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URGENT: HONG KONG NET SCHEME
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ESLMaster



Joined: 11 Feb 2003
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2003 1:59 am    Post subject: URGENT: HONG KONG NET SCHEME Reply with quote

There are not too many posts about the HK NET SCHEME, so maybe this is a good sign...BUT:

Basically, I'm doing A LOT of research on the NET scheme. (awaiting an interview) I am currently a JET in Japan, and realize that maybe I didn't do enough homework before coming here. I have a MA in TESOL and love teaching...but I came to Asia to explore the culture, enjoy my work and save some money...All of which is either too expensive or too exhausting to do in Japan...haha! So with that in mind, I'd like to ask you:

1) Would you recommend SNET or PNET? why?

2) How are holidays, days-off, sick leave? Easy to take? Or hell?

3) Would you say the pay is good enough for a "non-party-animal" to live-on and save some?(Salary compared to moderate living expenses ie. internet service, phone, mobile phone, and tv included))

If one came in at the base-pay, could it support two people at all?

4)Is your workload managable, or are you given impossible teaching tasks, within impossible time-frames?

5) Japan can be so Brain-Numbing at times... in your opinion, how is HK on mental stimulation...? Things to see and do... culture... (outside of getting drunk and stumbling home...this is not my idea of entertainment)

6) Is there any kind of NET community contact (like the on the JET program?)

7) If you could do it again...would you? or are you looking for greener pastures?

Cool For any former JETs on the program...who did you get your "Statement of Service" letter from? I can not really ask my Kyoto-sensei...because I may end up recontracting...you know?.....


THANKS SO MUCH!!!!
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Scott in HK



Joined: 11 Jan 2003
Posts: 148

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2003 6:14 am    Post subject: Net Teacher Reply with quote

Okay...I will try to address each of your questions. But I want to stress that every NET's experience is different....your quality of life depends on your school.

If you get through the interview process and a school contacts you...you must get some things straight immediately before you sign a contract with that school.

check on your holidays....90 days in the contract with the added clause that teachers can asked to work during the holidays...

check your weekly load...some teachers have to work saturdays and this tends to make them grumpy

check how they are going to use you...all orals....all lower forms...one teacher i know spent his entire week just teaching phonics....

Secondary or Primary....i thought they were two different applications...you apply either for secondary or primary....the choice would depend on your experience...they only count the years that you taught the target group....so you can't use primary experience in the secondary scheme....

sick...varies from school to school but basically i haven't heard any horror stories....i can take a day off at any time for sick leave with just a call to the school in the morning...some schools need doctor's notes for everything....

holidays...as i said check...i get them all...and there are a lot

pay....yours won't be great because you don't have a teaching certificate...you will be capped out at about 23K a month if you have at least 6 years of experience...but you do start at 17K and with the allowance that is 30K....and you can save easily on this...i would think about 10K a month...which is about 2K canadian...maybe more...

it is enough to live on with a partner as the only extra cost would be food and maybe some utitlities...and if your partner finds a job then they can add to your income....lots of part time teaching and under the table tutorial work to do....

my workload is easy....i teach upper forms and i have taught the same classes for five years...others have it much harder...check with your school before you sign

Hong Kong is filled with things to do...i don't do them as i am married with a kid and with in the new territories...but my friends in the city have a good time...

There is a group called NESTA that can help you out...you will get some sort of newsletter at your school within the first month...

I have been here for 5 years which means i have re-signed twice...so obviously i did it again..but at the end of this contract and my sixth year that is enough....the money is great...i have a teaching cert and eight years experience...their are no greener pastures money wise...but the teaching is dull and my korean wife wants to go home so...i am out of here at the end of my contract
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ESLMaster



Joined: 11 Feb 2003
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2003 6:44 am    Post subject: Teaching Certificate Reply with quote

Thanks for your help...I have a Masters in TESOL...is this not considered a teaching certificate in Hong Kong? Sad
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Scott in HK



Joined: 11 Jan 2003
Posts: 148

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2003 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think a MA is considered a teaching certificate in any country. They want you to be qualified to teach public school in your own country.

