Teachers recruited from developing countries

School
systems in developing countries are being ransacked by teacher recruitment
agencies to fill staff shortages in England, according to BBC News Online.

The
website says Jamaica is the latest to feel the effect with Jamaica’s Minister
of Education, Senator Burchell Whiteman, saying the country is losing its best
and most experienced teachers – especially those qualified to teach in shortage
subjects such as maths and science.

Last
year 600 teachers left the country to work abroad, mostly in the US and
England.

Last
year alone, Britain issued 6,000 work permits to teachers from outside the
European Community – raising concerns in South Africa, India and other
Caribbean countries such as Barbados and Trinidad.

Senator
Whiteman said the loss of such experienced teachers was putting the Jamaican
school system "at risk".

"Starting
in 2000 and continuing into this year", he told the website, "we have
seen recruiting agencies come from Britain and North America and being quite
aggressive and successful in recruiting our teachers."

Senator
Whiteman said while teachers in Jamaica are paid well, they cannot compete with
developed countries.

Many
inner-city schools in the UK and US are attracted to Jamaica because they can
recruit black teachers as positive role models for pupils of African-Caribbean
origin, the website says.

By Quentin Reade

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