Australia may prioritize overseas teacher visas amid shortage of teachers, offering alternative lifeboat options for Hong Kongers

Australia’s Minister of Education and Youth, Jason Clare, recently said overseas teacher visa applications will be a priority to alleviate the country’s teacher shortage.

On August 12, Claire hosted a roundtable with state education ministers, teacher representatives, principals and unions to discuss ways to address the nationwide teacher shortage. He spoke about the idea at a press conference in Canberra after the meeting.

He said the State and Territory will work with overseas teachers who aspire to come to Australia to ensure that they meet State and Territory standards and are accredited and registered in Australia. I checked and said I should be able to get my visa as soon as I wanted to come to Australia. .

Claire said Home Secretary Claire O’Neill agreed to prioritize the overseas teacher visa.

In the area of ​​attracting and retaining foreign teachers, New South Wales Minister of Education Sarah Mitchell said she would like to see more plans, including expedited citizenship for foreign teachers wishing to migrate to Australia. I got

“One of the concerns and challenges in accepting foreign teachers is the long visa wait times. [to Australia]said Mitchell.

“I want to know what the immediate opportunities are for highly skilled people in high-demand fields such as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).”

In July, Mitchell wrote to Andrew Giles, Minister of Immigration, Citizenship, Immigration Services and Multicultural Affairs, urging the federal government to provide an expedited citizenship route for foreign teachers.

Mr Mitchell said about 200 teachers in NSW schools are currently working on temporary visas and is asking these overseas teachers to apply for Australian citizenship after two years in public schools. .

In addition to the decision on priority applications for overseas teacher visas, the August 12 roundtable also discussed national strategies that could be implemented in three priority areas. Because they are ready for work sooner and have strategies to retain good teachers.

NSW has taken the lead as one way to keep good teachers in the classroom. On 11th August, NSW announced the introduction of a new high-paying job for qualified teachers.

Newly hired teachers in New South Wales currently start their careers with an annual salary of A$73,737 ($50,810), higher than many other career field graduates. Teachers tagged as either ‘Outstanding Teachers’ or ‘Lead Teachers’ can be rewarded up to AU$117,060 ($80,700). It can even go up to AUD$126,528 ($87,200) if you take on additional duties as Assistant Principal.

Education Minister Mitchell said a better system for rewarding and retaining good teachers could help attract more people to the teaching profession.

Australian teacher shares her thoughts

As more and more Hong Kongers choose to leave the city after social turmoil, Australia is one of the most popular destinations for them.

Chan (pseudonym), a Hong Konger currently working as a teacher in Australia, told the Epoch Times that this is really good news for Hong Kong teachers considering moving to Australia. She says she knows some teachers who prefer to come to Australia rather than the UK. But that was before the Australian government started this plan. She is also convinced that if the scheme had been available at the time, it probably would have already been applied.

Regarding Hong Kong teacher qualifications, Ms Chan said so long as applicants hold a qualified degree in education. Authorities then evaluate the qualifications of these universities. However, if you obtained your qualification in a non-English speaking country, you may be required to take an English proficiency test.

According to Australian requirements, teachers from Hong Kong who have been trained abroad must hold a recognized qualification and may be required to pass an approved English Proficiency Test (ELPT).

For Ms. Chan, the biggest challenge for Hong Kong teachers, she said, is the difference in culture and expectations between Asian and Western students/parents.

A concern and challenge of bringing teachers from abroad is the long visa wait times. Chan believes that Hong Kong teachers (or people) want to leave for different reasons. They want to leave for good, perhaps to provide their families with a better future. So you can wait if you have the chance.

Rachel Khoo