Dear AITECE Teachers, National Coordinators, Board Members and Friends of AITECE,
Greetings to you all from here in a hot and humid Hong Kong.
This is our second strange summer in a row due to Covid induced restrictions. Yet watching the opening of the Tokyo Olympics over this weekend gives a sense of hope and deepens our belief in human resilience.
This past year and a half have brought many changes to AITECE and its work. Many of you had to learn how to teach on line and conduct meetings via Zoom or other media platforms. Many teachers could not return to China and had to rely on technology to keep in contact with their students and other staff members.
Here in our Hong Kong AITECE office we have had some personnel changes. Rita Chiu, who had been our AITECE Secretary for almost twenty one years, had to resign due to serious illness. She is currently undergoing treatment at home and it is proving to be a slow process.
Joseph Houston, who resigned just last November from the role of AITECE General Manager is also seriously ill and currently is in hospital undergoing treatment here in Hong Kong. We ask you to keep both Rita and Joseph in your prayers at this difficult time.
Two of our former AITECE Teachers passed away this year. Leslie McNamara taught in Nanchang and Ann Laidlaw taught in Chongqing. After completing their teaching assignments in China both Ann and Leslie made important contributions to spreading news of the work of AITECE when they returned to their home countries. May they both rest in peace.
After Rita Chiu resigned from our office we were faced with the challenge to find a suitable person to continue in this role. Last month we invited Ms Ellen Mak to take up this role and she is now well settled in our office as our new AITECE Secretary. She will gradually introduce herself to you and I’m sure you will find her helpful and accommodating. The contact telephone number and email address remain unchanged.
Because of Covid related restrictions travel for foreigners into China continues to remain quite difficult. We have been fortunate in that over the last nine months two of our AITECE Teachers have been able to return to China. Janice Tennant and Margaret Gill managed to get all the necessary documents which allowed them to re-enter China and resume their face to face teaching. Unfortunately, the various University Departments are all telling us that it will be next spring before this situation might change. I think China is quite wary of all foreigners arriving into China right now. The Winter Olympics will be held early next year in China and I suspect that it will only be after they are completed that Universities might be in a more relaxed position to offer the opportunity of applying for entry visas.
Currently we have thirteen AITECE teachers actually teaching students; six of them are in China and able to teach face to face and seven are outside China teaching on line. We also have seven other candidates who are hoping to become AITECE teachers in the next year or two. Recently Dan Troy, one of the members of our AITECE Board of Directors was able to meet in person with all our Teachers who are living in China. We appreciate the effort Dan made to travel and meet our teachers in China and we thank the teachers for the welcome and hospitality they extended to Dan during his time there.
If you have any queries or concerns about any aspect of our AITECE work please feel free to contact me or our Secretary, Ellen Mak at this AITECE email address firstname.lastname@example.org
With best regards,
General Manager, AITECE
Hong Kong. July 24, 2021.