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I’ve just received a very derogatory message to my earlier post which may or may not be right. However, this coincided with a few calls I also received these days from a few job agencies and schools enquiring about my availability, although I stopped applying or advertising myself as a teacher of English more than a year ago. I’ve amassed perhaps 250 refusals over the six years I’ve been living here, how could I go on living on teaching without teaching? Yet, this remark bills my earlier post as judgemental, probably meaning biassed, and based on stereotypes.

As to judging the Dutch education system as a whole, I can’t have anything to say. I have no overall picture. It seems to work and do its job. As to working for me as a teacher, it clearly is judgemental, i.e., biassed against anyone not yet having experience working in it. I have worked in it once for a small project. However, when I told the job agency person that my experience was with a military facility, she clearly changed her mind and didn’t come back to me about the open post she may have had for me. That wouldn’t count for a school job was the meaning.

So, after teaching English in two other countries for 30 years counts nothing in this country. If it doesn’t, if being a top professional means nothing in the Netherlands, I can only say the system is biassed against everybody from outside here. They say, “Have you experience in the Dutch education system? No? Then you won’t ever have it. Bye-bye!”

It’s not my stereotype, not my judgement. If the Chinese can accept that an expert teacher may not be from an English-speaking country, but this country can’t, that’s a judgement against foreigners, based on the stereotype: only English people can teach English! Right? Then which English people? A poor under-educated chap from Detroit? Or Glasgow? Someone who couldn’t even get his or her GCSE? So: wrong!

The other part of my criticism in the above-mentioned post was to claim that if this is the opinion of the system about foreign experts, then they should not advise anyone to employ Dutch people abroad. How dare they? They aren’t willing to employ anyone here without Dutch experience, so how could Dutch work abroad without having any experience working abroad? It’s simply the other side of the same coin. Nonsense. Their practice is against EU laws about free movement of workers claiming a possible exemption in educational matters. They should be exempted in the same way when trying to get employed outside. They should let others with experience there work there. Or even those without it. Or allow others to work here as they are meant to instead of wasting the talent they have to offer them.

by P. S.

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