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City educators debate use of Filipino English teachers
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 327

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 'Filipino' menace has been a story to scare EFL teachers with for a while.

I think it's all so much hooey. Filipinos will never be in demand for the private market simply because they are not 'western' ie white.

For public schools they are not Vietnamese and therefore not to be trusted in the state system. In places like Korea strong teacher unions keep out the foreigners.

There will be a rare few filipinos who drift into EFL in other Asian countries but it will never be a flood.

This story is not news - not sure what it is but 90% nonsense anyway.
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TDT



Joined: 22 Nov 2012
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm With Stupid wrote:
Sounds like a government minister angling for an increase in budget for his department. "Yeah, I need $2k per teacher for this, honest." And then half of that will end up in his back pocket.


Everyone knows that corruption is widespread in Vietnam, but your speculation of 50% kickback is not true for this instance. My direct contact in the city's education department told me that he was on a trip to the Philippines to hire 100 English teachers to work for the department. He confirmed that $2000 per month salary was the correct figure.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 793

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those sure are some round numbers. 100 teachers, $2,000 per month.

Tell ya what, if I had that kind of a budget, I daresay I would not have to go to the Philippines to plead with them to come over, I would just run a few ads and try to keep up with the response. $2,000 per month in the west should get you about 200 respondents per position, in the Phils, it is anybody's guess, but certainly more than you could keep up with. Like maybe 80% of the qualified teachers in the nation would come over for that rate, considering their pay rate is not that much more than Vietnam's.

This story still seems like bs to me. Interesting that this latest post sharing inside info is the very first post for this individual too. Is this subject your area of expertise, and you decided to join up to clear up the confusion on this deal?
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TDT



Joined: 22 Nov 2012
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mark_in_saigon wrote:
Those sure are some round numbers. 100 teachers, $2,000 per month.

Tell ya what, if I had that kind of a budget, I daresay I would not have to go to the Philippines to plead with them to come over, I would just run a few ads and try to keep up with the response. $2,000 per month in the west should get you about 200 respondents per position, in the Phils, it is anybody's guess, but certainly more than you could keep up with. Like maybe 80% of the qualified teachers in the nation would come over for that rate, considering their pay rate is not that much more than Vietnam's.

This story still seems like bs to me. Interesting that this latest post sharing inside info is the very first post for this individual too. Is this subject your area of expertise, and you decided to join up to clear up the confusion on this deal?

mark_in_saigon wrote:
Those sure are some round numbers. 100 teachers, $2,000 per month.

Tell ya what, if I had that kind of a budget, I daresay I would not have to go to the Philippines to plead with them to come over, I would just run a few ads and try to keep up with the response. $2,000 per month in the west should get you about 200 respondents per position, in the Phils, it is anybody's guess, but certainly more than you could keep up with. Like maybe 80% of the qualified teachers in the nation would come over for that rate, considering their pay rate is not that much more than Vietnam's.

This story still seems like bs to me. Interesting that this latest post sharing inside info is the very first post for this individual too. Is this subject your area of expertise, and you decided to join up to clear up the confusion on this deal?


I was as surprised and skeptical about those figures as everyone on this thread, but last week my inside source told me exactly just that. This subject is neither my area of expertise nor I was trying to defend whoever you may have had in mind. I'm just a VK who is a keen reader of Vietnam forum because I sometimes get good information as well as entertaining stories about Saigon where I grew up. I'm also very impressed about the knowledge and insight about VN some of the posters on here (including you) have.
Please don't get me wrong, I'm not posting to defend or advertise for anyone, I'm as pessimistic about the way most things are done in Vn as anyone who cares about my country. However, the round figures from this story is no BS. Of course, this is an internet forum, there's no way that I can give you the proof to back my claim without jeopardizing the identity of myself and my source.



I was as surprised and skeptical about those figures as everyone on this thread, but last week my inside source told me exactly just that. This subject is neither my area of expertise nor I was trying to defend whoever you may have had in mind. I'm just a VK who is a keen reader of Vietnam forum because I sometimes get good information as well as entertaining stories about Saigon where I grew up. I'm also very impressed about the knowledge and insight about VN some of the posters on here (including you) have.
Please don't get me wrong, I'm not posting to defend or advertise for anyone, I'm as pessimistic about the way most things are done in Vn as anyone who cares about my country. However, the round figures from this story is no BS. Of course, this is an internet forum, there's no way that I can give you the proof to back my claim without jeopardizing the identity of myself and my source.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 793

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
This subject is neither my area of expertise nor I was trying to defend whoever you may have had in mind. I'm just a VK who is a keen reader of Vietnam forum because I sometimes get good information as well as entertaining stories about Saigon where I grew up. I'm also very impressed about the knowledge and insight about VN some of the posters on here (including you) have.

Quote:

This subject is neither my area of expertise nor I was trying to defend whoever you may have had in mind. I'm just a VK who is a keen reader of Vietnam forum because I sometimes get good information as well as entertaining stories about Saigon where I grew up. I'm also very impressed about the knowledge and insight about VN some of the posters on here (including you) have.