The big difference seems to be the practicum that b'ed take during their degree....when i applied that were insistent that they have a letter stating exactly how long my practicum was from the schools where i taught.

The idea behind the NET program was to take qualified teachers from English speaking countries and see if they could 'change the system' from within...it has been failure for the most part. But certified teachers still make more money than MA grads....in fact if you have a TESOL diploma...you will also get the same as a MA.

If you have the teaching cert. and an MA...the MA adds nothing to your salary.
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Peter



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Posts: 161

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2003 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Guardian newspaper has an Education section, within there is an ESL section.
One of the articles is about the experience of a teacher in one of the lowest decile schools in HK.
The whole ESL section is a good intro for ESL in general
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Roger



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 9138

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2003 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think, Scotts47 has filled you in well. I have no NET experience, but I have worked in HK and am rather familiar with the place, so I just want to add a few observations as a sideline.

If you want to live in Asia but can't forego Western creature comforts, then HK is the place to be! It certainly has the ideal mix of modernism and traditionalism, Europe and Asia! You have an enormous selection of restaurants, albeit pricey ones. Cheaper ones tend to be in the Indian subcontinent range, luckily my preference!
HK has an excellent transport system and the best buses, trains, hovercraft money can buy!

If you don't speak the local language, you hardly ever get lost. Signs are usually bilingual, and you invariably bump into someone willing to help.

There are great outdoors - country parks, islands with no motor traffic, mountains that go as high as 950 meters. Even in the city, you find leafy trees and parks. HK is a city of minorities, of all religions. There are great libraries too.

But life is rather hectic. Crowds get at times unbelievably dense. Chinese are rather noisy. YOu may be privy to your neighbours bedroom antics or to quarrels in the house. They use mobile phones just about anywhere. While spitting is not so widely practised, other dirty habits are ineradicable, such as throwing rubbish out the window, or discarding it in parks.

As for teaching in HK, I would add that some kids may be very obedient and polite, but you can't count on being posted to such a class. Kids from wealthy backgrounds tend to be rather obnoxious because their parents simply assume that money buys any education, and diligence is not a must-have quality in their kids.
Recently, to my surprise, a local newspaper carried an item on physical violence in some schools. In fact, an Aussie female teacher got manhandled by a teenager student! She had to go to hospital, and the principal at her school was reported to have commented "so what...? It could have been WORSE!"
A veteran NET, one Mrs Bunce, thereupon commented through the Letters column that this was by no means an isolated case of bad student behavior! Unfortunately, it appears to be so common that it makes hardly any headlines!

I am not claiming I have personal experience of physical abuse - far from it. But I do believe this sort of deportment is to be found.
Just take a MTR train or the KCR and watch how commuters stampede, push and shove their way into the carriages before those inside get out!
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foster



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 485
Location: Honkers, SARS

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2003 4:42 pm    Post subject: THANKS GUYS!!!!!!!! Reply with quote

Thank you to Scott and everyone who answered the ESL master's questions. I too have an interview in Hong Kong for the NET program next month and was concerned about many of the things that ESL mentioned.

I recently received an email from the NET saying that they will pay 1000$HK towards our travel....that seemed like a rather generous offer for just coming for an interview, which makes me think they are serious about hiring.

Did anyone else receive this email?

Again...thanks SO much for the information guys. If anyone wishes to email about more information, that would be greatly appreciated.

Tanya
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Egas
Guest





PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2003 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Forster,

I've got an interview in about three weeks for the NET scheme. As others here have suggested, I'll wait until I get an offer from a school before committing. Experience has taught me that the negotiation phase is absolutely vital. Not only should you be explicit about what you want, you should trust your gut instinct about the people you are dealing with.

