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Immigrant Education

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March 31, 2008 – Comments (2)

I don't know how Canadian stats would compare to US as the systems are fairly different, but Canada has a lot of highly education immigrants that are shut out of the job market for not having their credentials recognized in Canada.

Immigrants seem to be taking on more debt and are more likely to default according to this report

I couldn't help but notice the Asset Back Commerical Paper that is frozen in Canada has subprime mortgages and student loans in it, or at least that what I read in two places, do ask me where because I read a lot and I am not sure where.

Student loans aren't getting a lot of attention, but I suspect they will be the next great default as well.  Where I am we have four new teachers and they have payments in the range of $700/month on their student loans.  Across Canada the average starting wage for new teachers is probably $40-45k.  It is still in the $30k range in eastern Canada, BC is around $43k.  I am not sure about Quebec and I believe the rest of Canada except the north does a bit better.  The north does a lot better.

So in before tax dollars you have about $10k of your income paying student loans and it takes 11-12 years to get to the top of the pay grid and make what people think teachers make.  I looked at the pay scale for teachers and it is like having a front loaded mutual fund that charges you over 30% the first year and is declining over 11-12 years and then is "free."  I took some time researching the pay structure of many kinds of union contracts and the one for teachers has the most oppressive grid to get through to get to the top, and at the top the wage still isn't that great.  I did an exercise where I added up the total wages over a 35 year career for many union contracts and compared the average wage to the top wage on the grid.  Most trades and government jobs came to 2% or less than the top wage.  Nurses came to about 3% less.  Teachers came to 8% less.  

I am on a different track here.  I went to teach in Britian and I complain about education funding here, but in Britian it is so bad, they can't keep teachers and I felt like an adult lost in a mass of children living like Lord of the Flies, only the children don't stop their out of control behaviour in front of adults.  I had one class of students that were "graduating" and they didn't know their multiplication tables and could hardly read, the whole class.

The whole time I was there I kept thinking about how did these people allow their society to go down so far, so very, very far?  I met a retired teacher and I spent a fair bit of time with this dear lady who was almost 80.  She'd say to me all the time that she no longer felt, as did many in her generation, proud to be British and that she was grateful that she was at the end of her life.

I wish I could put into a bottle what it felt like living and working in Britian, with their future, and feel not only how bad I felt for these kids that had zero future, but also the gross level of schadenfreud behaviour across the country and in the adults.  Life just seemed so hard there for so many.  I wish I could share that bottle of feelings with others and just snap people into the realisation that children are the future and as life gets harder, schools become increasingly important for support in their lives, yet with a teaching load of 247 students, what would you expect a teacher to do for those kids?

Britian started cannibalizing their education system about 30 years ago and it has never recovered.  They ran into teaching shortages about 25 years ago and they have been doing recruiting of teachers from other countries ever since.  They pay education costs for anyone who wants to be a teacher, yet they still can't keep teachers.  Cutting that teaching load in half is what they need to do.  First school meeting I was at the headmaster said that the hiring of 15 new teachers was the lowest number in the past 15 years.  That is no stability for children what-so-ever. 

2 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On March 31, 2008 at 1:39 PM, MRTShorts (99.23) wrote:

this is why immigration of educated people and the keeping of educated immigrants in our country is vastly important. if you are finding it hard to domestically produce smarter children at least hold on to the ones who come here. Masters Degree = Citizenship in my utopic world.

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#2) On March 31, 2008 at 2:43 PM, dwot (66.58) wrote:

MRTShorts, most people do not appeciate the importance of education in the importance of developing citizenship, not in the way of your are legally a citizen of a country, but citizenship in the sense of developing into contributing member of society, morally, ethically, and also being able to conform to social standards that enable us to all live together. 

The part of Britain that I saw had lost citizenship.  I had kids that would tell me to f---off everyday and they were completely shock when I left early. The low standard of civility was such a norm in their lives they had no concept of how inappropriate they were behaving.  It was just such an out of control environment.  I decided to leave when I realized I was getting ready to go to battle everytime a kid I didn't know came around.  So often the kids you didn't know would just come around to make your life miserable, come into your room, take everything off the shelves and throw it around the room with you watching and the challenge, "what you going to do Miss?"

They knew I was a teacher but would ask me to buy them alcohol and cigarettes.  They didn't care if I walk by and they were doing drugs.  I landed myself with a bruise that took 6 weeks to heal getting between two students... 

It was truly awful living there, yet I stuck around longer than most.  Out of 7 of us recruited, 3 left the first week, one after 6 weeks and I went home at Christmas.  And the school had no teacher to replace me because of the teaching shortage. Report this comment

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