Authorities have announced plans to ensure that unqualified foreigners are not employed in schools or other educational establishments.
According to China Daily, The State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs has said that new guidelines will be implemented to ensure that better-qualified, more competent English teachers will find their way into Chinese schools.
“Expats who want a job as an English teacher will have to obtain a teaching certificate in China, just as Chinese teachers do,” said Qiu Xusheng, a senior official with the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs.
“Once we confirm that people have been hired illegally, we will report the facts to the relevant administrative departments, such as the public security department,” he added.
Although few details have been released regarding the new policy, previous guidelines released in December of last year state that expats from non-Anglophone countries would be required to hold at least a bachelor’s degree from a university in an English speaking country and have two years of teaching experience.
The requirement to have two years of teaching experience can be waived if the applicant has an accredited TEFL certificate or holds a teaching certificate in their home country.
Chris Stevens, who works for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt International, a global education provider, believes that it may improve the situation on the ground.
“The new policy is in any sense a good thing. The government is taking steps aimed at improving the level of expat teaching in China,” he said. “Students can hardly learn a lot from teachers who lack systematic training. I don’t see any reasons to lower the standards for English teaching when many other professions have them.”
Earlier this year, lawmakers made it clear that they would take steps to deal with the increasing number of foreigners living and working illegally in China, with National People’s Congress deputy calling for stricter punishment of foreigners committing the “three illegals” of illegally entering, staying or working in China.