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City educators debate use of Filipino English teachers
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deadlift



Joined: 08 Jun 2010
Posts: 257

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:49 am    Post subject: City educators debate use of Filipino English teachers Reply with quote

http://tuoitrenews.vn/cmlink/tuoitrenews/education/education-news/city-educators-debate-use-of-filipino-english-teachers-1.91158

Includes this eye-popping quote:

Quote:
Filipino teachers demanded a lower salary, a mere US$2,000 per month, while their Australian peers asked for $5,000 and British for $10,000, Le Hong Son, the department director, explained, citing a poll.


I'd love to see the poll questions and data. [/quote]
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 767

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, those figures just destroy the entire basis of the story. When we see numbers in these VN news stories, this is often the case, as if the numbers were made up. Maybe they were using the exchange rate for a different currency or some crazy thing. I find that when reading VN news stories, best to consider them as hints of what MAY be, not any kind of definitive snapshot of reality. It is nice that someone goes to the trouble of writing and publishing a story, but the believability factor over here has to be very low.
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 536
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked

Although it's delightful to fantasize about those kinds of salaries, I can't help but wonder how many students, landlords, shopkeepers etc. will read this nonsense and swallow it hook, line and sinker Confused.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 767

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspect not many, these folks are pretty up to speed on wages and prices. My take on the story would be that it is either just a totally crazy mistake, they meant to display drachmas or something, or it could be some kind of ridiculous attempt to manipulate markets in some way, labor markets that is. Even so, if that were the case, the numbers should not be so far off. I have seen for the longest time the attempt to boost the prices of housing on Craigslist by flooding the adverts with crazy prices, trying to get the expats to think that $1,000 for an apartment should be the going rate, they did it for years, and are still trying. While VN has some features of a market economy, we should never forget that it is mostly something else. I tell you what, if the system actually did decide that the average Filipino English teach was worth 2 grand per month, that would be the end of the line for about 95% of the western teachers here. Average wages over there are similar to VN, and you could fill the market 20 times over with Filipinos at that price.
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Mattingly



Joined: 03 Jul 2008
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:45 pm    Post subject: Re: City educators debate use of Filipino English teachers Reply with quote

deadlift wrote:
http://tuoitrenews.vn/cmlink/tuoitrenews/education/education-news/city-educators-debate-use-of-filipino-english-teachers-1.91158

Includes this eye-popping quote:

Quote:
Filipino teachers demanded a lower salary, a mere US$2,000 per month, while their Australian peers asked for $5,000 and British for $10,000, Le Hong Son, the department director, explained, citing a poll.


I'd love to see the poll questions and data.
[/quote]

Another example of false reporting.

What a ridiculous lie.

Hmm....$10,000 per month teaching. That is $120,000 USD per year teaching. Not bad.

Maybe those Ferraris are being driven by English teachers? hmm....

And the $5,000 per month USD. That's not bad. $60,000 USD teaching English.

Glad I did my CELTA.

It has really reaped rewards. I think I will retire at 44. Smile
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I'm With Stupid



Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 367

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the fact that the Brits get paid the most. Very Happy Just need to decide what to do with my $120k now. I assume it all comes as a big bonus at the end of my contract?

Incidentally, it's not actually a bad idea. But a far better idea would be to use this apparently massive new budget to get the best Vietnamese English speakers into the teaching profession and get them trained in more modern teaching practices. At the moment, all the best English speakers are working in hotels and Western companies because they pay more. Even those who do work in education work for private language centres rather than public schools.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 767

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:40 pm    Post subject: must read this one Reply with quote

http://www.thanhniennews.com/index/pages/20121109-hcmc-criticized-for-hiring-filipinos-to-teach-english.aspx

We should all read this one also. This relates to the previous story that started this thread. However, the numbers quoted on the pass rates of the VN teachers of English are a bit of a different topic, or a related topic, not quite the same. We should all be aware of the reality of these numbers and what it means for our work.

Under the nationwide project to improve students’ English skills, officials have adopted the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) to measure language competency and teachers will need to achieve level B2 in English with high school graduates expected to reach B1, a level below.

However, a survey in June found the English skills of most teachers in Vietnam were far behind such standards.

Nguyen Ngoc Hung, the project’s executive manager said, however, no teachers would be sacked if they are not qualified because “we already know most of them are not qualified.”

According to reports by local media, of the 700 teachers of Ben Tre Province who had been tested, only 61 got the required score.

