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Scandals take sheen off int'l schools


09:59, June 08, 2013

Increasing affluence coupled with hopes of a possible future foreign college education has inspired many Chinese parents to send their children to international schools in search of the best possible education. The schools themselves are often just part of the story, with property developers, mindful of increasing levels of affluence, using the promise of international schools as bait with which to tempt eager parents. It was reported that 30 apartments were sold in just one month in Jiangsu Province's Nanjing City after a developer advertised that a famous international school would be built in the community.

The craze for international schools has, however, been tempered following revelations that two foreign teachers working in Chinese international schools had been convicted of child sex offenses in their home countries.

Neil Robinson, a former teacher at Beijing World Youth Academy, was arrested this April after it was revealed that he was wanted by police in the United Kingdom for the rape of a child and distribution of indecent images.

This case was immediately followed by the exposure that a 63-year-old American, who has twice been convicted of child pornography offences in Illinois, was working as an English teacher in Nanjing.

Education experts have commented that the scandals highlight major loopholes in the management of foreign teachers, with parents developing "blind trust" in Westerners in the wake of the surging demand for a Western education in China.

A foreigner who wishes to work as a teacher in China should acquire a foreign expert certificate which is granted by a local bureau of foreign experts affairs and must be renewed annually.

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