Interview regarding School Opening under COVID-19 Pandemic   [10.09.2020]

Interview regarding School Opening under COVID-19 Pandemic


Recently, CIG Geneva, Nyon and Lausanne successively started a new semester of Chinese courses according to the return time of Swiss primary and secondary schools. Each campus welcomed new and old students.


On the other side of Eurasia, China also started school at the end of August and beginning of September. The current situation of COVID-19 pandemic makes the start of school this autumn particularly special.


The Chinese public opinion field (an online forum) invited Mrs. Jun CHU (CIG founder and director), Mr. Dongchao BIAN (Secretary of the Party Committee of Beijing Jingshan School Yuanyang Branch) and Mr. Yang ZHAO (a Chinese global commentator) to talk about the pandemic prevention and control for the new school year in the fall of 2020.


Interview video:


Mrs. Chu mentioned that there are 26 cantons in Switzerland, and the federal government allows the starting time of school and prevention and control measures to be decided by the respective cantonal governments. CIG Nyon and Lausanne campuses, which are located in the canton of Vaud, are the first to start school. According to relevant regulations, all teachers are required to wear masks, whereas it is not obligatory for pupils under the age of 12. However, the students are all sitting at intervals, the breaks between classes are arranged staggered, and all school entrances have equipped with alcohol disinfectant. A majority of primary and secondary schools in other countries of Europe also start fully the autumn semester and adopt physical classrooms.


Regarding the persistence and change of Chinese education affected by the pandemic, Mrs. Chu focused on the following three points:


First, Switzerland closed all schools on March 13 this year. CIG took advantage of audio-visual teaching and immediately switched to online teaching. We provided tailor-made courses for Chinese native and non-native students, in order to assure a smooth running of all online classes. At the end of the trimester, we also completed online all oral and written exams as in previous school years. 


Second, we did not stop during the summer vacation. CIG organized a customized online teacher training on the topic of picture books in teaching, which was broadcasted by domestic teachers from China. As for students, we encouraged them to take part in the various online classes offered by the Chinese Language and Culture Education Foundation of China. In addition, we also participated in the Cloud Summer Camps held by the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese, including the Grand Canal summer camp organized by Jiangsu Overseas Chinese Affairs Office and the summer camp organized by Sichuan Overseas Chinese Affairs Office. These camps enhanced our students’ knowledge of Chinese culture and deepened their China complex. Many of them expressed that they were looking forward to participating in a field summer camp one day in China.


Third, our overseas Chinese teaching always tries to adopt innovative methods combining online and offline. This year’s special circumstances also inspired us with new models.


Under the pandemic situation, let us start from ourselves, act with self-discipline and face the new normal with peace of mind. We believe that tomorrow will better!

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