With ALL due respect to the Filipinos, who I often do like quite a lot, one thing I have noticed when speaking with them (or reading them) is the unusual, almost otherworldly way they have of expressing themselves, which in my opinion, seems to be related to their belief system and general world view. Instead of feeling like I have traveled to another country, I feel like I have landed on another planet. This current conversation has done nothing to diminish that feeling.

With ALL due respect to the Filipinos, who I often do like quite a lot, one thing I have noticed when speaking with them (or reading them) is the unusual, almost otherworldly way they have of expressing themselves, which in my opinion, seems to be related to their belief system and general world view. Instead of feeling like I have traveled to another country, I feel like I have landed on another planet. This current conversation has done nothing to diminish that feeling.
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Jbhughes



Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Posts: 254

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Without commenting on the issue at hand, it is very interesting to have a different perspective on the forum, and I hope that you will share more with us, TDT. It's very likely that most of the posters here fall into the usual EFL demographics and having someone that doesn't immediately fit into the usual boxes is great.

Please share your experiences and angle on things here.
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TRH



Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 207
Location: HCMC

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:55 am    Post subject: Another perspective Reply with quote

Although I think the numbers are a little suspect, one impression I get from reading articles in the English language local papers is that the city government is thinking of hiring these Filipino teachers directly. We need to admit that the full cost to government of our (native speaker) salaries may be significantly higher than the pay we receive. This is not to disparage the centers that both hire us and provide a service to the government but they are businesses that must cover administrative costs and a reasonable profit or why else provide the service. If the Filipino teachers are direct hires, there will be administrative costs as well but the will tend to disappear into the overall school budgets.

As Mark said, a classified add in a Manilla paper for $2000 should flood a school with qualified applicants. To me the root problem is the exceptionally low pay of our Vietnamese peers in the public schools. Schoolteachers are probably underpaid in every country in the world but the problem may be especially severe here. Just like anything else, if the pay comes up, the talent will move in. I bank at Citibank downtown and every single one of the young people I deal with speaks better English than any Vietnamese public school English teacher I have yet to meet. I don't know what they make but I would hazard a guess that for $2000 a month, some of them would consider teaching in the schools. Of course for the administration, paying that much money to local teachers who score over say 6.0 or 7.0 IELTS would cause major resentments. What of the teacher who teaches Geometry or Vietnamese literature? The way around that dilemma may be through Manilla.
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TDT



Joined: 22 Nov 2012
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jbhughes wrote:
Without commenting on the issue at hand, it is very interesting to have a different perspective on the forum, and I hope that you will share more with us, TDT. It's very likely that most of the posters here fall into the usual EFL demographics and having someone that doesn't immediately fit into the usual boxes is great.

Please share your experiences and angle on things here.


It's just so much easier to read than to post! But I'll try to chime in as much as I can.
Back to the current topic, I agree with the previous poster on the resentments it may cause if some local English teachers were paid much more than the rest. It's quite funny and sad that my contact who interviewed the Filipino candidates earns about 3 million dong per month. If course, he makes his living by teaching private lessons, but 3 million dong is his official salary!
If I had my way, with the same budget, I'd hire 50 qualified native English teachers, and pay each of them $4000. In my opinion, what the Vietnamese students and teachers really need are: 1) the modern teaching/learning practices, 2) speaking and listening skills. I'm not so confident the Filipino teachers can be as effective as the qualified native English teachers in both of those points. My wife left Vietnam after she finished her bachelor degree in teaching English. She was struggling so badly in all basic language skills, especially in speaking and listening. I myself left Vn when I was 18 years of age, and I had to learn English virtually from scratch. What I am trying to say from personal experience is that the education system in Vietnam needs an overhaul, and hiring qualified native English teachers to work in public schools and education department is one small step they should take, but for some reason (could be political) they've decided to hire English teachers from another developing country just like ours. Very strange!
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bobpen



Joined: 04 Mar 2011
Posts: 89

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HCMC schools on the fence about hiring Filipinos as English teachers

Quote:
Schools in Ho Chi Minh City have signed up to accept just one third of the 100 Filipino nationals that local education authorities planned to hire to teach English...because they'd already signed contracts with foreign teachers in September when the new school year began. ...

The paper quoted the unnamed principal of an elementary school in District 3 as saying it was “very difficult” to convince parents to pay VND120,000 per month to cover the monthly salary of $2,000 for the Filipino teachers as asked by the department...[when] most of the schools have already contracted native speakers – Americans and Canadians, and each of their students pay between VND50,000 and VND70,000 a month.

“For Filipinos, English is just their second language, but tuitions are higher than native teachers,” the official said.


The article goes on much longer.

