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Recent visa changes will benefit International students and keep Australia in competition: Abu Sadek

Commercial cookery and culinary arts are academic pathways that can lead to permanent residency. Source: Pixabay

The mode of teaching in educational institutions has changed due to the rules of COVID 19 Restriction, in most cases students are taking online lessons. However, in many cases, practical education is required for certain subjects, such as culinary arts. Mr Abu Sadek, CEO of the Australian Business and Culinary Institute, explains how their teaching mode has changed.

Mr. Abu Sadek Welcome to SBS Bangla

-Thanks for having me. 

You are running a Culinary Arts Institute, how are you conducting courses in coronavirus situation?

- Our courses are basically practical, but there are also some theoretical classes, too.  Those who are doing Certificate III in Commercial Cookery, a fair bit of practical classes are involved. In this case, we are continuing the theoretical classes online by Zoom video conferencing, when the practical components are needed, we defer Certificate IV theory classes, students submit their assignments online. And if need be, they come to the campus with a one-to-one appointment with the trainer and solve their problems, although it is a bit difficult. Another issue is that Commercial Cookery has a work based training - it is for students to go to restaurants and take hands-on training, the biggest challenge for us is that restaurants do not want to take our students in this coronavirus situation, leaving uncertainty about completing courses on time. In that case we always think that maybe the situation will get better, in this situation they have to make some changes in our academic calendar. There is frustration among the students about this.

Abu Sadek
Abu Sadek

How comfortable are the students, do they feel any challenge?

- Yes they do feel challenge sometimes, this online platform is completely new to many students. If they have any questions they ask online, but many are not comfortable in it. When they do classes online from home, it is seen that the surrounding issues distract them. The benefits of face-to-face classes are not possible online. When they have to look at practical subjects, it becomes a bit difficult online. When asked to come to campus, many are afraid to use public transport with most international students having no other choice.

Many students are facing financial problems during Coronavirus situation, such as paying tuition fees, so how are you dealing with this situation?

- The Victorian government has provided some financial support for international students, including our institute, in which many of them have received up to $1,200. But that is not enough, in this case we are giving them the opportunity to pay on a monthly basis, they are not being fined once the due date has passed. Moreover, we are continuing our efforts to communicate how we can help them.

Recently, the government has introduced some visa changes in favour of international students, what is your opinion on this?

- This is a very good initiative, those who are offshore or outside Australia can join online classes, these lessons will be considered equivalent to onshore, moreover they will be able to come to Australia at the end of the course if they are enrolled to any Australian University - this is a good aspect for the education sector and it keeps Australia competitive.

Is there any advice as a education provider for the students in terms of coronavirus crisis?

- In some cases some students are reluctant to take online classes by deferring the course due to the situation, my advice to them is to focus on completing the course on time, they can contact the institution if there is any financial problem. Those who are expecting a permanent visa upon completion of the course, have a higher risk because the Skill Migration List may change at any time, so they should finish the course even if it is difficult.

Do you have any plan in the future that you can let SBS Bangla listeners know?- We are contemplating on forming a team with some experts to support students, it will be formed mainly to focus on various issues of international students, advice on career pathways, their well being etc.

Mr. Abu Sadek, thank you very much for giving time to SBS Bangla.

- Pleasure. 

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