For the past few weeks a disease has devastated the city of Wuhan in China’s Hubei province with new cases continuing to steeply climb and bold measures being enforced in China in attempt to control the virus and stem its flow around the rest of the country and the world. This post explains how this virus has affected the current situation for those teachers already in China, those about to go to China and those interested in applying for a position in China. For reference this is not an update on developments with the virus. Rather than us attempt to echoe information researched from official sources, we recommend getting your information directly from trusted media resources or preferably from the daily situation reports published by the World Health Organisation.
The current situation
Teachers already in China
The current situation in China does not look good. Cases continue to climb and many schools are now delaying reopening their doors until the start of March. As such, teachers already in China have an extended holiday. Whether the holiday is paid or unpaid appears to depend on the school and the contract that the teacher has agreed with them. We have found mixed reports with some teachers being paid and some teachers not. The majority of teachers we have spoken with have all reported that they are living day to day staying inside their apartment and going out only when absolutely necessary such as buying food from the supermarket. All public events around the country appear to be indefinitely postponed for the moment and as such the biggest issue for current teachers appears to be fighting the boredom of being confined to their apartment.
Teachers currently in the application process
For teachers currently in the application process and planning to go over soon we recommend contacting your school for the updated start dates. It is likely that your on-boarding will be pushed back and the earliest candidates will be able to begin work will be the start of March. Many airlines including British Airways in the UK have cancelled flights to China including numerous other carriers around the world. As such we recommend checking with your airline to ensure your flight is still valied as it is quite possible that you wont be able to fly until the airline resumes flights to the country. Alternatively, other teachers have mitigated this issue by booking flights with providers still offering flights to China. At the time of writing Emirates airlines still provided fights from the UK to China.
Candidates beginning to apply for China
The good new is that for candidates only just applying for China the current restirictions and delays will not directly affect you as it takes around 2 months minimum to process your documents and allow you to fly to China to begin your placements. However, before breathing a sigh of relief, it is important to understand that even candidates applying now will face issues emanating from the Coronavirus outbreak. Many of our own partner schools are scaling back their hiring in response to lower anticipated student numbers returning and joining schools. As such, it is possible that any job offers new candidates receive will be pushed back to later dates and some of the schools may not be offering positions at this time.
The future outlook
This is the difficult situation causing problems and anxiety. As of yet, it is impossible to say how the Coronavirus will affect Teaching positions in China over the more distant future. The good news is that the Chinese authorities are working hard to control and address the virus and our thoughts go out to all our Chinese friends working hard to fight the outbreak. For teachers considering China in the future such as the September 2020 term our advice would be to apply as normal and stay in contact with our agency for updates on the situation. China is a beautiful country and we hope the Chinese people every success in controlling this disease as quickly as possible.