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Author Topic: A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall... (THE VISA NIGHTMARE!)  (Read 112086 times)

Raoul F. Duke

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Re: A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall...
« Reply #75 on: May 24, 2008, 10:22:40 PM »
So really our best options are to have a 'proper' job with a gov't school?  Freelancing could end up being very dodgy???
DodgIER, yeah.
I fear the pure freelancer is about to be wiped from the face of China... asasasasas

As for standards improving...don't be absurd. Guys, there ARE no standards here, except perhaps for Net Margin. The bookkeeping is simply being tightened up, that's all.

I'd like to tell you that educated, degreed, certified teachers are a lot better at what they do than former bait-shop employees.

I'd like to, but I can't.  llllllllll

Overall, the effective/wanker margin seems to be about the same for both groups.
"Vicodin and dumplings...it's a great combination!" (Anthony Bourdain, in Harbin)

"Here in China we aren't just teaching...
we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)

contemporarydog

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Re: A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall...
« Reply #76 on: May 25, 2008, 04:00:03 AM »
Yup - as I mentioned before, I went to a 'posh' UK secondary school, considered one of the best in London, and there were some utterly useless teachers there, so really, even being a properly qualified teacher, never mind a holder of xyz Degree, is no guarantee of being any good.
It is too early to say.

Lotus Eater

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Re: A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall...
« Reply #77 on: May 25, 2008, 05:22:15 AM »
No - it isn't a guarantee of being a 'good' teacher.  But it does mean that you should have at lest some understanding of both pedagogy and your subjects.

The same arguments have been run time and time again when jobs become professions.  Do you want your child to be delivered by the local old ladies or by a trained OB/GYN??  Do you want your dentist not to have any training? My guess is you would still prefer those who have studied in the area to be treating you than those who just think they might be good at it. 

Why is it OK then for your children to be taught by those with no understanding of the wide variety of techniques, pedagogical theories, child/adolescent development and a solid grounding in their subject area?  Do you want your own children taught by unqualified backpackers, who will disappear in 10 months having no responsilility to your child or the system?

We can see for ourselves the problems already here by not having really well qualified teachers.

Maybe China is beginning to realise that a western face does not ensure quality either and they are being a little more selective.

But what does confuse me about the visa problem is the difficulty for genuine tourists to get here, especially with the Olympics looming.  The view of some of the students here is that this policy has been slipped in under teh guise of national security and not thoroughly analysed prior to signing by HJT - in an effort bu some factions to dethrone him.  Interesting view.

From where I sit China wants the tourist dollar but not the tourist body.









contemporarydog

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Re: A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall...
« Reply #78 on: May 25, 2008, 05:25:55 AM »
I agree, Lotus.  But then, what are our 'borders' for what constitutes a qualified teacher?  If one is going to insist that the teachers have full QTS, they will have a lot of difficulty filling all the posts, for the salaries paid.  I've only met about 3 people teaching ESL here who were 'properly qualified' in the sense of having a PGCE or B.Ed.  But just having a normal Degree, while it may well ensure that someone is literate and the rest of it, does not guarantee at all that that person will be a good teacher.  If anything having a CELTA may be a better guide (for the purposes of ESL teaching) than having a Degree in Economics or whatever.  I knew a couple in Wuhan who had no Degrees, but had CELTAs, and from what I saw, they were two of the best teachers at my school.
It is too early to say.

MK

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Re: A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall...
« Reply #79 on: May 25, 2008, 07:01:02 AM »
There was a programme in Taiwan a few years back, to put Laowai into Taiwanese public schools as language assistants.

They insisted that applicants have a PGCE or B.Ed.  This meant that someone with a PGCE in computer science, for example, would get a job teaching English over someone with a DELTA or MA TESOL.  Bit daft, I thought.

Anyway, the money was very average, and the programme seemed to disapear without trace.

Senor Boogie Woogie

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Re: A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall...
« Reply #80 on: May 25, 2008, 08:28:06 AM »

Hola!

My visa expires July 31. My visa used to be winter to winter, which was a lot nicer.

I am on a Z visa now, do I have to go home to get another Z visa? The girl in my FAO office said that I only need to do a physical examination because my other paperwork is on file. Another University may want to hire me, but I am afraid of trying to go with a new employer and get caught in some shitsnare where I am going on a visa run to California. I am also concerned about the infamous "5 year limit" rumor. I have been in China for over 7 years.

