China mulls new regulations over recruitment and management of foreign teachers

By Chen Shasha Source: Global Times Published: 2020/7/22 2:24:35

File Photo: VCG

China released a draft regulation on Tuesday over the recruitment and management of foreign teachers and is soliciting public opinions until August 21. The regulation listed several circumstances under which foreign teachers will be subject to termination of employment. 

The circumstances include: words and deeds that damage China's national sovereignty, security, honor, or public interests; be held criminally responsible; obstructing the implementation of the education policy; violating public security management such as taking drugs.

Sexual assault or abuse of minors, sexual harassment of students or other serious crimes and violations of China's public moral and teachers' professional ethics and codes of conduct, engaging in illegal religious education or preaching illegally and engaging in cult activities are also cause for termination of contract.

The regulation requires foreign teachers to gain a valid work permit, and residence permit. Educational institutions should publish the name, nationality, position, and work permit of foreign teachers on their websites.

It also said that educational institutions should register and file with the authorities when they intend to hire foreign staff.

Xiong Bingqi, deputy director of the Shanghai-based 21st Century Education Research Institute, told the Global Times that it is critical for the regulatory departments to reinforce supervision in the reviewing and filing process of recruitment, which should also include verifying the qualification and experiences in the home countries of foreign teachers, to prevent some institutions from condoning their unqualified foreign staff.

Xiong also suggested Chinese parents strengthen their awareness of rights protection, for instance, to ask the teachers they hire to show valid certificates. "Chinese people should stop 'foreign teachers worship,' otherwise, nothing could be changed," Xiong noted.

According to statistics released by the State administration of Foreign Experts Affairs in 2019, there are 1 million foreigners teaching in China while only 10 percent of them hold valid certificates.

Juliet Li, founder a headhunting company seeking jobs for foreigners in China, told the Global Times that it has been clear in practice that teachers with such violations will not be employed, as some of this misconduct will be reflected in their Certification of No Criminal Record, which is a required document when they apply for certificates such as a work visa.

"However, if a foreign teacher doesn't apply for a work visa, it is hard to do background review," Li noted, adding that such reviews are usually inadequate because of the limited resources of foreign teachers in the country and people's blind pursuit of foreign teachers.

 "We will stop recommending to clients and report to public security if we found serious misconduct of foreign candidates. Damaging China's national sovereignty is intolerable," Li noted.

The regulation also said that education institutions should organize training of no less than 20 hours for foreign teachers who are hired for the first time. The training content should cover Chinese regulations and laws, the current state of the country, teacher ethics, education policies and teaching ability.

Moreover, it encourages educational institutions to guarantee and support foreign teachers to carry out teaching research and academic exchange, and participate in democratic management in an appropriate manner.

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