My previous post spoke of my frustration concerning unqualified individuals getting into China to teach at private preschools. In my WeChat group with these young people from Canada, Britain and the US, they continue to share vital information. Despite my complaint of their qualifications, all are very generous in helping one another, supporting one another, adding encouragement, answering questions and honestly making the journey to their schools less stressful. They detail their arrivals into Hong Kong (flights are numerous and much cheaper than the mainland, plus only a 3 + 4 day quarantine period), important Apps to download, the complicated procedures to cross into the Mainland either by train or air, payment methods (no paper money anymore, folks — all via credit card or electronically), suggestions of what favorite goodies to bring for quarantine, how to pack, China Health Code hints, documents to fill out, detailing Covid testing procedures and which VPN services to use or sign up for so Internet use (a must for Covid requirements) is continuous throughout.
Personally speaking, if I were to go it on my own, I have no idea how I’d ever manage. I mentioned before this group is one which pays for recruiting services by Brit Arnold Vis. Arnold has connections with tried-and-true private schools who use his services to find teachers. He is very careful about choosing Chinese educational institutions that are legitimate, hold-the-foreigner’s-hand, have spotless reputations of support and payment that adheres to the contract.
Many do not and there are horror stories about those which I’ve heard throughout the many years I’ve taught in China.
Arnold also carefully vets those wanting to go through his agency. He chooses responsible individuals, leads them through interviews, provides excellent follow-ups, Zooms with the group to explain the most recent changes in China’s Covid policies and answers any texts, emails or WeChat postings almost immediately. The cost of his services I have forgotten but I believe it is close to $600 US, if not more. I will say you get what you pay for and Arnold delivers, from the moment you step into his Zoom call to the moment you arrive at your school and are embraced by the foreign affairs director who sees to all your adjustment and practical needs.
Are China’s Private Children’s Pre-schools Still a Big Draw among Wealthy to Upper Middle Class Parents?
The answer is “Yep!”
Read the below and find out just how lucrative these school businesses are. I was astounded by this article, written by a Chinese child development expert. Despite her knowledge and thorough understanding in her field, including doubting the credibility of such pre-school classes, as a Chinese parent she was sucked into them.
Notice the cost of such courses. No wonder these schools are desperate for the foreigner’s face and offer starting salaries of $2,000 to $3,000 a month (plus bonuses) plus free housing to those from overseas they employ. Do their Chinese counterparts, who teach as well, and those who carefully create the strict curriculum and lessons to be followed, receive the same amount?
Not on your life.
I can fully understand why China’s President Xi (pronounced “she”) put the kibosh on so many of these schools 2 years ago. It put thousands out of business except the most prominent ones. The owners then turned to other means of employment. I personally know of 4 in Luzhou. One changed her rented 6-room office space into a coffee cafe. Another opened a pet shop. The third is selling cosmetics online and the fourth joined a friend to open and sell furniture in a shop.
They are the lucky ones.
Most have been stuck with no employment at all. How they are managing is beyond me.