Being married is a good Ace in the hole, but my old lady wont do that unless there is no other way. On an L, one cannot legally work, and she doesn't want to be married to a bummy guy working for dodgy outfits illegally.

I was just over at Dave's ESL and no one over there knows what the hell is going on either.

Senor

George

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Re: A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall...
« Reply #81 on: May 25, 2008, 09:20:47 AM »
just checked my passport. Res Permit expires June 6!! Phoned the Boss, she says "yes, we know. What are your plans? We need someone to teach High School". Looks like I'm gunna go back to High School.  So far, it's been Senior Primary, Junior Middle, Junior Primary....Mr. Adaptable, that's me!!
The higher they fly, the fewer!    http://neilson.aminus3.com/

MK

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Re: A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall...
« Reply #82 on: May 25, 2008, 09:42:10 AM »
Senor, my understanding is that if you are staying in the same job, it's a visa renewal, in-country, as usual. My school don't seem bothered in the slightest by any of the recent hoopla, and we have A LOT of foreign teachers here, many renewing.

If you are changing jobs, however, who knows?  We are all in the dark to some extent at the moment.

Raoul F. Duke

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Re: A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall...
« Reply #83 on: May 25, 2008, 03:08:39 PM »
Thanks guys for routing around the boxes and getting this thing back on topic. agagagagag

The off stuff was off, anyway...the LAST thing in the world most Chinese schools want is that quality stuff. But you can start a new thread on this if you'd like. I'm sure you will. bfbfbfbfbf

No one at Dave's ESL Cafe really knows anything worth a damn anyway. ahahahahah  But I think it's safe to say that right now, NO ONE knows what the hell is happening with visas...least of all the schools and the hard-workin' comrades at our various Exit-Entry Bureaus. All you can do is get the current local info for your place and time.

Some good questions to ask prospective employers, and distinguish yourself from the great unwashed masses over at Dave's Chez Fasciste and other such diversions:

- Will you provide me with a full 1-year Residence Permit and Work Permit/Foreign Expert Certificate? (The Classic; some things just never go out of style...)

- Will I have to leave the country to get/renew my new permits?

- Will my documents, including my Chinese-language contract and my Work Permit/Foreign Expert Certificate, show my occupation as "Teacher", or will it be something else? (If it doesn't say "Teacher", you may be heading for trouble...)

- Are you entirely sure about that? Can you put that in writing or send it as an e-mail for me? (Use this one rather a lot!)

And...be careful out there... aoaoaoaoao
"Vicodin and dumplings...it's a great combination!" (Anthony Bourdain, in Harbin)

"Here in China we aren't just teaching...
we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)

Eagle

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Re: A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall...
« Reply #84 on: May 25, 2008, 11:56:18 PM »
So really our best options are to have a 'proper' job with a gov't school?  Freelancing could end up being very dodgy???
DodgIER, yeah.
I fear the pure freelancer is about to be wiped from the face of China... asasasasas

As for standards improving...don't be absurd. Guys, there ARE no standards here, except perhaps for Net Margin. The bookkeeping is simply being tightened up, that's all.

I'd like to tell you that educated, degreed, certified teachers are a lot better at what they do than former bait-shop employees.

I'd like to, but I can't.  llllllllll

Overall, the effective/wanker margin seems to be about the same for both groups.

As a former school administrator, I can state with a clear conscience and likely can find more stats to throw at the discussion to prove that, "educated, degreed, certified teachers are a lot better at what they do ... ". 

Eric the Red - Yep!  You are likely spot on.  Tightening the rules could clean up the joint called Foreign Teachers' in China.  We definitely don't assist in improving the system by participating in fraud.  If you want to be a teacher in China, get at least the minimum training ... and then, do a lot of continuing education so that you can actually get better.  Anything less is a statement of participation in the rip off of Chinese students, their parents and the society as a whole.

Why shouldn't we have proper visas and work in proper schools and carry ID?  We generally have to do this in any western country which we use to negatively compare China.  Drive?  Carry your ID.  Shop?  Carry your ID.  Wander around in an unfamiliar region of the world where you might get hit by a taxi and be unable to speak?  Carry your ID.  Where is our common sense?
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Lotus Eater

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Re: A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall...
« Reply #85 on: May 26, 2008, 12:10:28 AM »
In Oz we don't have ID cards - our biggest system of ID is our driver's licence.  Which we do have to carry when we are driving, but otherwise it's pretty rare that we would need to show it to anyone.  Once you have got a bank card, then you don't need any more ID for shopping.  So carrying ID is pretty optional for us.

