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48, MA and experienced
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Wael Wadi



Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 19
Location: Endaurnose

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 7:28 am    Post subject: 48, MA and experienced Reply with quote

I would want either a PNET position (can't do teenagers again) or a university job.

I'm 48, Canadian native speaker, 12 years experience in EFL (Korea, Taiwan, Saudi and presently working as a teacher for a US gov't program in the Middle East)

Education includes MA TESOL, BHons Ling, BA SocSc, and CELTA.

Might a Hong Kong (or Singapore- yeah, yeah, that's a different thread) Uni. be interested in hiring someone with the above?

2 different questions.

1. How desirable is the above to the PNET scheme without an Ed. Cert. and where might I land on the salary scale?

2. Any hints on where to look besides SCMP, Straits Times, this site, and TESOL.org for the univ. jobs?

ww
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Joshua2006



Joined: 04 Jan 2010
Posts: 339

PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 1:00 am    Post subject: Re: 48, MA and experienced Reply with quote

Wael Wadi wrote:
.

1. How desirable is the above to the PNET scheme without an Ed. Cert. and where might I land on the salary scale?
Seriously, we don't know as they are a law unto themselves. As has been said many times, the only way you will find out is to submit your application. Sorry......

Quote:
2. Any hints on where to look besides SCMP, Straits Times, this site, and TESOL.org for the univ. jobs?

ww
SCMP is the best.....and has the most comprehensive for jobs in our field....
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Wael Wadi



Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 19
Location: Endaurnose

PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After spending, oh, I don't know, 5 hours on the HK forums, this is where my thoughts now lie. Please correct me if I am wrong.

-age is not an issue


Universiites
-wage at unis suck - although in the past, it was better. I am not an academic and am not interested in publishing, perishing, plagiarizing or plucking thoughts of students on to paper
-no housing allowance nor other perks; too much competition for crappy jobs
-Overall just seems grim

PNET
-my 12 years experience (4 at university in the ME, 6 at cram schools in TW/Korea, 2 in military English programs) will count for squat as I have no Ed. Cert. Therefore I should land on/about point 17 if deemed hireable.
-wage would begin about $30kish incl. housing allowance
-about 12-15% would be taxed
-$2k for the pension scheme which could be refunded upon leaving hk
-much depends on the principal for one's sanity so choose master wisely
-imperative to check blacklists or better contact PNET who is at the school presently.
-SCMP online is the way forward
-the only way to learn more is to submit all the docs, rub Buddha's belly and wait for a sign.
-if I were to get a PGDE over 2 years in HK, then I would increase 2 points on the salary scale?


Housing and Living
-Hkpnet.org forums look like the TEALIT for PNETs with a wealth of information and support in locating stuff. Unfortunately, access is granted after I submit the documents, get an interview, jump over 14 hurdles, lose 9 pounds, and belong to a school.
-my 8 year old will cost about $8k/mo in school tuition
-living in the NT is cheaper than elsewhere
-Question: If one's school happens to be near a KCR stn, can one commute from China each day?
-My Filipino wife could only work illegally (I saw two opposing reports on this so either something changed or someone posted a wee bit of twaddle.) Last report is that it is illegal.

ww
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oxi



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 333
Location: elsewhere

PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of your thoughts are depressingly accurate. But Iíll add a few bits:-

-age is not an issue
---not really, later closer to retirement age, there are complications

-Universiites -wage at unis suck
---mostly yep. Rarely see anything full-time come up. Hourly rates ok.

-PNET -my 12 years experience will count for squat as I have no Ed. Cert. Therefore I should land on/about point 17 if deemed hireable.wage would begin about $30kish incl.housing allowance
--- check out http://www.edb.gov.hk/index.aspx?nodeID=1300&langno=1 and the info for Category 4 might be you? Also the bit at the bottom:-

ĎThe salary scale of APSM is from around HK$22,240 to HK$43,010 (approx. US$2,851* to 5,514*) per month (12 months a year). Candidates with a Post-graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) or equivalent (not TEFL/TESL qualifications) will enter at HK$24,540 (approx. US$3,146*) per month. Those without a local recognised teacher training qualification or equivalent will not be permitted to proceed beyond a salary bar which is at present set at HK$28,380 (approx. US$3,638*) per month.í

