NET position is no different to that of other expats . . .

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 February, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 February, 2002, 12:00am

Your correspondent John Chun Ping-jang's letter ('Why NETs are unnecessary', Education Post, February 2) deserves an immediate reply. There is a lively debate as to whether native or non-native speakers make the best teachers of a second language. On a number of practical points, however, Mr Chun's letter might mislead your readers.

NETs are paid on the same salary scale as local teachers, and our qualifications and teaching experience are recognised according to the same rules. We receive an allowance of $13,000 a month in recognition of the fact that the jobs are expatriate postings.

We are not eligible for promotion, cannot proceed beyond a certain point on the salary scale (no matter how experienced or well-qualified) and have no guarantee that our contracts will be renewed. We also receive a token payment towards baggage costs and medical cover. One return airfare is paid per contract.

Compared with many expatriate teaching posts this is quite usual and certainly not handsome. There is nothing to stop ethnic Chinese native English speakers from becoming NETs as long as they are suitably qualified and experienced. I have met two such NETs since I came here.