Scheme to ease teacher shortage
To help university graduates find work, the Guangdong government has introduced a refund of school fees policy for university students who are willing to work in rural areas as teachers for a minimum of five years.
Graduates will receive 6,000 yuan (HK$6,817) a year and will have their 24,000 yuan university tuition fees fully refunded after finishing five years of service.
The government said there were 12,000 rural teaching posts available. The policy will ease unemployment, and relieve the shortage of teachers in rural areas, especially in the fields of English, physical education, fine arts, music and information technology.
Graduates, however, are not as positive about the policy.
Miss Li, who declined to be named, a graduate of South China Normal University, said getting the tuition fee back would help reduce economic pressure on graduates, but it would be better if they could work in their hometowns. Salaries for rural teachers are relatively low, and their career prospects are limited. The five-year period after graduation is an important stage in a career path. There are not many career opportunities for those working as teachers in small villages. It is not a good choice for graduates who want to develop a meaningful career.
However, with the economy shrinking competition for attractive posts has become tough. Graduates from less prestigious universities are finding it difficult to get decent jobs, so teaching in rural areas may be their only choice.