If you end up on the minimum, it seems to be 22240 + 16859 (accom) = 39099

-about 12-15% would be taxed
---yep, ways to reduce it include having dependents (ie. wife and kids)

-$2k for the pension scheme which could be refunded upon leaving hk
---yep, there are ways round it if youíve already got a pension scheme set up elsewhere

-much depends on the principal for one's sanity so choose master wisely
---absolutely, and the Panel Chair (head of department)

-imperative to check blacklists or better contact PNET who is at the school presently.
---where possible Ė not always easy

-SCMP online is the way forward
---yep to find schools directly,but they're usually looking for the convenience of finding someone in HK already, so you still ought to apply to NET scheme through EDB

-the only way to learn more is to submit all the docs, rub Buddha's belly and wait for a sign.
---yep, annoying, but thatís the way

-if I were to get a PGDE over 2 years in HK, then I would increase 2 points on the salary scale?
---yep, as far as I know

-Hkpnet.org forums look like the TEALIT for PNETs with a wealth of information and support in locating stuff. Unfortunately, access is granted after I submit the documents, get an interview, jump over 14 hurdles, lose 9 pounds, and belong to a school.
---guests can access parts of the site and forum at http://www.west-web.net/hkpnetsforum/ You can also try the guest bit of NESTA at http://www.nesta.hk/newversion/viewforum.php?f=24&sid=72b2a5e9678bfd4fd547eaa24f0ded0f (hoping that works for you?) and thereís ĎAllnets HKí in yahoo groups.

-my 8 year old will cost about $8k/mo in school tuition
---I havenít really researched, but know itís not cheap

-living in the NT is cheaper than elsewhere
---usually, or you can live in a shoebox nearer central, as I do

-If one's school happens to be near a KCR stn, can one commute from China each day?
---I suppose itís possible. In my limited experience, the border crossing takes about half an hour even when quiet. HK to China visas are single entry and good for three months, so not much use. You could see what other visa options there are I guess.
Personally I wouldnít fancy it. Border towns within HK are quite popular with NETs, bigger flats, nicer views, quiet.

-My Filipino wife could only work illegally
---my wife (from Kazakhstan) came with me on a spouse visa and has worked legally no problem. I assume itís the same for Filipinos, sorry if itís not. Another issue you may know about already, is that a lot of Filipinos come here to work as maids, so some HKers get a snotty, perhaps racist, attitude. She might have to deal with the comments.

Hope that helps

oxi
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HK_GURU



Joined: 17 Nov 2011
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wael Wadi wrote:
After spending, oh, I don't know, 5 hours on the HK forums, this is where my thoughts now lie. Please correct me if I am wrong.

-age is not an issue


Universiites
-wage at unis suck - although in the past, it was better. I am not an academic and am not interested in publishing, perishing, plagiarizing or plucking thoughts of students on to paper
-no housing allowance nor other perks; too much competition for crappy jobs
-Overall just seems grim

PNET
-my 12 years experience (4 at university in the ME, 6 at cram schools in TW/Korea, 2 in military English programs) will count for squat as I have no Ed. Cert. Therefore I should land on/about point 17 if deemed hireable.
-wage would begin about $30kish incl. housing allowance
-about 12-15% would be taxed
-$2k for the pension scheme which could be refunded upon leaving hk
-much depends on the principal for one's sanity so choose master wisely
-imperative to check blacklists or better contact PNET who is at the school presently.
-SCMP online is the way forward
-the only way to learn more is to submit all the docs, rub Buddha's belly and wait for a sign.
-if I were to get a PGDE over 2 years in HK, then I would increase 2 points on the salary scale?


