40% of Students and Teachers at Chinese International Schools Remain Abroad

Up to 40% of students and teachers of Chinese international schools remain abroad as the new term begins, according to a news report. Reuters news agency says that international schools in the country, serving mainly foreigners, will open their doors for the new academic year this month with a distinct lack of two important key elements -. teachers and students

Many foreigners are still stranded abroad after leaving China to break the Lunar New Year, just the beginning of mortal Covid-19 outbreak. Little did they know that nine months down the line, the virus has spread throughout the world and still be unable to return.

The Association of Schools of China and International Mongolia, representing 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 . More than 700 schools that did not respond may also be in the same boat.

Tom Ulmet, 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 reported heavier loads and more hours work. "This is probably the biggest problem we have faced as an organization since SARS in 2003," said Ulmet.

Although China has begun visa process for certain groups of foreigners and some schools have given permission to bring teachers back stranded, other teachers have had their visa applications denied or simply been unable to get in the number is still very limited number of flights allowed to enter China.

even when travel restrictions are eventually lifted, some expatriate families can not return at all since foreign companies are struggling to cut costs amid the consequences of the pandemic and increased tensions between China and the US. Whether or not there will be a lasting impact on the budgets of schools remains to be seen.

The non-international schools in China are also struggling with a shortage of foreign teachers. According to a text message sent to parents by the school YK Pao Chinese-run, some will remain online classes this term as seven of the 19 members of staff are unable to start the academic year.

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