Saturday, March 15, 2008

Mixed News for Canadians teaching ESL Abroad

I was looking for additional statistics about the overseas teaching industry and how the changes will affect Canadian ESL English teachers.

I read a Guardian article dated December 2007 and it has provided some intersting numbers.

The Guardin article stated

"South Korea responds to fears about bogus foreign teachers with draconian visa rules ...

The rules will affect an estimated 17,000 foreign English instructors...

teachers... will be required to provide an affidavit of any criminal convictions, undergo a medical and drug test, provide sealed academic transcripts and have their university diplomas inspected.

...English teachers residing outside Korea will have to have an interview at a Korean embassy or consulate before they take up their teaching posts...

...a report from the ministry of education stating that more than 106 foreign English teachers in Korea's public school system are working illegally ... between 2001 and August 2007, 1,481 foreign language teachers have been caught for a range of offences including forged degrees, visa violations and general lawbreaking."

And a quote "Many teachers are wondering if the experience of working in South Korea will be worth the burden of the paper-work and increasing restrictions."

You can read the entire article here:
http://education.guardian.co.uk/tefl/story/0,,2228821,00.html

Our opinion is that this is a mixed benefit and problem situation.

Getting rid of the perverts, fakes and frauds is great.

Locking teachers into single employers contracts is very bad.

Having less civil rights than ordinary Korean citizens is very very bad. The middle east provides no rights to foreign teachers but pay twice the salary. Good teachers will go to Korea at the low salaries offered only if they have their civil rights.

Having an interview and providing documentation is manditory for all North American teaching jobs - its no big deal for an international teaching position.

I did not see any numbers for illegal education and recruiting agents or illegal school owners going to jail. These criminals will go out and hire another 1000 illegal teachers and bring them into Korea causing more trouble unless they are shut down and put into prison. Getting rid of the current illegal teachers is only one-third of the problem.

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