Housing and Living
-Hkpnet.org forums look like the TEALIT for PNETs with a wealth of information and support in locating stuff. Unfortunately, access is granted after I submit the documents, get an interview, jump over 14 hurdles, lose 9 pounds, and belong to a school.
-my 8 year old will cost about $8k/mo in school tuition
-living in the NT is cheaper than elsewhere
-Question: If one's school happens to be near a KCR stn, can one commute from China each day?
-My Filipino wife could only work illegally (I saw two opposing reports on this so either something changed or someone posted a wee bit of twaddle.) Last report is that it is illegal.

ww
Finally a HK newcomer has done his reseach. Kudos to you my friend. In a nutshell your analysis is pretty much spot on. I think Oxi has covered all of your points but I can say you don't need to worry about your wife working legally. You would have a working visa and your wife, as your dependant is legally allowed to work without limitations. Good luck with your search.
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Perilla



Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 783
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You would earn more as a PNET - Oxi probably has it right at around 40K including the 17K housing allowance - but I wouldn't write off the unis, especially as that's where your experience and preference seem to lie. I know a lot of people working for them, especially HKU (teacher training and ELT), Poly U (mostly ELT) and City U (mostly ELT) and most of them seem happy enough. (The other unis also employ plenty of English language teachers but they don't live on Lamma - so I don't know them). Not sure how much they earn but as a newcomer I doubt you'd get past 30K a month initially, maybe less, but this you could supplement with IELTS and/or a bit of private tuition.
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Wael Wadi



Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 19
Location: Endaurnose

PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HK has helpful posters. Thank you.

I think I'll stay clear of unis for now unless landing a PNET position does not work out. Wife can work so that is good as she likes to earn her own money.

The biggest problem I anticipate moving to HK is schooling - that will be a nagging issue - it will either put me in the poorhouse, put my kid in a dodgey schoolhouse or put me in the nuthouse or all 3 depending if I'm not on top of it.

My reading on the forums is getting me somewhere, however, some things are not as easy to grasp or my eyes are blurry from monitor fatigue and cannot be seen.

1. From the EDB website that oxi pointed me too...
Quote:
Category 4 (to be appointed at APSM rank, MPS pt. 15-29, with salary bar at MPS Point 20

The salary bar is Point 20 but the range is 15-29. It's not apparent to me what this means.

2. Is there an optimum time of year to apply? And would one expect between one week and 100 months to get on board or can that be nailed down if an applicant's ducks are in a row?

ww
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ozman



Joined: 12 Jun 2004
Posts: 133
Location: HONG KONG

PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you can apply any time but you've probably missed the boat for this coming academic year. they have more than enough approved applicants - more applicants than there will be pnet jobs available in August.

it is unlikely you would get a pnet job through the SCUMP unless you had first been approved and had interview with the EDB and all your qualifications etc. were already given the ok.

it is not feasible to live over the border in shenzhen and commute to a border town school on HK side. I did know someone who did this for a month or two, but the waiting, the stamps in your passport etc. is just too much. there are cheaper flats up around the border towns.

there is a possibility you could put your child into a local school rather than paying for international school fees. I do know a few people who do this. but would you WANT you child to go to a local school?

if you apply now the paperwork will take forever with the EDB, but at least you'll be ready for this time next year.
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Wael Wadi



Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 19
Location: Endaurnose

PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do know a few people who do this. but would you WANT you child to go to a local school?

So, from this, the inference to be made is? They will chop my kid up and put him in a stew? Or is the HK public educational system so poor being rote memorization and all...? I would prefer my son to learn Mandarin, not Cantonese, which would be my quibble, but I read somewhere the schools require children to speak Mandarin first?

Living across the border - bad. Living near border in NT - good.
Apply anytime - likely not hired for 1.5 years.
SCMP - not so good unless EDB has me in their pool.

Thanx.
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Perilla



Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 783
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wael Wadi wrote:
I do know a few people who do this. but would you WANT you child to go to a local school?

So, from this, the inference to be made is? They will chop my kid up and put him in a stew? Or is the HK public educational system so poor being rote memorization and all...? I would prefer my son to learn Mandarin, not Cantonese, which would be my quibble, but I read somewhere the schools require children to speak Mandarin first?


I know a few people who's kids go to local schools, and they mostly seem quite happy. There are some good ones and some OK ones. However, I imagine Cantonese would be the more likely language your kids would develop at these schools - that, after all, will be the default language used my many (most) of the students and teachers.
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ozman



