This year, the 2020 Spring Festival celebrations were brought to a standstill due to the sudden and devastating outbreak of COVID-2019. This was an especially distressing time for one of Xiehe’s employees, whose baby was born in the midst of the outbreak. What should have been a wonderful time for Steve – a foreign teacher at SUIS Wenzhou – and his wife, was instead plagued with anxiety.
The flights Steve had intended for he and his wife to take home for the birth were cancelled due to the epidemic, leaving the couple stranded and terrified at Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Worse still, as there were the policies between regions, none of the hotels, guesthouses, or even hospitals in Shanghai would take them in. Steve’s wife was about to give birth, she had nowhere to go, and to top it off, many of the medical and pre-natal services around her were buckling under the pressure of the epidemic.
This was when SUIS Wenzhou Campus, the Xiehe Education Human Resources Department, and their respective insurance companies stepped up to help. They began exhausting every possibility to try and resolve the seemingly impossible tasks before them. From finding a safe place for the couple, to the final birth arrangements, the teams managed to overcome each obstacle, one by one.
Just on schedule, on February 18, 2020, the child arrived safely and happily. All the struggles and anxiety of the last month had melted away, now simply adding to the couple’s joy for their new arrival.
In addition to helping our foreign staff ride out these extreme conditions in all possible safety and comfort, how has Xiehe Education been helping those teachers who remain overseas? At a time when travel, entry into China, and clear information on the situation are obstructed, our top priority is to make sure our overseas staff feel confident enough in the Chinese Government and Xiehe Education Group to return for the start of term.
We are systematically implementing each new epidemic regulation to the best of our ability, putting all necessary precautions in place to ensure the confidence and safety of our staff. One way we are doing this is by arranging a full course of airport pickup services. Furthermore, having brought each teacher safely to their residential area, we will assist them with the now standard check-in procedure, including preventative measures such as temperature monitoring. In addition, each foreign teacher who returns to work will receive an “anti-virus pack”. This will contain all the necessary anti-viral supplies, including facemasks – which are now in scarce demand. We hope these precautions will make all our foreign staff feel completely safe and looked after as they return to work.
Our teaching staff are indispensable in guaranteeing the quality of education we uphold in our classrooms. In order for our foreign teachers to continue their service to Xiehe with undivided confidence, it is crucial for us to resolve any fears or threats from outside the classroom.
As the Group arranges the necessary adjustments in response to these extreme circumstances, it is Xiehe Education’s priority to make up for any losses encountered by our staff due to changes in policy, flight cancellations, or travel restrictions. Moreover, all campuses under Xiehe Education Group are collaborating to set up clear, public channels of communication for our foreign teachers to stay up to date with the latest developments on government policy and the outbreak situation. In the meantime, we are supporting our foreign teachers every step of the way, working together as a community to protect ourselves during the epidemic.
No matter where we come from or where we find ourselves – we will conquer this crisis together.