SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Some Chinese students returning to school after lockdown are grappling with familial conflict while others are stressing over how coronavirus disruptions have affected their academic performance, teachers and school counsellors say.
The heightened post-lockdown anxiety has become a matter of central government concern as domestic media report a spate of suicides by young people. It has also led to unprecedented measures by schools and local governments to focus on student mental health – a topic that like suicide has often been taboo in Chinese society.
“There have been some heartbreaking incidents as schools reopened,” Yan Wu, vice mayor of the southern city of Zhuhai, said at China’s annual parliamentary meeting last month.
“This highlights the importance and urgency of promoting mental health development in young students,” he said.
At the parliamentary meeting, at least four delegates put forward proposals for more attention to be paid to students’ psychological needs.
In one Shanghai district, there have been 14 suicides by primary and secondary school students so far this year – more than annual numbers for the last three years, Li Guohua, deputy mayor of Shanghai’s Pudong New Area district, told financial magazine Caixin in May.
“It’s the tip of an iceberg,” he was quoted as saying.
Reuters was unable to contact Li or confirm the number with local authorities.
The state-owned Health Times also reported on Sunday that nationwide, 18 students had jumped off buildings in the past three months and quoted experts calling for more focus on student mental health. The article was, however, soon deleted – a common occurrence in China when sensitive topics are raised.
As China eased measures to stem the outbreak of the coronavirus, students began shifting from online classes back to classrooms in March.
One online survey of 1.22 million primary and secondary students conducted that month by the southern province of Guangdong’s health commission and a university concluded that 10.5% were potentially grappling with mental health issues. Detailed findings were not published.
In late April, China’s education ministry began telling schools to pay attention to mental health and adjust lesson plans so that students feel less academic pressure. Nearly a dozen local governments have since published measures, with the eastern province of Anhui scrapping some exams.
The city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus in China, Hainan province and Shanghai are among local governments providing new “life education” classes aimed at helping students deal with stress and grief.
In one such class, students were divided into two groups who raced to form English words, but one group was given a much harder set of letters – a prompt for a discussion about stressful situations.
“The purpose was to make students aware that feeling stressed is natural, and that how you deal with that stress can lead to different outcomes,” said the teacher.
She was one of six Shanghai-based teachers and school counsellors interviewed for this story. All declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak to media.
“Reopening after the lockdown was very different compared to a normal return by kids after winter vacation,” said a counsellor at a Shanghai high school.
She said her workload has increased as students consult about academic pressure and study plans, and that she has online meetings with at least two families every week prompted by requests from students.
“I am hoping the virus will teach kids how to deal with changes in life. Life is full of difficulties,” she said.
Reporting and photo: Reuters
Emirates undertakes largest known fleet retrofit project
Emirates has kick-started its plans to upgrade the entire interior cabins of 120 Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft – two of the largest commercial aircraft types in service today.
This ambitious project, representing a multi-billion dollar investment to ensure Emirates’ customers “fly better” for the coming years, officially commences in November and is managed entirely by Emirates’ Engineering team.
The target is to completely retrofit four Emirates aircraft from start to finish every month, continuously for over 2 years. Once the 67 earmarked A380s are refreshed and back in service, 53 777s will undergo their facelift. This will see nearly 4,000 brand new Premium Economy seats installed, 728 First Class suites refurbished and over 5,000 Business Class seats upgraded to a new style and design when the project is complete in April 2025.
In addition, carpets and stairs will be upgraded, and cabin interior panels refreshed with new tones and design motifs including the iconic ghaf trees which are native to the UAE.
No other airline has handled a retrofit of this magnitude in-house, and there’s no blueprint for such an undertaking. Therefore Emirates Engineering teams have been planning and testing extensively, to establish and streamline processes, and identify and address any possible snags.
Trials began on an A380 in July, where experienced engineers literally took each cabin apart piece-by-piece and logged every step. From removing seats and panelling to bolts and screws, every action was tested, timed and mapped out. Potential impediments to completing the installation of Emirates’ new Premium Economy Class or the retrofit of the remaining three cabins in just 16 days were flagged and documented for expert teams to review and address.
As part of the programme, new purpose-built workshops will be set up at Emirates Engineering to repaint, re-trim and re-upholster Business and Economy Class seats with new covers and cushioning. First Class suites will be carefully disassembled and sent to a specialised company to replace the leather, arm rests and other materials.
From the trials, Engineers discovered several unexpected solutions for instance: that existing food catering trucks could be easily repurposed to move parts destined for refurbishment from the aircraft to the workshop for their refresh, as these vehicles had doors of the right width and offer sufficient space.
Until the retrofit programme starts in earnest in November, a cross-disciplinary team has been assembled to regularly review the planning process, address any issues, and track updates on various aspects of the project such as procurement, staffing, and training.
Emirates’ new Premium Economy cabin class, which offers luxurious seats, more legroom, and a service to rival many airlines’ business offering, is currently available to Emirates customers travelling on popular A380 routes to London, Paris, Sydney. More customers will be able to experience the airline’s new Premium Economy cabins starting from year end, as the retrofit programme picks up momentum.
