Schools in the UK have been inundated with letters from their Chinese sister schools, sharing news and updates on the current coronavirus outbreak.
The letters share updates of school life in China, where an estimated 180 million students are currently taking their studies online.
Though none of the partner schools have been directly affected by the virus, their letters describe various preventative measures being taken across China to limit its spread.
The letters also go on to express the schools’ gratitude in relation to the concern shown by their UK sister schools.
One Wirral secondary school received a letter from Taicang No.2 Middle School in the Jiangsu province. It spoke about how China has “taken advantage of its system and given its national strength to adopt the most comprehensive, strictest, and most thorough prevention and control measures to fight the epidemic and prevent its spread”.
It also talked about the bond between No.2 Middle School and its Wirral sister school, commenting on how their overseas relationship is helping to form a community within an increasingly globalised world.
“In the battle against the new crown virus, the Chinese people’s strength and bravery, and the tremendous efforts made to control the epidemic, touched the world,” it said.
“Greetings across the ocean – may the mountains and rivers be boundless, and the world be safe.”
Everyone ‘Safe and Sound’
Meanwhile, another secondary school in Surrey received words of well wishes from its sister school Yuping No.1 Middle School in Guizhou.
The middle school’s headteacher, Principal Lu Zhendong, wrote: “Your letter has been received, thank you very much for your concern!
“The outbreak of the new type of pneumonia was all of a sudden. It spreads widely but we are not in panic nor fear. We have participated in various activities to fight against the epidemic.”
Mr. Zhendong went on to describe the various protocols currently taken by students and teachers to limit the spread of the virus.
“We actively respond to the government’s call to wash hands frequently, ventilate as much as possible, stay at home, take online course, exercise often at home, communicate more to avoid bad mood, etc,” he said.
“So please be assured that everyone from Yuping No.1 Middle School is safe and sound.”
These heartwarming and positive words were then continued in Yuping’s reciprocal concern for its sister school in the UK.
“Now the pneumonia has become a worldwide issue, we are concerning about the situation in UK as well,” the letter reads.
“Hopefully, you have well prepared for prevention and coronavirus control.”
The letter ends on a positive note, offering the school’s support and well wishes: “Spring has arrived. We stand in solidarity with you through these difficult times.
“The difficult times will disappear, but our partnership will stay. Look forward to seeing you when everything comes back to normal”
Online Teaching Work Continuing ‘as Normal’
A secondary school in Derby was also pleased to receive a response from their sister school, Hefei No.17 Middle School in China’s Anhui province.
The letter begins: “Thanks for the care from our sister school. During the coronavirus outbreaking period, you have been thinking about the health of our teachers and students. Thank you!
”The difficult times will disappear, but our partnership will stay.Principal Yu Zhendong
“At present, all of our teachers and students are safe. We are carrying out normal online teaching work. All of our teachers and students and the people of the whole country are fighting against the epidemic together. We will win the overall victory of the war. May the teachers and students of our friendship school take good care!”
Derby and Derbyshire council has shared a sister city partnership with Hefei in China since 2016, to facilitate both cities’ aspirations to work on economic development projects, tourism, culture, sporting and education initiatives.
The Chinese letters were sent in response to letters of heartwarming well wishes and condolences sent by the UK schools to their sister schools last month.
The letters, sent via True Education Partnerships, expressed concern over the health and well-being of their Chinese sister schools, and added words of encouragement and support.