I've got a fair bit of experience and high school qualifications behind me, so I should get something out of it. I'll wait and see.
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delian



Joined: 02 Mar 2003
Posts: 40
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2003 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,

I've read these postings with interest, as I also have an interview with NET in two weeks. Beyond the basic information about the NET scheme, this is the first place I've been that has actually given me some relevant advice.
I would really appreciate it if Scott from HK, or anyone else with some experience with the whole NET program, would be nice enough to answer a few more specific questions:

1) I have an MA in Applied Linguistics/TESL AND a post-graduate year-long TESL Certificate from Concordia University in Montreal. Will both of these things be 'worth' anything to the NET people? Or will I be at the bottom of the pay-scale? My TESL Certificate included a practicum.

2) What counts as 'full-time' to them? I have been working at Concordia University as an ESL/EFL instructor 5 to 6 days a week, for at least 12 in-class contact hours a week but since this is a university, no one is actually 'full-time' (unless you have tenure) because we are all on contract. Therefore, even though I have been working these hours full-time for 3 years - I am on contract, thus a 'part-time' employee. Will any of my experience count?

3) What happens in the interview with NET? They are paying my way to Toronto from Montreal. I am supposed to bring in all my original documents, etc. - but will they offer me a job there (if I am deemed acceptable, of course) or will I have to wait in limbo until a school might contact me? And then, should I not necessarily say 'yes' to the first school? How does this work?

I would really like to move back to Asia, and live in Hong Kong for awhile, so I've been feeling somewhat positive about this potential job - should I still?

Thanks for any advice.
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Scott in HK



Joined: 11 Jan 2003
Posts: 148

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2003 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is from the website...

Quote:
Appointees with a PGDE or equivalent (not TEFL/TESL qualifications) will enter at HK$19,055 (approx. *US$2,448) per month.

Those without a PGDE will enter at the minimum of the pay scale and will not be permitted to proceed beyond HK$22,075 (approx. *US$2,836) per month.


It is fairly clear that without a teaching certificate of some kind, the number of rungs on the pay ladder are limited. I suppose you can make an argument for your one year tesl or that your ma had a practicum, but I don't know how it will turn out.

Full-time...if I remember is whether the school you worked for considered you full time or not. I don't remember any set number of hours per day. But it has been a long time and getting credit for time served is one of the biggest headaches that NETs face.


You will not be offered a job at the interview. If you pass the interview process, then a school will contact you and offer you an appointment. It seems now that some teachers are saying 'no' to their schools, but when I applied they just gave you a school and you went. Could you say 'no'? Easily if you find out they like you to work on your holidays or Saturdays. But they don't control your salary, so don't refuse a certain school because of the salary offer. They have nothing to do with that. Just make sure your school stresses that you were a full time employee.
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Bertrand



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Posts: 293

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2003 3:57 am    Post subject: Re: URGENT: HONG KONG NET SCHEME Reply with quote

Cf. comments below prefaced with **

Basically, I'm doing A LOT of research on the NET scheme. (awaiting an interview) I am currently a JET in Japan, and realize that maybe I didn't do enough homework before coming here. I have a MA in TESOL and love teaching...but I came to Asia to explore the culture, enjoy my work and save some money...All of which is either too expensive or too exhausting to do in Japan...haha! So with that in mind, I'd like to ask you:

1) Would you recommend SNET or PNET? why?

** I'm a PNET and I would recommend it; less work, less marking, easier work (though you may have to work every or every other Saturday as a PNET unlike SNETS - most of whom go to Macau or somewhere every weekend). I work Mon to Fri morning and Tue and Thur afternoons plus Sat morning activities (drama, etc.). I'm home at 1pm most days.

2) How are holidays, days-off, sick leave? Easy to take? Or hell?

**HK is professional, as I'm sure Japan is, too, and standards are high. If you follow procedure then you get what you are told you can get.

3) Would you say the pay is good enough for a "non-party-animal" to live-on and save some?(Salary compared to moderate living expenses ie. internet service, phone, mobile phone, and tv included))

**Telephone calls are free in HK; even pay phones only cost 1 dollar for 10 minutes (compare with the UK!). Travel is cheap and mobile phones are nothing, really nothing. I earn 20,000 HK dollars a month and can live very happily on, say, 5,000.