The education ministry said that in one province, which could not be identified, the pass rate was as low as one in 700.

Hung said 97 percent of high school teachers, and 93 percent of elementary and secondary school teachers failed to achieve B2 in the recent English tests and 17 percent of elementary school teachers tested only achieved a beginner's level.
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LettersAthruZ



Joined: 25 Apr 2010
Posts: 458
Location: North Viet Nam

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:01 am    Post subject: Re: must read this one Reply with quote

mark_in_saigon wrote:
http://www.thanhniennews.com/index/pages/20121109-hcmc-criticized-for-hiring-filipinos-to-teach-english.aspx

We should all read this one also. This relates to the previous story that started this thread. However, the numbers quoted on the pass rates of the VN teachers of English are a bit of a different topic, or a related topic, not quite the same. We should all be aware of the reality of these numbers and what it means for our work.

Under the nationwide project to improve students’ English skills, officials have adopted the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) to measure language competency and teachers will need to achieve level B2 in English with high school graduates expected to reach B1, a level below.

However, a survey in June found the English skills of most teachers in Vietnam were far behind such standards.

Nguyen Ngoc Hung, the project’s executive manager said, however, no teachers would be sacked if they are not qualified because “we already know most of them are not qualified.”

According to reports by local media, of the 700 teachers of Ben Tre Province who had been tested, only 61 got the required score.

The education ministry said that in one province, which could not be identified, the pass rate was as low as one in 700.

Hung said 97 percent of high school teachers, and 93 percent of elementary and secondary school teachers failed to achieve B2 in the recent English tests and 17 percent of elementary school teachers tested only achieved a beginner's level.


From the article -

"According to the plan, each Filipino teacher will be paid VND40 million (US$1,920) per month to teach 35 periods per week, including 20 inside the class and the rest in outdoor activities."

Wait...wait....wait....

You're paying how much for a Filipino to teach English in your public schools??!!!??

That amount seems awfully high for a Filipino.....I'd guess for HCMC, that's even slightly higher than a Viet Kieu. I'd love to be the fly on the wall during pay packet day on the 31st and have a peek at HOW MUCH IS REALLY in their envelopes.....I'm wondering how much of that pay packet gets kicked back to somebody high up in Education and Training?

....and then there's - "The principal of another primary school in HCMC said she has hired foreign English teachers based on her own criteria.

'They must have blond hair, white skin and blue eyes. They must respect Vietnamese teachers and students as well,' she said"


I literally mistook that last statement from something published in The Onion.
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TRH



Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 188
Location: HCMC

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:43 pm    Post subject: Rate per hour Reply with quote

From the article provided by Mark: "According to the plan, each Filipino teacher will be paid VND40 million (US$1,920) per month to teach 35 periods per week, including 20 inside the class and the rest in outdoor activities." I'm not sure what they mean by "outdoor activities" but it these teachers have a full 35 periods at 45 minutes a period they will be teaching 26 hours a week. At $1920/month their weekly pay will be $443/week or $17/hour. If they have only 20 actual class periods or 15 hours/week the pay rises to $29/hr.
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spycatcher reincarnated



Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 231

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TRH

We need to know how they will be paid for school holidays for your numbers to mean much. I.E. if their salary is 480,000,000 vnd a year then the cost per contact hour will be considerably higher.

Whatever their salary is there will also be additional costs associated with employing them. Who is going to pay for these?
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 767

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:16 pm    Post subject: there has been a lot of chatter online about this story Reply with quote

there has been a lot of chatter online about this story from various sources. Speculation is that this is not so much a real situation, but more a propaganda event of some sort. Clearly the underlying assumptions of the story, which are that western native speakers demand 5 to 10 grand a month for this work, are not even close to reality. The logic is then that the Filipinos are a better price at 2 grand per month. As the assumptions are total bull, anything else related to the overall story should be viewed with deep skepticism. There is another story where some of the western teachers wrote in and debunked the story, as everyone who weighed in here did as well. I did not link that, the $10,000 per month number is obviously crazy. Equally obvious that you can get all the Filipinos you want for a lot less than 2 grand per month, native wages there are in the same ballpark as native wages here. Most of the western teachers are not grossing 2 grand per month, as we all know.

