By Matt Salusbury
Following a speech to the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament by a representative of the lettori, there has been progress towards resolving issues around this group of current or former foreign lecturers (including EFL teachers) working in Italian universities who for decades have been denied the same pay, conditions and pension rights as their Italian colleagues.
David Petrie, secretary of the lettori’s union Allsi, addressed the committee in December. During the session MEP Victor Bostinaru asked to see evidence in the form of lettori payslips that would demonstrate in a clear and simple way whether they were being subjected to discrimination. Petrie later sent the committee payslips for one lettore showing that, after 29 years’ service, they earned ‘less than a newly recruited Italian at the same grade’, reported the Italian Insider online newspaper.
At around the same time as the Petitions Committee session, Simon Wright, an MP in the (UK) Westminster Parliament, informed his constituent David McAllister (a lecturer at the University of Bologna) that he’d been contacted by UK minister for Europe David Lidington.
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, recent commander of the International Space Station (ISS), has launched the Macmillan Life Skills suite of materials, which aims to combine ‘soft skills’ with ELT under the slogan ‘Language is a life skill.’
On the subject of soft skills, Commander Hadfield is best known for
By Matt Salusbury
Vietnam's largest city is struggling even to recruit English teachers from abroad, let alone pay them. In 2012 the Ho Chi Minh City municipal Department of Education and Training proposed that a hundred Filipino teachers be employed to teach English in its public-sector primary and secondary schools by the end of that year (see November 2013 Gazette, page 4).
As we went to press, a total of only thirteen teachers from the Philippines had been recruited to teach English in the city, which has a population of well over seven million, with a total of 917 ‘general education’ public-sector primary and secondary schools, according to Vietnam General Statistics Office figures. Vietnamese English-language daily Thanh Nien reports that another twenty-six Filipino teachers were due to start working sometime in early 2014. According to the Department of Education and Training plan, funding for the Filipino teachers’ salaries was to come from the municipal government as well as school budgets; however, this has not been the case. Lack of funding from the municipality has forced schools to look for financial support from parents.
The monthly salary for a Filipino teacher in Ho Chi Minh City is
By Rafaela Peteanu
After the UK Student Loans Company (SLC) froze funding for Romanian and Bulgarian nationals at private higher education colleges late last year (see February Gazette), similar problems are now facing university students from these countries.
According to the Independent, some Romanian and Bulgarian students at British universities have had their loans frozen by SLC. To qualify for these loans, EU students need to