I am so glad I am not a teacher.
In today’s China Post there is an article on page three about a new government crackdown on illegal, non tax-paying English teachers. Apparently, there have been more complaints from parents than the Education bods had previously admitted that their children were receiving sub-standard education from so-called teachers barely out of school themselves. “For me the final straw was when my child returned home one day and speaked [sic] bad words and telled my mother she was “old cow” said Mrs Huang from Hsintien”
The Ministry Of labour Affairs has issued an edict that all foreign English teachers must legalise their status within 7 days and on April 9th must gather in front of the CKS Memorial Hall for a final, definitive head count. (This sounds like a Schindler’s List type approach to to census taking). All must bring along with them their passports, ARC’s, contracts of employment and, in the case of having been here more than 18 months, last year’s tax return.
According to a Mr Lee of the Immigration Bureau, the whole process should take no more than an hour and bonafide teachers will have to undergo a very basic Chinese language test too and their “grade” will be noted in their passport to ease visa re-application at R.O.C. consular offices abroad.
Ministry of Finance officials have also said that because many so-called teachers do not pay tax, all foreign registered teachers are required to post a bond of NT$7,500 to cover estimated income tax for the year. The money will be collected on the day outside CKS memorial hall. Said Mr Tak Siu-pei “This money if more big than what earn give back when they go, no problem”
Mr. Lee (Immigration) also stated that the Government would be closely monitoring the airport in the week leading up to the mass teacher gathering to see how many teachers leave on “visa runs”. Those who have been in Taiwan more than four times in one year each time for two months will be detained and questioned.
I am going to watch this whole humiliating spectacle and will be bringing along a packed lunch.
The teacher round-up begins at 9.30 a.m. outside the CKS Memorial Hall on Sunday April 9th, 2006.