HKIEd to design TEFL programme

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 November, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 November, 2008, 12:00am

Education chiefs have asked the Hong Kong Institute of Education to design an in-house training programme that would address the needs of native-English-speaking teachers who have not met all the scheme's entry requirements.

Nearly 40 per cent of primary NETs recruited last year were not trained teachers and 11 per cent did not have any qualification in teaching English as a foreign language, according to figures released by the Education Bureau. Among secondary NETs, 7.5 per cent were not qualified teachers.

Ralph Barnes, project manager for the NET scheme, said: 'We have had preliminary discussions with the HKIEd about designing a high-quality, in-house TEFL or TESL certificate programme for NET teachers and local English teachers that would fill the gaps in some teachers' qualifications when they enter the scheme.

'Members of the EdB went to the Tai Po campus a couple of weeks ago and asked them to design courses that meet our requirements. We are looking at commissioning HKIEd to design and provide - in collaboration with the EdB - professional upgrading courses or professional development courses for NETs - particularly those who have not got a TEFL or TESL qualification - and local English teachers.'

The bureau will consider applicants for the primary NET scheme who have a degree in any subject or a recognised teachers' certificate, plus a TEFL or TESL qualification of least certificate level. But other candidates will also be considered provided they agree to obtain a TEFL or TESL certificate before the end of their first contract.

'We have had a lot of enquiries over the past few years from NETs seeking approval for courses and that has generated some issues,' Mr Barnes said. 'The entry requirements for the NET scheme are under review.'

Andy Kirkpatrick, head of HKIEd's English department, said: 'We are developing some modules for the programme on a trial basis and will send them to the bureau in mid-January for approval.' The plan is to offer the courses from September.