But overseas, it is always useful to have something that tells people where/who to contact if you get into trouble and your language isn't good enough.  The uni gives us ID cards and I carry that rather than my passport.  (I try to figure out what is the lest mafan to replace if lost or stolen).  So carrying my passport and experts certificate IN XI'AN will be different for me. Travelling I have to carry my passport now - the really useful green residents card has bitten the dust - previously I travelled all over China using that on the principle that it was easier for the FAO to get me a new one of those than for me to get a new passport. ahahahahah

 

Stil

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Re: A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall...
« Reply #86 on: May 26, 2008, 12:32:17 AM »
This past weekend I went to a small town in Hunan that I frequently visit and stay over night. I've been going there for years and I have never needed 'papers' to do anything including hotels because everyone knows me and I'm on file. This time though there were 2 new forms to fill out and they wanted to photocopy everything. Now this kind of thing is common in big cities and tourist towns but this place is neither of those. I didn't have my papers so one of the staff rented the room for me in her name. This is a farming town. The hotel is the best in town - 50 RMB per night. In most cities in China a foreigner would not be allowed to stay there.

Not sure if this info will help anybody but it shows it's not just a visa issue but anything involving foreigners. This town does not usually pay attention to 'the rules' but are doing so now.

Make sure you dot your 'I's and cross your 'T's. For those of you that are living off-campus, have you registered with the PSB? On campus living or living outside in school apartments means you will be registered but if you found your flat on your own, it's your responsibility to register. If you haven't and they check you, you'll get a hefty fine. Much like the overstay visa fine but not capped.

Raoul F. Duke

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Re: A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall...
« Reply #87 on: May 26, 2008, 02:09:04 AM »
Ditto. Excellent advice indeed. Of course, pretty much no one has ever done this, at least not in recent years, but it looks like we'll have to start. bibibibibi
"Vicodin and dumplings...it's a great combination!" (Anthony Bourdain, in Harbin)

"Here in China we aren't just teaching...
we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)

Pashley

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Re: A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall...
« Reply #88 on: May 26, 2008, 02:39:05 AM »
And, I'm afraid...a chilling thought...
Up until now, the schools here have had considerable ability to use their visa sponsorship as a weapon/bargaining trump card against us.
Just imagine  what it's going to be like now that our visa options are much more limited...
Maybe better for us, though it is hard to tell.

The existing schools may be forced to either go through the SAFEA authorisation process so they can legally get residence permits or go out of business. That should eliminate some of the sleazier operators. Good riddance. If lots of the survivors then have legal permission to employ foreigners and can get residence permits for their staff, that's also good.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2008, 07:59:38 AM by Pashley »
Who put a stop payment on my reality check?

Raoul F. Duke

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Re: A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall...
« Reply #89 on: May 26, 2008, 04:16:06 AM »
State schools are already part of SAFEA; I don't think many of the private schools will bother with SAFEA procedures. (If you don't know, SAFEA- the State Administration for Foreign Expert Affairs- is a governmental body allegedly charged with regulating interactions between Chinese employers and foreign workers.)

Too many restrictions and rules and regulations, and licenses to buy, and palms to grease. This is why most of them call themselves "training centers" in the first place.

I think most of them will either find other ways to get their foreign-labor licenses, or shut down the school and put the Chinese staff to work selling Amway products. Or cling to a precarious existance trying to keep a full boat of part-timers from the public sector.

I don't really think much of SAFEA, anyway.

For one thing, I think that believing they have any inclination to or interest in protecting US is a very dangerous assumption. They very likely exist to protect the schools FROM us.

And like many other national government agencies, it probably doesn't have much real authority at the local level.

Have you ever heard of SAFEA intervening in any situation on behalf of a foreign teacher? I never have.

Have you ever heard of SAFEA intervening in any situation at all? I never have.

I suspect SAFEA is in a category along with our contracts, or any other illusory phantasm of the rule of law in China: It's there to invoke when it suits our employers' purposes, and to ignore altogether when it doesn't. Even in the State schools.

If the rules and the laws had any real ability to clean up the sleaze, wouldn't they have already done so? At least a little?

But hey, maybe I'm wrong...
"Vicodin and dumplings...it's a great combination!" (Anthony Bourdain, in Harbin)

"Here in China we aren't just teaching...
we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)