Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

Sweatshop Education

What matters is what works

From our Swindon correspondent:

From the Guardian

Tutors in Sri Lanka who are as young as 17 and earning as little as £1.57 an hour have been used by the government’s flagship national tutoring programme to teach maths to disadvantaged primary school children in England, the Guardian has learned.

The Department for Education announced the immediate suspension of the use of under-18s as tutors for the £350m national tutoring programme (NTP) after being approached about the revelations, and pledged a review of the use of overseas-based tutors in the coming year.

I don’t have an answer on this, but looking around, it seems that the average pay in Sri Lanka is about 520LKR, or £1.90/hr. So, £1.57 is below average, but someone who is 17, is rather new to work, so we’d expect the pay to be lower. But it ain’t a terrible wage by Sri Lankan standards.
Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: “First of all there’s a question about whether it’s ethical to be paying £1.57 to £3.07 an hour, outsourcing in this way. It also raises a bigger issue about why this money is being paid to the private sector whose objective in life must be to make a profit.”

It’s perfectly ethical to pay £1.57 to £3.07 to people in Sri Lanka because it’s not far off their average wage in Sri Lanka. It’s making them richer. And if we raised the price, with all the other costs to be considered with outsourcing across the world, they probably wouldn’t get the work. Isn’t this what the lefties want? The brown people around the world rising out of poverty?

And it should not be forgotten that almost everyone’s objective is making a profit. People might not think of salary as profit, but going to work is a profitable endeavour. You apply some inputs (getting  trained, buying a suit, paying for a bus, your labour, food, renting near a place of work) and get paid. That covers your cost and leaves money left over for a shiny car, an Xbox, a holiday in the Dordogne and some pinot grigio. That’s your profit. We don’t class that as profit, but it is. If you’re smart, you try and get more in the income column, while reducing your costs (e.g. getting a job on the same salary, but in a place with cheaper rent).

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Total
0
Shares
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
7 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Boganboy
Boganboy
1 month ago

I understand Arthur C Clarke moved his savings and himself to Sri Lanka because costs were lower. I can see no reason not to hire lower cost Sri Lankan tutors, provided they can do the job.

It’s also certainly more sensible to find someone who knows their business, such as a private company, to hire the tutors rather than to rely on the schools to do something they’re not organised to handle.

Boganboy
Boganboy
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim Worstall

I concede your point, Tim.

Barks
Barks
1 month ago

Teachers force schools into remote learning. Schools employ teachers. What difference is it whether the remote teachers are in India or the UK?

Climan
Climan
1 month ago

Given a fixed budget (if only) for teacher salaries a pay rise for the Sri Lankens would come at the expense of the UK contingent. Global worker solidarity brothers and sisters.

Yet another dismal attempt to keep the private sector at bay, seen mostly in the constant sniping at Test and Trace.

Michael van der Riet
Michael van der Riet
30 days ago

Isn’t this what the lefties want?

But naturally. The entire climate scam is purposed to keep those nasty undeveloped world people in their place and stop them from catching up with the affluent North Atlantic countries.

Joshua Graham
Joshua Graham
30 days ago

It is immoral to pay sri lankan tutors the going rate, because it is immoral for poor sri lankans to make a profit teaching kids? Most GCSE and A level maths students with bad teachers rely upon heavily accented youtube tutorials for common problems and help with equations. Where the british teacher says “lets move you down a set” the online indian tutor says “I will you teach you my son”. Why does a union head want to remove this direct, invaluable resource from students? Just sounds like protectionism. Johnny Foreigner tutors whatever subject online better, and cheaper than us,… Read more »

Can you help support Continental Telegraph?

If you can spare a few pounds you can donate to our fundraising campaign below. All donations are greatly appreciated and go towards our server, security and software costs. 25,000 people per day read our sites and every penny goes towards our fight against the Establishment. We don't take a wage and do what we do because we enjoy it and hope our readers enjoy it too.


Donate
7
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x