Eleanor helps over 30 Maldives hotels elevate guest services
Eleanor has been named as one of the top 10 concierge software providers globally.
Based on accurate, timely reviews from real users, the HotelTechAwards rank the world’s best hotel software firms and products and it also provides hoteliers direct access to a growing network of hotel technology professionals and decision-makers.
“The guest experience is the cornerstone of our platform. Our unified resort wide solution, Eleanor, has been built for resorts off the back of many years working in the industry and addresses the needs of both Sales and Marketing departments and perhaps just as importantly, the operational requirements of the team on the ground at the property. The days of resorts working with disjointed systems are now behind us,” says Darren Caple, co-founder and CEO.
“We are on a mission to make the guest’s resort experience as easy and as frictionless as possible. Whereas traditional providers in the market have come at this purely from a guest communication perspective, our background in resorts has allowed us to combine this basic requirement with the streamlining of operational processes. The result is truly a resort wide solution that removes the need for countless different systems to be deployed.
Eleanor allows resorts to deliver consistent, superior service levels to guests across all stages of their journey with contactless features helping to alleviate sensitive touch-points in the post pandemic period. More than 30 properties in the Maldives use our Eleanor platform to help butlers and guest services elevate the guest experience. These properties are seeing an increase in incremental revenue by over 30% and operational efficiencies of 600+ man hours per month. We are also beginning to roll out the platform in some Caribbean properties!”
Eleanor is making waves in the hospitality industry by pushing the conventional limits of what a resort guest app can achieve through its unique ability to facilitate direct bookings for services and activities. The traditional ‘request to book’ feature that is common amongst almost all other hotel apps is removed by a power booking and operational platform sitting at the heart of the solution that covers all the resorts’ departments. It’s this module which realises enormous operational benefits and insights for the resort.
“We, at Eleanor, are humbled and honoured that our clients have provided such positive reviews. Feedback from our clients, partners and hoteliers are incredibly valuable for us and we will continue to improve our offering and services”, said Caple.
To celebrate this success, Eleanor is currently offering resorts a free one month trial, together with free setup and training and discounted monthly fees.
Eleanor, founded in 2018 and has its headquarters in the United Kingdom. Created from over 15 years of hands-on expertise, Eleanor allows resorts to deliver consistent, superior service levels to its guests across all stages of their journey with contactless features helping to alleviate sensitive touch-points in the post pandemic period. Eleanor also helps to unlock operational efficiencies and boost incremental revenue and guest loyalty.
Hotel Tech Report’s Best Concierge Software 2022 Runner Up, reviewed as a preferred and reliable hotel software product by the global hotelier community.
For more information, visit www.eleanorapp.com.
Emirates’ recruiters scour the world for cabin crew talent with 30 city stops
Emirates, the world’s most global airline, is seeking talented people with a passion for service to join its award-winning cabin crew team.
As air travel returns with a vengeance, the airline’s recruiters are busy meeting and hiring candidates in 30 cities from now until the end of June. In this latest drive, Emirates’ teams will travel from Australia to the UK, and dozens of European cities in between, as well as Cairo, Algiers, Tunis and Bahrain.
Abdulaziz Al Ali, Emirates Group’s Executive Vice President for Human Resources said: “There’s no more exciting airline than Emirates for anyone interested in a flying career, and we’ve received tremendous interest since we began our recruitment drive for cabin crew in November.”
“While parts of the application process are done online, we always make the effort to meet our candidates in person whenever we can, and that is why our Talent Acquisition team is doing a whirlwind 30-city tour over the next 6 weeks to assess prospective candidates.”
Emirates’ truly global cabin crew team represent 160 nationalities, reflecting its customer mix and international operations in over 130 cities on six continents.
All Emirates crew are based in the exciting cosmopolitan city of Dubai, with company-provided accommodation, tax-free salary and more benefits.
Interested candidates can read more about the Emirates cabin crew role, and apply online at: https://www.emiratesgroupcareers.com/cabin-crew/
News3 days ago
Manta Air elevates to new heights with international flights to India starting from 2024
News1 week ago
Sheraton Maldives announces spectacular Festive Artisan Market: A day of culture, creativity, and community
News7 days ago
Angsana Velavaru welcomes new Executive Assistant Manager for Food and Beverage; ready to enhance culinary experience for “Festive Moments in our Hearts”
Celebration4 days ago
Milaidhoo Maldives: Seven years of luxury and tranquility in paradise
Celebration1 week ago
Amari Raaya Maldives unveils an extensive Festive Season programme
Awards1 week ago
Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa honored as Unrivaled Luxury Leader of 2023
Family1 week ago
JOALI BEING introduces multi-generational playground to enrich wellbeing vacations for families
Events6 days ago
A night of celestial wonders, luxury, and cosmic inspiration at Anantara Kihavah SKY Observatory by British astronaut Tim Peake