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Hong Kong Net Scheme

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by cupasoup28, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. cupasoup28

    cupasoup28 New commenter

    Hi!! Has anyone applied for a teaching job through this scheme? If so, what are your opinions? Is anyone employed through this at the moment? I've always wanted to teach in HK and this has caught my eye. Looks like a good package and just normal teaching time. Any experiences would be appreciated.
  2. elkeisea

    elkeisea New commenter

    I work in HK, not on the NET scheme but I can tell you what I've heard. The pay is very good and potentially towards the top end of teachers' salaries in HK depending on where you are placed on the scale. A friend's husband makes around $60k a month which is very high for a teaching salary here.

    Interviews are carried out by the EDB (govt education dept) and then (I believe) you are placed in a pool and can apply for or approached by schools in the NET scheme. After that I guess your experience will depend on what school you end up in. I don't have any first hand experience so you may take this with a pinch of salt but I've heard some not so good things - secondary school students being rude to teachers in class (uncooperative and speaking in Cantonese about the teacher in front of them), working long hours and on Saturdays, meetings on Friday nights, and you may be the only non-Chinese teacher in a school floating from class to class so you may feel isolated. The school I work at is run along the lines of most of the local schools here and I am looking forward to getting out, it's very regimented. However if you end up in a good school it could be a totally different experience so if you are accepted on the NET scheme I'd just ask a lot of questions and be careful about the school you choose and visit if possible.
  3. cupasoup28

    cupasoup28 New commenter

    Thanks very much for your reply. I noticed that the package was very good. I'm a BBC (British Born Chinese) so hopefully the students won't talk about me. I'm a bit concerned with the possibility of ending up in a bad school and working long hours. I was hoping that the were similar to the ESF international schools as they are more similar to the schools in the UK. I know I'm going to have to work longer school days but was still hoping for school holidays and weekends to be the same. I guess I'm going to have to think carefully about it. Thanks
  4. elkeisea

    elkeisea New commenter

    It might be fine, but will very much depend on what school you end up at. Holidays are likely to be the same as international schools such as ESF, not sure about the hours though. In my school for example, Chinese teachers have to go to school every Saturday for meetings but the English teachers do not. The package is certainly very attractive and if you speak Cantonese it'll make your life easier in a local school.

    That said, the NET scheme schools are all govt schools and I would not imagine they are much like ESF or any other international schools. To start with, you will most likely be the English teacher for a number of classes rather than have your own class. I also find the local approach to education to be very rigid and there's a lot of 'textbook' learning which I don't enjoy. Anyway it is something to consider - depends what your priorities are! If you want to make some money and live in HK for a while it could be a good move.
  5. cupasoup28

    cupasoup28 New commenter

    Has anyone started this scheme since I posted this earlier in the year? I am still looking into this for next year now! Thanks
  6. fsmc

    fsmc Occasional commenter

    I've heard about this (I used to teach ESL, and among ESL'ers this job is thought of as the holy grail).

    From what I understand though, it's highly competetive, and crucially most of their appointments are made from within HK. So you'd likely have to go to HK, work as an English teacher there (on **** money) for a year before you got a decent chance of getting on this scheme.

    I'd also worry about my future career. The NET scheme is very well paid, but EFL as a whole isn't, and that's what you'll be gaining experience in. If the government pulled the rug, or slashed salaries...well, if you tried to get an international school job later they might not look on your experience so favourably.

    I'm not saying don't apply - but the second point especially is worth considering carefully.
    jpgreenwood likes this.
  7. Chopin20

    Chopin20 New commenter

    why is the job the holy grail of EFL? There's plenty of EFK jobs where you can earn a higher salary than this in real terms for example in saudi Arabia or the uae or oman or qatar. There are even some EFL university posts which are highly paid. I also think if it were a UK school they may look upon it unfavorably but not international schools. So long as you're qualified international schools take on anyone with a few years experience. Why should it matter you've been a NET? Quite a lot of EFL teachers earn just as much as international school teachers too. Not all of them. Not if you tefl in spain for example or most of europe. Berlitz in germany were offering up to 3500euros a month in germany a few months ago for example. So the NET contract isn't the only holy grail
  8. clovispoint

    clovispoint Occasional commenter

    The NET teachers tend to be qualified teachers who specialise in English teaching.

