In important news for ESL teachers with plans to teach in Russia, Moscow News
reports that significant changes could impact not only education but entry:
Moscow's City Duma has put forward an amendment to a new law which would require all teachers to apply for work permits in addition to the work visas which currently allow them to teach here.
And, according to the amendment's author, Tatyana Potyayeva, the deputy head of the City Duma's Science and Education committee, the move is necessary after some foreign teachers were responsible for "inciting ethnic and religious strife" in educational centres.
To many Russia seems enigmatic of late, with changes in national government and various controversies raising questions about security and personal freedoms in the nation. These concerns will not be diminished if Moscow now sees foreign teachers as troublesome.
In practical terms the proposal would mean schools and colleges have to spend up to three months processing the paperwork for new recruits, compared with about one month at present.
English language schools, which have enjoyed years of growth, often recruit staff with either the Cambridge Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) or the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certificate - both of which might now become insufficient for would-be teachers in Russia.
Already the proposed change is having an influence on the ESL community:
At Moscow's BKC Language School, the largest in the country, visa manager Tanya Chibireva expressed concern that the new legislation would make it difficult to attract native speakers as teachers.
"The work permit procedure takes much longer - we are afraid people won't wait to prepare these documents," she said. "It also means that all diplomas and certificates will be checked and we might find we can only recruit teachers with university degrees in language teaching."
While the amendment is yet to be passed, teachers will want to be aware of the possibility that it could have significant implications:
The amendment, which has yet to be ratified by the State Duma, would affect teachers in all levels of education, working in both public and private sectors. However, academics on exchange programmes would not be affected.
ESL travelers should click over to Moscow News and read the entire article. ESLFocus will update this topic as news becomes available.