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Reflection on Town Hall Webinar and Impact of COVID-19 on Secondary Schools

Reflection on Town Hall Webinar and Impact of COVID-19 on Secondary Schools

By: Ning Deng
Vanke Meisha Academy

Changing hats from an audience member to first-time panelist, the COVID-19 International ACAC webinar marked a personal milestone. Of course, I never expected this switch to happen in such a challenging time—the outbreak of COVID-19 spurred my engagement in the Town Hall discussion as an Advocacy & Outreach Committee member. As Christmas is to Westerners, Spring Festival is for Chinese the time to travel home, celebrate and enjoy festivities, and hang out over nice cuisine. However, the “STOP” button was pressed for the 2020 Spring Festival when Wuhan locked down on January 23rd, a day before China’s New Year’s Eve. Life changed for students and teachers at every school in China, unable to return to campuses and with no clear return date. Consequently, new buzzwords of “cancellation”, “online learning”, “college admissions impact” spread quickly among concerned students, parents, and counselors.

A first impact on students has been online learning, which started mid-February with technology support from Zoom, Teams, Dingding, etc. In the webinar, panelists shared counseling best practices such as periodical online counseling workshops/classes/one-on-one counseling sessions with students, virtual parent meetings, WeChat sharing, E-documentation—all of which are keeping students informed and prepared. Panelists also fielded tough questions about online learning quality and assurance measures and how to maintain engaged learning and quality services during this difficult time.

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We’re All in This Together

We’re All in This Together

 

By: Sherrie Huan
Senior Regional Manager (China/North Asia), The University of Sydney

When reflecting upon the two Coronavirus Member Forum Webinars run on the 18th February, I couldn’t help thinking of this scene in “High School Musical.”

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Educational Equality in China: How Online Learning During Coronavirus Has Changed the Status Quo

Educational Equality in China: How Online Learning During Coronavirus Has Changed the Status Quo

By: Francis Miller
Director of College Counseling, Xi'an Tieyi High School International Curriculum Center

Make no mistake, much of China is currently in lockdown due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. In urban centers, streets are empty and many businesses remain closed. Subways and buses are shuttered or running on limited service. The most visibly functioning public places are supermarkets, but even those lack their usual hustle and bustle. 

While the lockdown continues, educators are doing what they do best: making do with the time and resources available. Public schools across China have been ordered by the Ministry of Education to put off the spring semester, and to tíngkè bù tíngxué 停课不停学 — stop classes but don’t stop learning.

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COUNTER POINT: Admission Officers Seek Direct Contact; Counselors, students, and parents need to be willing to receive it.

 




Counter point: Admission Officers Seek Direct Contact; Counselors, students, and parents need to be willing to receive it.

In a professional WeChat admissions group, a high school counselor in southern China lamented that she couldn’t get parents to come to information sessions at her school hosted by admission officers from lesser known U.S. universities. Several colleagues, including myself, proffered suggestions: create a fact sheet about the university, advertise the event in Chinese on her school’s WeChat account, and provide translation on the day of the event. Since this was a counselor I had come to know through multiple exchanges, I then messaged her privately and joked that she should say representatives from an Ivy League school would be joining the unknown school. I guaranteed she’d have a full house. We laughed, but it wasn’t funny; it was true.


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IS THE ADMISSION PROCESS BROKEN?

Is the Admission Process Broken?
A Counselor's Perspective from China 

 

By Hamilton Gregg
HGIEC - Educational Consultant

The following is a submission from a long time OACAC member expressing his view on the current state of admissions as it pertains to students in China, and beyond.  Hamilton offers this reflection as the start of a dialogue, and with any discussion there is surely to be different points of views. OACAC invites readers to provide their views and perspectives in the Comments section at the bottom of the article. 

This year has been a bit tumultuous with month after month of SAT cheating scandals, continued reports of unethical agents or companies manufacturing outstanding student portfolios, intense “coaching” on essays and all sorts of other behavior to throw out the question “what’s going on?”









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