Joined: 12 Jun 2004
Posts: 133
Location: HONG KONG

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you only need to read the papers here to see the general feelings about the education system here. yes after more than a decade in HK, I also know a "few" people who send their children to local schools. The couple of people Iknow have an expat father/ chinese mother, so this makes learning Cantonese easier for the kids. The bulk of expats send their children to international schools and this is a huge burden for people merely employed on NET salaries. there has been ongoing discussion about getting the EDB to help with school fees for NET's children, but this will not happen.
yes it's all rote learning. no your kid won't get chopped up.
one of the biggest problems here is that the local teachers have no idea how to teach Chinese (cantonese) as a 2nd language. All students have to do the same syllabus Chinese (cantonese) syllabus. All subjects, apart from Mandarin, are taught through the medium of Cantonese. All students have to follow the same English syllabus, even when (as I've personally experienced) the student is a Filipino with almost native speaking English. The EDB has been working for years on producing a Cantonese for 2nd language learners - and it's still not happening. there are a few ethnic minority schools where they are attempting this - but you only have to look at the stastics to see what's happening here.

i have taught in schools here with a few ethnic minority students, e.g. Nepalese, Pakistani, as well as a few Filipino. Check the statistics. These minority students all fail - they all go to low band secondary school - there are few or none who make it to university - because they can't cope with the Cantonese medium of instruction. This has been on LEGCO agenda for some time, and still NOTHING gets done. It's a disgrace. Check out who qualifies for local university places in HK each year - you'd be lucky to find a non-chinese name.

Even if you would like your child to attend a local schools, it's unlikely that you will get a local school to accept your child. Talk to some NETS out here. They will tell you when they tried, that the local school claimed they could not "cater" for the student. 99% of local schools will refuse to take an application from a non chinese speaking students. There have been ongoing talks between the NETS and EDB regarding schooling for NET children. The EDB claims "yes you can send you child to a local school - here is a list of schools." NETS find - they can't get a place even if they want to. Most parents have no choice - they have to fork out the money for international schools. Getting a place at an international school / and / or getting your child into a local school, have been hot topics here this last academi year in particular - although the issue has been ongoing since the NET scheme commenced.
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Wael Wadi



Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 19
Location: Endaurnose

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schooling does seem to be what I anticipate being the biggest issue in relocating to HK. Son is now 8 and will be 9 next year.

If a Cantonese 8 year old were to go to Germany or UK, he would have to learn the host country's language to attend school. I should expect my child to know the local language in a Cantonese environment if he is to succeed.
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sistercream



Joined: 18 Dec 2010
Posts: 487
Location: Pearl River Delta

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wael Wadi wrote:

If a Cantonese 8 year old were to go to Germany or UK, he would have to learn the host country's language to attend school. I should expect my child to know the local language in a Cantonese environment if he is to succeed.


Exactly.
One of the problems with getting an 8 or 9 year old to the starting gate in Cantonese education is that not only do they need to learn a totally new spoken language, but because Canto is diglottal, the written form is totally different:e.g. the spoken form of "Who's that?" is (in my own romanisation, as there's no universal standard) "Keuih hai bingo?" but the written form 他是誰?is pronounced "Ta sih seuih?". They'll also need to memorise 1000+ characters in order to catch up with their classmates, not to mention all the other characters they need to recognise in order to read their other subject textbooks. And there is no "easy" way to learn Chinese characters - it's brute rote memorisation or nuffin'.

But there are a few local schools which run both English and Cantonese streams even at primary level - you can find more details on local expat websites - some less expensive international schools such as Delia, Lantau and Norwegian (the last is strongly faith-based), and even some local aided schools such as Yuen Yuen which run their programmes in Mandarin and English.
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Wael Wadi



Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 19
Location: Endaurnose

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well Sister,

That was an intelligent post. It was relevant and clarifies a great deal.

Quote:
you can find more details on local expat websites - some less expensive international schools such as Delia, Lantau and Norwegian (the last is strongly faith-based), and even some local aided schools such as Yuen Yuen which run their programmes in Mandarin and English.

Knowing such information is helpful.

Good, good information that gives a basis from which to start research which I will base future decisions on.

Thank you for the input.

ww
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RiverMystic



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 1451

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The age that your kid starts local HK school is crucial. 8 or 9 is probably too late, or at the very least, very, very, very tough. Chinese kids have already spent many tens of thousands of hours learning characters by that age. With English, all you have to learn is the 26 letters plus a few combinations of letters and you are ready to rock 'n roll. Speaking Chinese is not that tough, though. But a kid of 8 or 9 would still need a lot of extra work outside of normal classes, especially in the first couple of years.
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