Tricky Contracts in Precarious Times: Filipino Teachers in China

Abstract: China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” has the internationalization of education through the English language as its strong agenda. In December 2018, the Department of Labor and Employment of the Philippines released the official guidelines for deploying Filipino teachers to China. News sources indicate that about 2,000 Filipino teachers will be recruited to work in China from 2019, but other news sources reveal that the demand could swell up to 100,000. In this paper, I present on my first interviews with Filipino teachers already working in China that will serve as a baseline study for investigating the life and work experiences of English-speaking Filipino teachers in the Mainland. Stories of migration told by Filipino teachers indicate experiences of, and struggles with, working within “tricky” contracts signed within precarious conditions of labor in both the Philippines and China.  

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