I wonder why local officials would prefer to hire Filipinos over regular Anglo speaking Westerners in such a sweeping move. On top of that, at much higher tuition for students and school (and salaries for them).
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 793

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The paper quoted the unnamed principal of an elementary school in District 3 as saying it was “very difficult” to convince parents to pay VND120,000 (US$5.73) per month to cover the monthly salary of $2,000 for the Filipino teachers as asked by the department.
The children have studied with British teachers contracted by the school for many years with parents paying just VND70,000 per month, the principal said, adding that the school’s management board and parents have already agreed on tuitions and fees since the beginning of the new school year.
He also said that even though the teachers are recruited by the department, there is a chance that they will have their contracts terminated immediately if they cannot prove their ability, skills, and working attitudes.
“For Filipinos, English is just their second language, but tuitions are higher than native teachers,” the official said.
Son then said they chose Filipinos instead of native speakers because of financial difficulties, citing a survey as saying that Filipino teachers asked for $2,000 per month compared to $5,000 charged by Australians and $10,000 charged by British.

So, a bit more from the story. First, notice that the cost to the kids is like 6 bucks a month. That is nothing, language centers are charging parents 5 bucks AN HOUR for classes, many of which are not that great. So this whole thing about how much various nationalities expect is ridiculous in that light, as we are talking about public schools taking the low end workers (teachers?) and NOT the elite who can afford or expect the high end teacher anyway. 2 grand per month is more than average here, and can attract plenty of the more highly qualified native English speakers, the kind that can work at those high end jobs. That 10 grand is totally ridiculous, as is 5 for an Aussie and 2 for a Phil, not sure where they would slot the Americans in there, but it is all ridiculous. Notice one quoted official refers to native teachers, which would actually be VN, but he meant to say native speakers of English. Funny how this word native is morphing in meaning here, we are becoming native teachers, they drop the speakers of English part. Just another example of how stupid it all is. These guys are well removed from reality.
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Prof.Gringo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 2112
Location: Dang Cong San Viet Nam Quang Vinh Muon Nam!

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

skarper wrote:
The 'Filipino' menace has been a story to scare EFL teachers with for a while.

I think it's all so much hooey. Filipinos will never be in demand for the private market simply because they are not 'western' ie white.

For public schools they are not Vietnamese and therefore not to be trusted in the state system. In places like Korea strong teacher unions keep out the foreigners.

There will be a rare few filipinos who drift into EFL in other Asian countries but it will never be a flood.

This story is not news - not sure what it is but 90% nonsense anyway.


I have worked with and met a few Filipino teachers in VN. I know they get higher wages than VN teachers and of course, lower than white skinned "native" speakers.

The majority of EFL teachers here are far and away locals. There is far more demand than there is supply of coveted white showpiece foreign teachers... The Filipinos have better English than the locals and at a lower price than the premium priced whites.

The directors I've talked to see the Filipino teachers as offering a strong work ethic along with lower wages and they can still claim "FOREIGN TEACHERS" to the Ss.
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bobpen



Joined: 04 Mar 2011
Posts: 89

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prof.Gringo wrote:
There is far more demand than there is supply of coveted white showpiece foreign teachers...


If what you meant to say is "there is far more demand [for foreign white english teachers] than there is supply [of them]" then I wholeheartedly disagree.

Quite the opposite, in fact.
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Prof.Gringo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 2112
Location: Dang Cong San Viet Nam Quang Vinh Muon Nam!

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bobpen wrote:
Prof.Gringo wrote:
There is far more demand than there is supply of coveted white showpiece foreign teachers...


If what you meant to say is "there is far more demand [for foreign white english teachers] than there is supply [of them]" then I wholeheartedly disagree.

Quite the opposite, in fact.


Maybe where you are, that's the case. I know a guy from Africa, getting paid about 15 bucks an hour, no degree, no TEFL, poor English, but hey, at least he's not Vietnamese...
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bobpen



Joined: 04 Mar 2011
Posts: 89

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prof.Gringo wrote:
bobpen wrote:
Prof.Gringo wrote:
There is far more demand than there is supply of coveted white showpiece foreign teachers...


If what you meant to say is "there is far more demand [for foreign white english teachers] than there is supply [of them]" then I wholeheartedly disagree.

Quite the opposite, in fact.


Maybe where you are, that's the case. I know a guy from Africa, getting paid about 15 bucks an hour, no degree, no TEFL, poor English, but hey, at least he's not Vietnamese...


Then where are you? I'm in HCMC, central area.
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Oh My God



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 271

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prof.Gringo wrote:
bobpen wrote:
Prof.Gringo wrote:
There is far more demand than there is supply of coveted white showpiece foreign teachers...


If what you meant to say is "there is far more demand [for foreign white english teachers] than there is supply [of them]" then I wholeheartedly disagree.

Quite the opposite, in fact.


Maybe where you are, that's the case. I know a guy from Africa, getting paid about 15 bucks an hour, no degree, no TEFL, poor English, but hey, at least he's not Vietnamese...


I also know teachers from all kinds of nationalities usually paid less than the "white face" but not always. I even know a VK that gets paid more than me (not to brag, my salary ranges from 25 to 30 USD per hour).

BTW, I'm in Saigon.
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