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18.06.2004 General News

Returnee Teacher Speaks On Ordeal In China

By Joy FM
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Some Ghanaian teachers who travelled to China to seek better fortune have returned home disappointed after their hopes of getting widely publicised jobs as teachers in China were dashed.

There have been various media reports about a migration of many Ghanaian teachers to China in response to what is believed to be a recruitment drive for teachers from states abroad.

But a teacher who just returned, disappointed, Christian Ashiagbor, told JOY NEWS said he arrived in China with his colleagues only to realize there were no jobs for them. He says many of the Ghanaians who travelled to China to teach are still jobless, stranded and penniless.

Mr. Ashiagbor, like many others, read about the search for English speaking West Africans to teach in China on the Internet. His search for details on the Internet website of the Liaoning Province confirmed the search by Chinese authorities for English teachers to improve the English proficiency of their nationals.

This is believed to be part of a drive by the Chinese Government to ensure that all students from elementary to tertiary levels learn how to speak and write English. Convinced that he had found a lucrative opportunity, Mr. Ashiagbor went through the necessary immigration procedures and left for China without an appointment letter but with high hopes of a job waiting for him. His hopes began to fade when he, together with other Ghanaian job seekers, arrived in Beijing.

Some of the teachers paid over 33 million cedis each to local agents to facilitate their trip to China. Mr. Ashiagbor said he paid 1,170 dollars for his ticket and 500 dollars for the visa.

He said he was assured of the help of some Ghanaian middlemen in China who would assist them to secure the teaching appointments. But the middlemen turned out to be Ghanaians, also stranded in China.

Joy FM enquiries at the China Embassy in Accra yielded scant information from the officer in charge of education and culture, Mr Huan, who denied that the embassy has ever issued visas for Ghanaian teachers seeking job opportunities in his country.

It is however, conceivable that if there is a syndicate involved in facilitating the trips then the embassy cannot be expected to have any official knowledge about the quest of Ghanaian teachers in China.