Foreign Affairs, foreign language training institutions are also under pressure, from recruitment to management. For example, due to the need to apply for a foreign teacher without criminal record, must be to the place of residence to prove, time-consuming, many good foreign teachers because of time can not afford to give up and transfer to other countries to teach,"Wang said. "EF Education First is very supportive of the legalization and standardization of Visa and foreign teacher management in China, and is taking it seriously, even though it means higher costs, " Wang said