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September 03, 2004
Teacher poaching don't stop it profit from it

This definitely remains the biggest school related story just now, with this other horror, also related to the French headscarf ban in schools, not far behind.

But in some ways I found this story to be the most interesting educational titbit in the mainstream media recently.

I have been banging on about educational globalisation here for months. So I am not a bit surprised to see the kind of people whose reaction to any problem is to try to ban it, trying to ban the importing of teachers by rich countries from poor countries, regardless of all the longer term benefits that might result from such a migration.

A clampdown on the poaching of teachers from developing countries to plug recruitment gaps in British schools was agreed yesterday by the government.

Education ministers of 23 Commonwealth states signed up to a package of measures designed to tackle the plundering of teaching expertise by the UK and other states. The poaching has put at risk flagging international efforts to achieve universal primary education within a decade.

This sounds like a classic case of scapegoating to me. They were never going to achieve universal primary education within a decade, and this sets in motion the process of explaining why it isn't their fault but is someone else's.

Instead of moaning about "poaching", why don't these places try to get this thing organised as a valuable export industry? How about some kind of transfer fee system, or something similar. Don't ban it guys. Profit from it. If you are so good at training internationally desirable teachers, be proud, and get rich from it.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 11:55 PM
Category: Economics of education Teacher training

yeah, I mean, who really cares that all those children in developing countries are deprived of qualified teachers, and therefore a quality education? Are you serious? Think about it - fewer qualified teachers in developing countries means fewer children receiving a quality education.

Additionally, if you read the full Guardian article, it cites that it is not a complete ban on teacher 'poaching': "the new protocol will not ban recruitment from developing countries entirely, but is intended to end the organised targeting of poorer countries by wealthier ones seeking teaching staff." It is intended to level the playing field a bit. Whether it actually materialises is another discussion all together.

Comment by: LM on September 10, 2004 11:58 AM
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