The story that I did link was more interesting to me because of the notes about the skills of the VN teachers of English. Those figures seemed a lot closer to reality to me than the crazy pay figures for westerners. Similar figures had been reported about a year ago, and of course our experience here should confirm the general truth of the story as well. Still, I find the stark reality of numbers to be quite amazing. Especially about the unnamed region where only 1 teacher out of 700 met the government standard. Wow. Hard to overstate the significance of that.
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I'm With Stupid



Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 367

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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. The real irony about this is that the Philippines didn't become the best English-speaking country in Asia by shipping in teachers from other Asian countries. Like all of the best English-speaking countries, they did it with local teachers. There are plenty of people who speak very good English in Vietnam. The problem is that none of them go into teaching. They work for luxury hotels or Western companies. Offer them just half of the reported Filipino salary and I'm sure you could get a lot more of the really good English speakers to go into teaching. Having said that, maybe they're worth more to the economy in banking or tourism. After all, the Philippines is hardly an economic powerhouse despite its high levels of English.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 767

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good points. Totally agree with almost all that. I think the reason for the Phils having better English is something else though. They were one of the few real colonies America had, and after a while, they really bought into it, even wanted to become a part of the U.S. So they had a lot of our guys there, and they accepted our system. Before that, they had been a Spanish colony. My background with history gets a bit shakier here, but obviously they accepted the religion, as they are mostly catholic (or their version of the religion), and I think they had taken Spanish on before English, which is certainly an easier leap from Spanish to English than VN to English. I do think the problem with the Filipinos (with their English) is they never completely took English and dropped their native language, so they are not overwhelmed with a more or less perfect version of the language like we are in the western English speaking countries (to the extent any version is perfect, do not want to set off that argument, you guys know what I mean). Then the other thing, their world view seems so different, I just wonder if that is a problem. I know when talking to them, sometimes I feel we are from different planets. However, I do know an administrator who says many of them have better work habits than most of the westerners, which makes sense considering their level of financial need compared to ours. I personally would not reject one just based on his homeland, and imagine they are more motivated than our guys, though perhaps not more organized, and would have to question their language skills for the higher level work as well. But the main thing here is the natives seem to fetishize the western appearance for their English teachers. That is why the VK who grew up in the west and may speak both languages fluently, and who should be far more qualified than our normal guys are still discounted simply because of their appearance. Until these folks base their system on logic, none of this is going to make much sense.
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deadlift



Joined: 08 Jun 2010
Posts: 257

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.dfa.gov.ph/index.php/public-advisory/6817-phl-embassy-in-hanoi-advises-job-seekers-to-go-through-proper-channels

Phl Embassy in Hanoi Advises Job Seekers to Go Through Proper Channels

Quote:
The Philippine Embassy in Hanoi has encountered a number of cases where Filipinos who enter Vietnam as tourists have ended up in severe working and living conditions.

A 32-year-old Filipina came to Hanoi on November 4 to check her prospects as an English language teacher at the Blue Ocean Language School, which alleged to be associated with Lincoln School of Management. From the airport, she was driven 100 kilometers from the city, her passport confiscated and was immediately made to teach a class of about 20 students without a contract and a work permit.

“I was not allowed to go anywhere. From the classroom, I had to return to my room and the building was locked. I was even asked to wear sexy clothes,” she told the Embassy. She escaped on November 12 and managed to seek the Embassy’s help in retrieving her passport. Her case is not the first, according to the Embassy.


Quote:
Teachers in Hanoi attest to the existence of three tiers of salaries for English teachers. Native speakers receive more than twice those received by Filipinos while Vietnamese receive a measly 2% salary of native speakers. The discrimination is also evidenced by the fact that Filipino teachers are reportedly being asked to wear colored contact lenses, dye their hair blonde and make their skin fairer in order to approximate the look of native speakers.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 767

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting story, thanks for posting that. Interesting to note that the story says native speakers [of English] earn twice as much as Filipinos, which is approximately correct, and it implies that therefor Filipinos are not native speakers of English, which seems to be the case. I think they mostly use their own language (many regional dialects I think) and then eventually learn English, some earlier than others. That 2% number for the VN teachers seems low, I don't think it is THAT bad, but it is bad. The Filipinos are abused in many countries, I understand that it is worse in the middle east than here. A lot of them who go to work as maids in richer countries are getting more than they bargained for. Over here, sounds like just the normal runaround, but with a lower base rate to begin with (nice twist on the sexy clothes though).

If the Filipinos ever do get their levels up to western standards, it's all over. VN and everyone else will be able to get as many as they want for 8 bucks an hour, they have huge numbers of their natives go abroad for low wages in dismal conditions, 8 bucks or more would get all you needed and then some.
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