YWIES runs classes during the COVID crisis

Updated: Jun 2

classin, bringing normalcy to abnormal times

Yew Wah International Education Schools (YWIES) are built upon the many decades of experience of Yew Chung International School in offering quality international education in Hong Kong and mainland China. Yew Wah International Education Centre was first set up in Shanghai in 1998, and the first YWIES was founded in Yantai in 2000, and Yew Wah continues to extend its education services by starting up Yew Wah International Education Kindergartens and Yew Wah Infant and Toddler Education Centres in Chongqing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing and Rizhao. Yew Wah (YWIES) Response to Covid-19 YWIES took a very bold decision at an early stage, deciding that classes will continue despite school closures. The announcement was made to teachers one early morning, “Effective immediately, all teachers must be ready to conduct their lessons online.” For many teachers this news brought trepidation, which was understandable. They had never conducted their classes online. Their thoughts abound with questions and images of whole families crowded around students as they try to take class. Is this what they had to do now? Hand out meaningless digital stickers of virtual rockets, stars and emojis? Acknowledging that a decision has been made, Yew Wah’s teachers reacted quickly and took the steps to understand any and all concerns about the virtual learning measure. They called every parent and spoke to them individually so they could understand each household’s situation. They kept in regular contact to get feedback from parents during their children’s online learning experience. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, reassuring and inspiring. It not only validated the school management’s decision but also served as motivation for their teachers. Bring Debate Online using ClassIn It’s just another ordinary Thursday morning for tenth-grade students at Yew Wah. After clicking “Enter Classroom” to enter the ClassIn virtual classroom, they notice a simple background decorated with the symbol “辩” - the Chinese character for “debate”. Eight students are neatly arranged in 2 groups of four across the top of the screen by the teacher. What issue are they debating? They are debating whether the passengers on the cruise ship “Diamond Princess” should be isolated on board in quarantine or allowed to disembark. As students discuss this hot issue at the time, it’s clear that the online classroom environment has in no way diminished their enthusiasm and independence. Before class, students were assigned reading material consisting of articles and reports. Tasked to find controversial topics, students bring these debate items to the virtual class. As the debate begins, teacher Jiang Ying acts as he would in a normal classroom, using the virtual classroom to manage students participation. He makes sure students are on ‘stage’ (front and center using ClassIn) when it’s their turn to speak and he can place students together in groups to have collaborative discussions. “When our teacher said that we could create a temporary classroom in ClassIn, we began discussing the debate topics on our own,” Says Nancy, a YWIES Student. “What I find most fascinating about debate is that it forces us to confront things we otherwise might wish to ignore. It’s always in these sorts of situations where you have to concede one point in order to support another that you are able to clearly see people’s amazing capacity for mutual understanding. When your perspective is sheltered and unchallenged, you might feel that others are arrogant, but when you thoroughly discuss an issue, you are better able to see both sides.”