Source:thepienews.com

Until China announced it would be closing its borders to non-citizens, schools in the country were doing their best to try to recruit new foreign English language teachers for public schools and training centres, with one chain offering recruiters bonuses of over 800 for every teacher that started before May.


As schools in Chinas western provinces reopen and the travel ban takes effect, recruiting English teachers from outside the country is going to be significantly more difficult for an industry that already suffers from a severe shortage of qualified staff. Its an issue that is likely to impact the ESL industry across Asia.


According to the International TEFL Academy, around 100,000 ESL jobs open up every year a large proportion of which are in Asia with only half of all teachers renewing their annual contracts. In China and South Korea, around 1,000 new teachers are hired every month.


Theres hundreds and thousands of small schools that rely on native language foreign teachers, explains Jean-Pierre Guittard, owner of edtech company iTeach.world.


Often these are young people with a technical certificate [TEFL, CELTA, etc.]. Those people are suddenly without employment so theyve all gone home. 


And so the concern is, what happens afterwards? You can reopen your school, but where are the teachers going to be?


Guittard tells The PIE News that his companys virtual classroom platform has seen a substantial increase in interest from ESL schools in Asia.


While some have switched online and been able to keep their teachers employed, institutes are now looking ahead to when those contracts end. 


Travel bans, lockdowns and unwillingness to travel are going to diminish the number of teaching job candidates.


Theyre gonna have to work harder to recruit new teachers, he says. Its a huge process involving work permits, filtering applicants and training. Its not simply putting an ad out like here in San Francisco, where I can find a qualified teacher, interview them and if theyre good, they can start in a few days or the next day.


It will take months to revamp and to rebuild their staff. Those schools always had an ongoing pipeline of people coming in. That pipeline is empty now.


How schools react to coronavirus is also going to impact their reputation. 


Teachers working for some schools including top brands have reported being fired and unpaid as a result of the outbreak.



Several reviews from one major chains employees claim that the company took half of every staff members February payment with only one weeks notice.


An article from the Japan Times noted that some employers there had also refused to pay foreign teachers (in violation of local law) and that the coronavirus has exposed gaps in Japan Exchange and Teaching contracts that dont offer staff any protection in the case of serious illness or natural disasters closing their workplace.


In Vietnam, the business model of schools is largely determining their outlook. Those catering to test preparation and older students are finding adopting edtech easier and are able to keep their staff on.


At the English language chain YOLA, where Nam Nguyen is general director, the transition to online learning has been relatively painless. Although some teachers have left, the majority have stayed on.


Weve got about 350 teachers in our centres and about 30 teachers have left the country. 


The majority have returned to their home countries rather than looking for work somewhere else, Nguyen says.


Others have also resigned from YOLA and taken work with Chinese companies online like VIP Kid but they are still based here. So some of them are waiting out the crisis and then people will be offline again.


But Nguyen adds that schools who are more reliant on foreign teachers YOLA has a roughly 50:50 split between foreign and local ones and those that cater to younger students are seeing their business suffer most severely.


You cant have a four-year-old kid sitting in front of a screen for two hours. 


Classroom management is a whole new sort of dynamic for that type of teacher, he said.


Although schools are due to open in Vietnam in April it is likely to be pushed back, however some parents have also decided they will be keeping younger children at home for the rest of the semester. In this case, it may give some schools a breather.


So there may be a demand for teacher recruitment in more specialist subjects, Nguyen says.


But I cant imagine kindergarten teachers or general English teachers for younger students being in high demand because of consumer behaviour.


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Foreign Teachers Shortage is Real and Growing

Source:thepienews.com

Until China announced it would be closing its borders to non-citizens, schools in the country were doing their best to try to recruit new foreign English language teachers for public schools and training centres, with one chain offering recruiters bonuses of over 800 for every teacher that started before May.


As schools in Chinas western provinces reopen and the travel ban takes effect, recruiting English teachers from outside the country is going to be significantly more difficult for an industry that already suffers from a severe shortage of qualified staff. Its an issue that is likely to impact the ESL industry across Asia.


According to the International TEFL Academy, around 100,000 ESL jobs open up every year a large proportion of which are in Asia with only half of all teachers renewing their annual contracts. In China and South Korea, around 1,000 new teachers are hired every month.


Theres hundreds and thousands of small schools that rely on native language foreign teachers, explains Jean-Pierre Guittard, owner of edtech company iTeach.world.


Often these are young people with a technical certificate [TEFL, CELTA, etc.]. Those people are suddenly without employment so theyve all gone home. 


And so the concern is, what happens afterwards? You can reopen your school, but where are the teachers going to be?


Guittard tells The PIE News that his companys virtual classroom platform has seen a substantial increase in interest from ESL schools in Asia.


While some have switched online and been able to keep their teachers employed, institutes are now looking ahead to when those contracts end. 


Travel bans, lockdowns and unwillingness to travel are going to diminish the number of teaching job candidates.


Theyre gonna have to work harder to recruit new teachers, he says. Its a huge process involving work permits, filtering applicants and training. Its not simply putting an ad out like here in San Francisco, where I can find a qualified teacher, interview them and if theyre good, they can start in a few days or the next day.


It will take months to revamp and to rebuild their staff. Those schools always had an ongoing pipeline of people coming in. That pipeline is empty now.


How schools react to coronavirus is also going to impact their reputation. 


Teachers working for some schools including top brands have reported being fired and unpaid as a result of the outbreak.



Several reviews from one major chains employees claim that the company took half of every staff members February payment with only one weeks notice.


An article from the Japan Times noted that some employers there had also refused to pay foreign teachers (in violation of local law) and that the coronavirus has exposed gaps in Japan Exchange and Teaching contracts that dont offer staff any protection in the case of serious illness or natural disasters closing their workplace.


In Vietnam, the business model of schools is largely determining their outlook. Those catering to test preparation and older students are finding adopting edtech easier and are able to keep their staff on.


At the English language chain YOLA, where Nam Nguyen is general director, the transition to online learning has been relatively painless. Although some teachers have left, the majority have stayed on.


Weve got about 350 teachers in our centres and about 30 teachers have left the country. 


The majority have returned to their home countries rather than looking for work somewhere else, Nguyen says.


Others have also resigned from YOLA and taken work with Chinese companies online like VIP Kid but they are still based here. So some of them are waiting out the crisis and then people will be offline again.


But Nguyen adds that schools who are more reliant on foreign teachers YOLA has a roughly 50:50 split between foreign and local ones and those that cater to younger students are seeing their business suffer most severely.


You cant have a four-year-old kid sitting in front of a screen for two hours. 


Classroom management is a whole new sort of dynamic for that type of teacher, he said.


Although schools are due to open in Vietnam in April it is likely to be pushed back, however some parents have also decided they will be keeping younger children at home for the rest of the semester. In this case, it may give some schools a breather.


So there may be a demand for teacher recruitment in more specialist subjects, Nguyen says.


But I cant imagine kindergarten teachers or general English teachers for younger students being in high demand because of consumer behaviour.


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