The massive demand nowadays for English teachers in non-English speaking countries who desire to learn the language results in the hiring of many Filipino English teachers to teach online. At first glance, this is to their advantage knowing that they get hired and thus earn an extra income. But if we will look at it closely, they are underpaid and are just exploited.
Leading among these countries is China, where the demand for English teachers is so great. Their schools actually prefer to hire native English speakers, for whom they pay much, in US dollars. But not contented seemingly, parents and students are still hiring private tutors to teach them the language. And for this, they prefer Filipino English teachers because aside from the latter’s good command of the language, they also make do with low salaries.
While the Chinese online schools have to pay 15 or more US dollars per hour to native English teachers, they spend 1 or 2 dollars per hour to Filipino teachers, who are compelled to accept the insulting salary for lack of job opportunities in the country. For sure, Chinese students are paying much to these online schools, but this does not translate to higher or least fair wages for Filipino teachers.
And so, as can be observed, these Chinese online schools that are catering to Chinese English learners have now mushroomed and multiplied, earning huge profits at the expense of poor Filipino teachers. Again, much as these teachers do not like the idea of being exploited, they have no choice but to work for these schools as such income is better than earning nothing at all or staying idle at home.
But in reality, such logic is unacceptable. Something is wrong in this system, and some culprits are at work and to blame. First, we condemn these online schools that are treating our teachers unfairly, and unjustly. Second, we blame our government for not doing anything about it when we know it could intervene, like regulating or accrediting these schools before they can hire our teachers for higher pay.