    Various levels of pay on entry depending on qualifications from here

    Category 1 (to be appointed at Assistant Primary School Master/Mistress (APSM) rank, MPS pt. 15-29)

    (i) a bachelor’s degree in English (i.e. majoring in English Language or English Literature or English Studies or Linguistics# or a Modern Language#) from a Hong Kong university or equivalent;
    (ii)a recognized teacher training qualification in primary education; and
    (iii)a Teaching of English as a Foreign Language or a Second Language (TEFL/TESL) qualification at least at certificate level, or an equivalent course of study recognised by EDB*.

    Category 2 (to be appointed at APSM rank, MPS pt. 15-29)
    (i)a bachelor’s degree in any subject from a Hong Kong university or equivalent;
    (ii)a recognised teacher training qualification in primary education; and
    (iii)a TEFL/TESL qualification at least at certificate level, or an equivalent course of study recognised by EDB*.

    In the event that candidates meeting the requirements in Category 1 - 2 cannot be recruited, consideration may be given to appoint teachers with the following qualifications:

    Category 3 (to be appointed at APSM rank, MPS pt. 15-29)

    (i)a bachelor’s degree in any subject from a Hong Kong university or equivalent;
    (ii)a recognised teacher training qualification; and
    (iii)a TEFL/TESL qualification at least at certificate level, or an equivalent course of study recognised by EDB*.

    Category 4(to be appointed at APSM rank, MPS pt. 15-29, with salary bar atMPS Point 20)

    (i)a bachelor’s degree in any subject from a Hong Kong university or equivalent; and
    (ii)a TEFL/TESL qualification at least at certificate level, or an equivalent course of study recognised by EDB*.

    Category 5 (to be appointed at Certificated Master/Mistress (CM) rank, MPS pt. 14-24)

    (i)a recognised teacher’s certificate obtained after at least 2 years’ full-time study or equivalent; and
    (ii)a TEFL/TESL qualification at least at certificate level, or an equivalent course of study recognised by EDB*.
  9. fsmc

    fsmc Occasional commenter

    The problem is that you're teaching ESL in a domestic school. You're not teaching a recognised curriculum (i.e. IB, UKNC etc) so it's got very limited value to an international school. I'm not saying you'd never find another international school job again but for sure it probably won't be a top tier place.

    I'd say it's a good scheme either for those starting their teaching careers (as you don't have any experience and would start low down on the payscale of any international school anyway) or for those at the tail end of their careers who want one last job, and so don't really have to be concerned what the 'next' employer will think, as there aint gonna be a next employer.

    If you're experienced and in a good school already (i.e. a 30-50 year old teacher with 5+ years of experience in a proper curriculum, risen up the payscale a bit with a couple of TLR's) I'd say you're taking a big risk if you accepted a NET scheme job. If the HK government pulled the plug on the NET scheme you absolutely wouldn't be able to just slot back into your international career, and ESL outside the NET scheme pays terribly or is in undesirable locations to live. If you ended up in a school from hell, you've got limited options to change (whereas if you don't like your international school, you know you can leave and find somewhere else after a couple of years).

    By all means apply, but I think the disadvantages in terms of career are worth considering.
  10. davidbowiefan

    davidbowiefan Established commenter

    Anyone apart from music teechers, that is.
    No salary is given but it states these jobs are actually freelance.

    In Germany freelancers have to pay self-employed pension contributions and health insurance, which will account for a large chunk of your salary.

    You have been told repeatedly that other factors have to be taken into account. It isn't just a question of how much an employer is offering.
    Helen-Back and blueskydreaming like this.
  11. ally2900

    ally2900 New commenter

    I have friends who are on the NET scheme. It is a very good scheme. Getting into the NET Pool isn't difficult. Finding a job however - well, that's a different kettle of fish altogether.
  12. fsmc

    fsmc Occasional commenter

    Yeah, they have a huge bias to recruiting those who are in HK already. I think last year there were 30 places and 2 got appointed from outside HK, so your chances aren't great unless you're there to interview in person. Got my info from a popular NET forum.
  13. kpjf

    kpjf Occasional commenter

    Can you please show me the link to this job advert? Berlitz hasn't got the best reputation. I've seen jobs teaching in Germany for 37 hours a week at 2000 ish euros, but none for the figure you quote. Actual teaching time at 37 hours a week would be pretty damn tough! Think about it, in the UK actual teaching time would be about 23; 37 is flat out. Then we haven't even factored in lesson planning. Germany is by no means seen as a lucrative destination for TEFL with a lot of competition and several of the jobs I saw before required business English experience. Who wants to be teaching for 37 hours a week?

