While there are plenty of jobs available for teachers to work as educators abroad, the Department of Education (DepEd) has expressed alarm over reports that there are many teachers who quit their job as public school teachers in search of greener pastures, yet end up working as maids in these countries.
Photo credit: Migration News
Many of the teachers know what await them at the country they are planning to work in, yet there are also those who were promised teaching jobs but end up becoming household helpers or household service workers (HSWs).
They could always try to go back home but considering that many of them took loans to process their papers for the ‘teaching job’, many don’t have a choice but to work as house maids and simply hope they could save enough to go back home.
Aside from this, there are also many cases wherein teachers are promised good salaries as educators yet end up with small salaries comparable to that received by maids.
Photo credit: Facebook / Department of Education – Philippines
“Grabe ang exploitation ng mga teachers who leave DepEd, for example, to teach abroad. May pattern na nakita kami, especially those who go to the United States hoping for a better life,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones confirmed during a recent Cabinet meeting.
“They will borrow money for their visa, for the processing of their requirements, but when they got there, their salaries and situation is comparable to those of maids.”
While it is true that these teachers’ plight might already be out of their hands, considering it was their choice to leave the Philippines for supposedly better jobs abroad, Briones said they could not just turn a blind eye and let these teachers suffer.
“It’s beyond our control because they already left the DepEd, the country and they go abroad to teach. They go abroad to teach because of very attractive terms but the degree of exploitation is also worrisome,” the Education Secretary said.
Briones shared that the DepEd is now ‘working closely’ with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to check the status of teachers working abroad.
Photo credit: Department of Education – Philippines / Facebook
“We’re going to examine the major exchange programs of teachers who go to the US and in other countries,” she said, referring to the program created by the US to address the country’s shortage of teachers.
Because many American teachers have quit their jobs due to low salaries, many US schools have turned to the hiring foreign teachers through the cultural exchange visa or the J1 or the Exchange Visitor or non-immigrant visa to fill in the need.