07-19

Visa Agents Sentenced for Assisting Illegal Teachers in China

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On Tuesday, Beijing No 3 Intermediary People's Court gave a final ruling in the retrial of a case, in which three defendants working for an education company were given prison sentences of one and a half to two years for helping people to illegally cross national borders.


Beijing Number 3 Intermediate People's Court Tuesday sentenced and fined the agents up to 10,000 yuan ($1,490) each for introducing the foreigners to Beijing kindergartens in the full knowledge they had no work visa or teaching qualifications. 


The agents organized foreigners with travel or study visas to work at the kindergartens and lied to some foreigners that they could still work there without work visas. They also told the kindergartens to hide foreigners without qualifications to shield them from police examination.


The verdict states they helped a Serbian citizen and a Ukrainian citizen, who are not qualified to teach, to obtain short-term study and business visit visas to come to China, and introduced them to work as English language teachers at kindergartens from 2016 to 2017.


The court's decision comes at a time when how to strengthen management of expats particularly in the education sector in China has stirred heated discussions, after some universities were exposed providing international students with supernational treatment.


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It is no secret that China welcomes international students and the Chinese market has a strong demand for foreign teachers. But that should not prompt people to break the law.


The recruiting of foreign teachers should strictly abide by the current rules and the applicants should have work visas, bachelor's degree and two years' working experience in teaching posts at least. As the case indicates, it is unrealistic to pin hopes on the kindergartens and schools saying no to unqualified foreign teachers given the high demand. 


That native foreign-language teachers are in short supply means many of the employers take what they can. Sometimes, being a foreign national is all it takes to secure a teaching job contract.


The visa issuers, expat management departments and education administrative departments are obliged to strengthen their inspection of the application and certification materials, and the supervision of kindergartens and schools. It is their lax enforcement of the regulations that has been taken advantage of.


Now is the time to strengthen management and supervision of foreign teachers in the country to better protect the interests of the Chinese children and their parent


Source: China Daily, Global Times