Sun, Jul 24, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Real teachers only

By Ryan Klempner

I am responding to your article ("Ministry battles to find English teachers," July 13, page 1). It appears to conflict with the information I have been given with regard to this project. I thought perhaps you could clarify.

I was hired by the Ministry of Education as part of the foreign teacher recruitment program. I am a certified teacher with the Ontario College of Teachers in Canada, and I possess a Bachelor's of Education degree. I was hired in January and I began work at a county junior high school in March. I know that all of the teachers that were hired through this program were required to meet the minimum requirements, that is, to possess an education degree and be certified with a governmental body as a teacher.

The article, however, states that the minimum requirements are that teachers must have "obtained Teaching English as a Second Language certification (TESL) and possess a four-year degree from an accredited university."

I would hope that this not the case. I am a trained teacher, as opposed to a four-week TESL "teacher." My degree is in education. I would hope that the ministry holds to higher standards than the local pay-by-the-hour street corner bushiban. And it is my understanding that they do.

Ryan Klempner

Taipei

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