If one came in at the base-pay, could it support two people at all?

**With the 13,000 HK dollars housing allowance as well? Of course!

4)Is your workload managable, or are you given impossible teaching tasks, within impossible time-frames?

**Everything is fine for me at least.

5) Japan can be so Brain-Numbing at times... in your opinion, how is HK on mental stimulation...? Things to see and do... culture... (outside of getting drunk and stumbling home...this is not my idea of entertainment)

**There is not much getting drunk here; I've never seen it; not even with the Ex-Pats. It's quite quiet for a large city! Loads to see and do!

6) Is there any kind of NET community contact (like the on the JET program?)

**Don't know.

7) If you could do it again...would you? or are you looking for greener pastures?

**I'm here for life (though my wife to be here (from HK) may have a role to play in that!) No, even without that factor I would stay.

Cool For any former JETs on the program...who did you get your "Statement of Service" letter from? I can not really ask my Kyoto-sensei...because I may end up recontracting...you know?.....


THANKS SO MUCH!!!![/quote]
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arju



Joined: 18 Feb 2003
Posts: 58
Location: h.k

PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2003 8:44 am    Post subject: re net interview Reply with quote

Iam a pnet and would like to concour with scott, about the sick days each school is different my schools require me to have a sick certificate for everyday i have off, some pnets have been told to make up the days lost in sickdays by working in the holidays and also doing extra classes, it all depends on the schools maybe as a pnet we are disadvantaged by having to work in 2 schools and thus have 2 systems , the holidays are a lie for the pnets I have surveyed 30 this week and most of us are lossing 2-3 weeks of the 7 weeks for the july august break. be aware of this and make sure you get it spelt out in the contract as to saying no to a school we pnets were only given 2 schools and no way of choosing others. the salary payments can be unfair as they are very quick to reduce your salary if your papaer work is not to their requirements in my case I have lost 8 years as they only pay for my teaching since getting a bachelor of edcucation, previously i was 3 year trained diploma of education so the 8 years i was teaching arnt counted the offshoot is loss of 8 years is a loss of $7000 hk per month or $900 us so over 2 years contract that is a loss of about $22000 us.
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Kylehawkins2000



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 7
Location: Ottawa

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2003 2:16 pm    Post subject: Apply for NET? Reply with quote

I've seen a posting for the NET scheme that has a deadline of Jan. 10th for applications to be in.

I've obviously missed that date.

How do the number of candidates compare to the number of jobs? If I ignore the deadline and hand in an application this week or next is there still a chance that I might get an interview? Is there a last minute scramble to fill spots?

Anyone have any experience with applying late?

I really wish I had gotten on this earlier.....

PS. I have a BEd and teaching certificate as well as two years full time experience teaching ESL in South Korea.
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Ed



Joined: 21 Mar 2003
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2003 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi. I'm really interested in teaching English in Hong Kong, and the Net Scheme that I've read about here really interests me. But I'm a little confused about the qualifications needed. First what is meant by a teaching certificate? Does this means a TESL certificate? I have the Celta. I'm also reading about some other kind of teaching certificate. Does this refer to like a teaching diploma that would allow you to teach public schools in your own country? (I'm from Canada). Do you need both or is one fine. Is it a matter of salary? What about qualifications for primary or secondary? Are they different? Also, what is the pay scale based on... teaching experience?
My other question is, is the housing allowance of $13,000 enough for a dwelling suitable for a small family? What is the cost of living like?
Thank you,
Ed.
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Scott in HK



Joined: 11 Jan 2003
Posts: 148

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2003 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

as far as know for the NET program you need a tesol diploma...not a certificate...or a teaching certificate...which means that you can teach in your home country....with the teaching cert, there is no salary cap...but if you just have the tesol dip, then you are maxed out at about 22K a month...

you move up the salary ladder based on your experience....

the 13K is enough to find living accomodations for a small family...
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