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China closed

Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:49 am
by mcfcok1989!
China has just announced a ban on all foreigners with visas and work permit. I wonder how this will affect the remainder of the school year and administrative processes and recruitment for next year!

Re: China closed

Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:11 pm
by marieh
Wow. I suspect we're about to see a LOT of schools closing in the next year.

Article for anyone who is interested: ... -1.5508920


Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:51 pm
by PsyGuy
Thats not entirely accurate based on the US DOS. China is still permitting "Foreign nationals coming to China for necessary economic, trade, scientific or technological activities or out of emergency humanitarian needs".

Its not going to effect much. ITs that were willing to travel back to China after the winter break and New Year holiday have already done so. Those engaged in online learning will be able to continue to do so, wherever they currently are, at last for the remainder of the year. How external exams will be addressed going forward with no return to ISs and what that means for Uni entrances for the fall of 2020 is still unclear.

Its not going to effect recruitment much, peak recruiting has already passed, were looking at the Spring EU recruiting cycle about 6 weeks off, but ISs need to assume that business will return to somewhere around normal by the start of the 2020 AY. Whats going to happen is if China returns to normal there is going to be some great vacancies available. If it doesnt than ITs are going to find themselves scrambling for a job, likely in the ME, at the last minute.

Re: China closed

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:26 am
by mcfcok1989!
Not sure I agree with some of that PsyGuy. Despite that quote you posted, that only applies to exceptional individuals, as confirmed by schools who themselves have been informed by government bodes, so most definitely not regular teachers at international schools. So, to all intents and purposes, teachers outside of China are stuck for the foreseeable future.

The interesting question is what happens when schools get given the green light to open again? Some international schools might have the majority of staff back so would be able to do that easily, whereas others might have many unable to return. Will they be able to open? When the school down the road can open and you can't, then that will create reputational damage potentially, demands for refunds from parents, parents taking their kids to other schools, etc. Horrendous situation for schools!

In terms of teachers travelling back, it's not as simple as 'Those who were willing did so'. There are many factors at play such as government advice from home countries, safety concerns and actually a number of schools explicitly told staff not to come back or didn't insist they return. So again, in such situations, teachers can't really be blamed for not coming back sooner.

I would be surprised if schools closed this academic year but I feel it may reduce numbers to such an extent that staff who have already been hired may be told they're no longer needed. The other thing is the question of work permit processing - I presume this will slow down, which will affect things even if staff who have been hired are still required.


Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:52 am
by PsyGuy

So it would apply than to exceptional or extraordinary ITs, no?

They will open, they will just lower their recruiting requirements to staff their classrooms. ISs wont declare insolvency, shutter their doors and send everyone away including the coin because some IT or group of ITs isnt able or willing to travel. ITs are commodities not prizes, if a cow doesnt show up, you just get another cow, you dont close the butcher shop. They will shuffle staff around and maybe have to put some warm white bodies with a pulse in some classrooms, but they will get it done.
What other ISs are these parents going to take their kids too? There isnt a plethora of new ISs available to absorb this sudden influx of students from parents who want better. The IS down the street isnt going to have x times capacity to absorb whole ISs and their rolls.

Its not as complex and difficult as you describe it, the ITs that wanted to return, werent generally being barred from doing so. Government advice is just that, advice. Safety concerns are just gremlins of the mind. ISs cant keep ITs from traveling and not insisting also means not prohibiting. Anyone that was really motivated to return could have made it happen.
ITs can be blamed for anything, how are they going to enforce others from not blaming them?

I dont see that. ISs are going to be very accommodating, welcoming and outright ecstatic with returning staff, because they are going to lose some ITs that wont get on the plane, and wont be able to easily replace, assuming the IS opens.

Wont slow down at all, the central government will implement a stop gap measure to get people in, sorting the details out later. China is good at getting back to business when its actual business.

Re: China closed

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:00 am
by mcfcok1989!
Some fair points, but a few further observations:

1. Shuffling things around / getting new staff in the interim. Where does that leave teacher sout of the country who are currently doing live learning? Does this carry on or do schools just tell them to stop and not pay them? That is unclear and quite tricky.

2. There is absolutely 0% chance of China interpreting exceptional individuals as teachers. Absolutely 0%. That's just not going to happen, period. How would you even justify that a teacher is so exceptional that they should be able to circumvent the blanket policy? It's just pie in the sky to think that will happen.

3. In terms of staff returning, it is complex and difficult, with many competing interests and thoughts. I know, because I have personal experience of it. People had genuine fears and worries e.g. what if you go back to China and a family member gets the ., and you're trapped in China (as has now happened)? Whilst that might not be a concern for you, that doesn't mean that it wasn't a legitimate concern for others. This obviously put the better schools in tricky ethical positions - they've not insisted on return out of care and understanding for staff, but now are in a situation where that compassion and understanding may bite them. How do they respond to that? Again, it's unclear.


Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:35 am
by PsyGuy

You dont have to tell them, just stop paying them, they will stop working on their own.
Dear IT, we understand your concerns. At this time we have students expecting their teacher in their classroom on X. If you can not arrive by Y we will consider your appointment abandoned and hire a replacement IT. Sincerely, SLT
Nothing unclear or tricky about it. The IT is in another country and doesnt want to travel for work, yet theyre going to travel to pursue a lawsuit at their own cost and expense?

A Director of Technology for a chain IS supporting online learning for thousands of students. My coins on them getting in. We can agree to disagree though.

Fear is your emotion, its not a bar to travel. Your fear of getting on the plane doesnt keep the plane from departing.
Concern is a gremlin in your mind. You might be concerned about driving on the autobahn, but it doesnt close the road down. Concern is a choice, a choice within your control. If you choose not to travel because of fears, emotions or concerns, those are your choices they arent an inability of air transportation to carry the IT between two places.
You keep using the word tricky, I do not think it means what you think it means. Theres nothing tricky about the scenario ethically. Theres a job W, that X wants done and you IT Y were hired to do it for Z coin, either Y does W and gets Z or Y doesnt do W and doesnt get Z. Do or do not, there is no try, hows that tricky or unclear?

Re: China closed

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:44 am
by mcfcok1989!
The IT hasn't abandoned their position if they physically aren't allowed into the country anymore, and were never previously told that they must return, especially if the employer has been consistently sympathetic. Additionally, there's one flight per week to China now, and plenty of countries have banned transit, so even if it wasn't for this announcement, it'd still be virtually impossible to return. So yes, tricky!

The ethical situation for the school is that previously they have been understanding and because of this have now put themselves in a position where that understanding may affect their business. Do they continue to be understanding or do they, at this moment of extreme uncertainty for all concerned, add to that by pulling the plug on the IT?


Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:02 am
by PsyGuy

They have abandoned the position if the IS says they have. If the IT cant get into the country than the IT cant get into the country to file a lawsuit. How does the IT convert their issue into coin, whats their remedy?
They dont have to previously be told, they can be given directives at any time. Dont comply for whatever reason and the IT can be disciplined including, and up too dismissal. If the IT feels this is unfair how do they pursue a remedy?

How does previously being sympathetic provide any assurance or protection from an IS being cruel? If the IS is holding onto the ITs hand suspended over a volcano, what mandates them from not letting go, whats the IT to do complain to the lava gods?

So theres one flight, great the IT can be on that flight.
Assuming some governments have banned travel to China, not all of them have. The IT can travel from their HOR to a country that hasnt banned travel to China and fly into China from there. Neither virtually nor actually impossible at all.

Thats not an ethical situation thats a can the IS use email situation.

Re: China closed

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:15 am
by mcfcok1989!
You are assuming that every school is callous, and that it's clear they will just behave in the worst way. Most might, but not all, so for those that are more staff focused, then it is clearly more problematic than you outline. What is legally possible and what is morally fair are two different things, and each school will have its own view on what to prioritise, especially if actions cause the school to get a bad name on the circuit. But I guess we will agree to disagree as we have differing levels of cynicism!

As for the flight example, unfortunately is is currently impossible to enter China if you have a regular work permit or visa. If all the flights in the world flew to China, it's not possible. So for the forseeable future, that's not an option. You mention the teacher you know who looks after IT operations etc. We will disagree on whether they would get in at any rate, but even if they did, the vast majority of teachers now stuck are regular teachers, so it wouldn't alter the problem anyway.

Re: China closed

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:03 am
by mysharona
Teachers are not getting back into China right now, the door was closed no matter how exceptional you are.

Re: China closed

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 2:25 pm
by shadowjack
I can assure you that China is now closed to non-passport holders. Chinese citizens only. Nobody with a non-Chinese passport is being boarded on to planes going to China.

No, this is not a guess.

Re: Reply

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:40 pm
by Heliotrope
PsyGuy wrote:
> So theres one flight, great the IT can be on that flight.

I have friends that have tried and all failed, including flying via other destinations. So no, the IT can not be on that flight.

Re: Reply

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:59 pm
by Heliotrope
Just heard from them that their schools are not holding it against them, so they won't lose their jobs over this.
Granted, these are just two ISs, and they're top tier not-for-profit schools.

Re: China closed

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2020 12:23 am
by zenteach
How does this impact educators who already have contracts at schools in China for next school year? Does this mean they will not be able to work there?