Mon, Aug 27, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Letters: Stop lying to foreign teach

There has been no shortage of news coverage on the government's pledge to crack down on illegal foreign teachers. Many foreigners work in private schools that specialize in kindergarten care during the morning and elementary classes in the afternoon.

Foreigners teaching in such schools are granted their work permits based on their work in the elementary classes. This may be surprising to read, but most foreigners do not realize that working in a kindergarten is illegal. Foreigners who come to teach here typically use the Internet to secure a job before arriving. This is done through the Web sites of placement agencies.

All of these placement agencies are located around Taiwan and never inform the arriving foreign teachers that the job they are about begin is, in fact, illegal. The largest such operation is International Avenue Consulting, also known as IACC, based in Taichung. The IACC Web site (http://www.iacc.com.tw/) specifically caters to foreigners wanting to teach in Taiwan and there is no lack of job postings for kindergarten positions on their Web site.

Their Web site does not mention that kindergarten work is illegal. If the government honestly wants to crack down on illegal foreign teachers in kindergartens, then it is the placement agencies that the government needs to address first. Once the placement agencies are operating legally and within the law, the number of illegal teachers in kindergartens will wane.

Dylan Thomas

Hsinchu

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