Resources for TESOL and EFL Teachers

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As the Hong Kong pages grow we shall provide the TEFL professional with further information. At this stage we provide information on the Government Program called NET.

The NET scheme is the younger of the axis of Asian EFL programs (JET, EPIK, NET) having commenced in 1998/1999. However expat foreign teachers were teaching in Hong Kong long before this program began under a direct hire system to Hong Kong schools. Unlike the EPIK program which hires foreigners to train Korean teachers, the NET scheme has been developed to enhance both English language teaching and learning of the English Language. Salaries in this program are far in advance of those available in the Korean EPIK program, and top levels salaries are in excess of the JET program.

Most accounts received about the program are very positive, with teachers hired into the scheme quite satisfied with their contract and conditions. The recruiting materials provided by the Education Department are of excellent standard, and clearly inform the intended teacher about life and conditions to be endured under the new contract.

Unlike the EPIK site which provides a sample contract for examination, the NET site does not place a contract online, but some contractual details can be gleaned from the wording on the NET home pages. The NET scheme was employing approximately 640 teachers in 2002, with an average of 9 applicants applying for each one vacancy in the program.

Those who reach the interview stage receive a well prepared list of answers and questions that are of paramount importance to the applicant.

As we receive further information on this program, we will place it on line with any necessary commentary.

Details can be read on various sites, including entry through the government's Education and Man Power Bureau site, and following the link to the NET scheme.

The Hong Kong NET scheme is reasonably well-paid. Once you are in Hong Kong there are plenty of other opportunities, especially for someone with a doctorate or well experienced and a Masters in Education or Linguistics.

Native English-speaking Teacher (NET) in Secondary Schools

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Question: Who will be your employer if you are offered a NET post?
    Answer: The school that you are matched with will be your employer. You will sign a contract with the respective school. Different schools will vary in different aspects such as the academic standard of the students, school culture, etc. You are advised to consult the school principal about these before signing a contract.
  2. Question:Can I see a copy of a contract on line or will you send me one to peruse before I decide to apply?
    Answer:No. You will only get a copy of the contract once you have been offered a position.
  3. Question: What are the school hours?
    Answer: The school hours are usually from 8.00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with extracurricular activities until around 5 p.m.
  4. Question: What are the working hours?
    Answer: NETs are required to work during school hours, after school hours and sometimes on weekends to perform duties within or outside schools.
  5. Question: What is the class size in secondary schools?
    Answer: The number of students per class varies between 40 and 45.
  6. Question: How many days of school holidays are there in a school year?
    Answer: There are a total of 90 days of school holidays per year excluding Saturdays and Sundays. Major holidays include Christmas and New Year, Chinese New Year, Easter and Summer Vacation. However, it is not unusual for teachers to be required to perform duties on school holidays.
  7. Question: How is the salary assessed?
    Answer: Salary increments may be awarded for recognized relevant post-degree teaching experience on production of relevant Certificates/Statements of Service. Without supporting document, your salary will not be revised. Each Certificate/Statement of Service must include the following:
    - length of the employment, with exact dates;
    - nature of employment (i.e. whether full-time or part-time);
    - for part-time employment, fraction of full-time experience;
    - subject(s) taught; and
    - age and levels/grades of students taught.
  8. Question: What is the 'Special Allowance'?
    Answer: A cash allowance is provided for NETs whose normal place of residence is outside Hong Kong. This allowance is mainly for meeting expenses on housing while you are in Hong Kong. Should you and your spouse be both hired as NET, only one allowance will be paid. Currently, the Special Allowance rate is HK$13,000 per month. The rate is under review and may be revised when the offer of appointment is made.
  9. Question: Issues on accommodation
    Answer: Flats in general are smaller and more expensive according to the standard in your home country. Rental costs in different districts within Hong Kong vary greatly in price. The monthly rent of an apartment of 800 ft2 varies from HK$7,000 to HK$13,000 excluding outgoing expenses such as power bills, and water charges, etc. Should you wish to know more about the rental costs in different districts, you may search through some of the popular search engines for property web sites for Hong Kong properties. Some web sites also include maps and schools of different districts for your easy reference. Schools to which you are deployed will help you in seeking accommodation.
  10. Question: Will the round trip airfare be paid for?
    Answer: Yes, NETs and their family are entitled to claim airfare for coming to and returning home from Hong Kong for each contract.
  11. Question: Is there any baggage allowance for a NET?
    Answer: Yes, reimbursement of traveling baggage expenses from and to country of origin is provided on first appointment. The rates are as stated in your contract.
  12. Question: The medical allowance?
    Answer: The medical allowance is for you to take out medical insurance during your contract period. You will be reimbursed the actual expense on the medical insurance premium up to the ceiling stated in your contract.

    *** The terms and conditions of service are subject to the prevailing conditions at the time the offer of appointment is made. ***

  13. Question: Can a spouse work in Hong Kong?
    Answer: You need to consult the Immigration Department when you apply for a work permit in Hong Kong. Normally, a spouse entering Hong Kong as a dependent is permitted to work here.
  14. Question: What schools will be available for a family NET's children's education?
    Answer: Very likely your children will have to attend international schools. International school fees are high. For details, please refer to the webpage on "Education facilities for non-Chinese speaking children".
  15. Question: Tax in Hong Kong.
    Answer: Standard income tax rate is 15%. There is no sales tax in Hong Kong.
  16. Question: What is Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) Scheme?
    Answer: It is a system of retirement protection. It is statutory requirement under the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Ordinance (MPFSO) (Cap. 485) that all employees in Hong Kong have to enroll in an MPF scheme.
  17. Question: How much is the contribution to the MPF scheme?
    Answer: The contribution rate for both the employer and the employee prescribed in the prevailing provisions of the MPFSO is 5% of the employee's income (excluding Special Allowance), subject to the maximum level of income of HK$20,000 per month.
  18. Question: If you enroll in an MPF scheme, will the gratuity be affected?
    Answer: The contract gratuity payable to the NET plus the MPF contribution made by the employer in respect of the NET will be equal to 15% of the total basic salary during the contract period.
  19. Question: Can a NET be exempt from the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Ordinance (MPFSO) ?
    Answer: An employee can be exempt from the provisions of the MPFSO under certain circumstances which include, inter alia, the following:
    a. permission is given for the person to land or remain in Hong Kong for the purposes of employment under the conditions of stay imposed in accordance with section 11 of the Immigration Ordinance (Cap. 115); and
    b. the period during which the person is given permission to remain in Hong Kong does not exceed 12 months; or
    c. the person is a member of a provident, pension, retirement or superannuation scheme established outside Hong Kong. (Such schemes include personal retirement scheme as well as national retirement scheme. It does not matter whether or not the member is making contributions to the overseas scheme when the person is employed in Hong Kong.)

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