    Also, one important point is working for a private company compared to a school in terms of holidays. For instance, if you work in a school you'll have a lot of July and August off and let's not forget Christmas, Easter, mid term breaks etc, but if you're working for a private company you wouldn't have this amount of holidays and could be working sometimes until 10pm at night teaching.

    Why is the HK NET scheme seen as the holy grail of teaching? Well, firstly, you start off at something like 30,000 HKD a month which is 3,000 quid a month and on top of that you get 20,000 HKD accommodation allowance (from looking online you could probably get a decent studio for 15,000 HKD). Then if you stay, each additional year the salary goes up for a maximum 13 times if I'm not mistaken (if you don't have a PGCE it's capped a lot earlier). My point here is that if you're on the HKNET scheme and have been there for say 5 years you'll be on £4,000 a month and the £2,000 accommodation allowance.

    It's widely acknowledged that Europe is, well, rubbish for TEFL salaries. Many jobs in Spain only pay 9-10 months and that means you have no salary for 2-3 months per year. However, some people enjoy doing it to experience life in Spain or France etc. You mention the ME: one factor to consider is living in some of the ME countries means having to compromise on certain things and/or lifestyle restrictions. Furthermore, I've read many people talking about how salaries in the ME are nowhere near as good as they were before.
  14. kpjf

    kpjf Occasional commenter

    This is besides the point! Furthermore, it just means they have priority. You challenged the belief that they’re the holy grail, you’ve been proved wrong but oh now you have a new complaint. The best jobs aren’t easy to get of course!

    Please show me proof average salaries in Korea are 3500 USD with free accommodation. Everyone knows Korean salaries have gone down. I think you’re exaggerating about the salaries there. I've seen tonnes of Korean EFL jobs for not much more than 2 Million won. And btw, if I’m not mistaken, looking online for a salary up to 40,000 HKD it’s 2% tax.

    Moving on, salaries in Japan don’t start at 400,000. For a TEFL teacher in Japan starting off you’ll be lucky getting 250,000Y. Nowadays, they’re recruiting more and more Filipinos who are barely getting 200,000Y a month. Japan is not a lucrative place for TEFL. Please show me evidence it starts at 400,000 and increases each year.
  15. kpjf

    kpjf Occasional commenter

    >>>>I'm don't have the time to trawl through ads to prove to you what i say. Pagoda advertised 3.5m won a month in seoul on Daves Esl cafe recently and i enquired to them.

    The problem is you’re telling us stuff that is hard to believe thus we need some evidence. But, let’s just say it’s true this company offered 3.5 million, well that doesn’t mean that’s the standard salary! I’ve seen countless ads in Korea for 2million ish. Let’s face it S.Korea is nowhere near as good as it was.

    The JET programme does not pay 300,000 please get your facts right. It’s 280,000 and accommodation MIGHT be subsidised but on the other hand it might not be. It’s your luck.

    >>>>Japan entry jobs at Eikawas and ALTs recruited by outsourcing companies pay crep as you say 250k a month but university esl professors who speak some japanese (even some who don't) and who have a masters in tesol or applied linguistics START on 400k yen a month. This rises each year.

    Show me evidence. People on Dave’s ESL café would not agree.

    >>>>>> Plus your holy grail NET job in expensive HK at 2% tax means they probably take experienced teachers not entry level teachers.

    Obviously! Why not tell me sushi is Japanese while you’re at it?

    I advise anyone reading Chopin's posts to take what (s)he says with a pinch of salt.
  16. mikemcdonald25

    mikemcdonald25 Occasional commenter

  17. Dramakween

    Dramakween Occasional commenter

    Could you possibly PM me the name of the forum mentioned above? Thank you.
  18. gundyboy

    gundyboy New commenter

    Hi, I've been on the NET scheme you have been writing about here for 6 years. Did you get the answers you needed? If not then I'd recommend the westweb NET forum as a great place to join. You can access the public section there and also have better access to END NET teachers who are willing to answer any questions.
  19. gundyboy

    gundyboy New commenter

    I'm thinking it's more than likely the westweb forum. Do you a Google search and then join as a guest.
  20. Dramakween

    Dramakween Occasional commenter

    Thanks, gundyboy!

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