Georgia lures our English teachers

2011-10-08 17:05

The Transvaal Agricultural Union is helping the former Soviet Republic of Georgia to recruit English teachers for its public schools, promising the “benefit to live and work in a safe environment”.

Union general manager Bennie van Zyl said: “Georgia needs a lot of help to rise from the circumstances brought on by its ­socialist and communist past.”

Georgia seeks to appoint an ­English-speaking teacher in every school on a contract basis and in return is willing to pay about R2 000 a month.

The “golden opportunity for young, qualified” South African teachers also comes with two return-tickets a year, ­accommodation with a Georgian family and food, the agricultural union said.

Van Zyl said he had had three enquiries since his organisation sent out a statement promoting Georgia’s recruitment drive.

Georgia has since the beginning of the year been appointing foreign teachers because very few Georgians speak ­English.

This is the second recruitment drive the agricultural union has undertaken to “assist” Georgia. Last year it signed a ­cooperation agreement with the Georgian government allowing South ­African farmers to farm in that country.

So far four farmers have settled there and will rake in their first harvest soon.

Van Zyl said teaching English in ­Georgia is a good opportunity for young South African teachers “who have difficulty finding a job” at home and “who are interested in helping with education in Georgian schools on a contract basis”.

Asked if R2 000 a month would be­ enough for South African teachers, Van Zyl said Georgians do not place high ­value on money but more on “service ­delivery”.

In South Africa, a newly qualified teacher can earn a salary package of about R10 000 a month.

Van Zyl raved about the country’s safety and how it got rid of corruption.

Georgia, however, has in the past year been criticised locally and in the European ­Union (EU) – of which it is not a member – for its poor labour rights record.

Local trade unions in May called on the EU at the International Trade Union Confederation meeting in Belgium to ­exercise political leverage to force ­Georgia to respect ­international labour-rights standards.

Three American teachers related their experiences while teaching in Georgia to the New York Times in January.

They said they had experienced problems with ill-equipped classrooms and teaching tools, low interest among ­students to learn, difficulties in working with Georgian teachers, cold weather and poorly ventilated classrooms heated with mini-wood stoves, and a lack of ­textbooks.

Jason Norton (23), from Colorado in the US, said there were “many obstacles preventing this cadre of foreign teachers from doing their jobs effectively”.

At the time of going to press, Van Zyl was unable to put City Press in touch with a South African teacher who had ­recently returned from teaching in ­Georgia.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.