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Board of Trustees - absence of

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by mjensenaza, Sep 1, 2017.

  1. mjensenaza

    mjensenaza New commenter

    Hi there,

    I have been offered a contract in Vietnam at a great looking small school. I found out that there is currently no Board of Trustees. Is this something I should be concerned about? How would the budget and teachers be kept transparent and accountable etc?

    I would also like any feedback on using the new IPC? for primary schools?

    Can you offer advice before I sign a contract?

    Many thanks.

  2. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    It's a bit odd but hard to tell what it means. Not all schools have them anyway and some for profits have them on paper only but it's really just the owner and family.
    On a day to day basis there's not likely to be much impact on teachers and kids.
    If you can share more about the nature of the school and why there isn't a bog, it might be easier to interpret.
  3. mjensenaza

    mjensenaza New commenter

    Thank you. It's just a small school and is still developing so they are working on that. I am just thinking in terms of accountability and how money is used.

    Do you know much about Vietnam schools? I would also like to check the average salaries for primary schools there? What does a teacher with 4 years UK experience expect there?

    Thank you
  4. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    I have a friend working in primary in Saigon. Shes on just over $40 000 (i think its tax free, but not 100% on that) plus the usual benefits, free accommodation, flights, medical etc.
  5. mjensenaza

    mjensenaza New commenter

    Hi, thank you dumbbells66, mine is 25% less than that. I'm wondering if that's enough to save, get accommodation in District 2 and travel. Saving money is one of my priorities. Thank you any help really welcome as I don't have many contacts there. Thank you
  6. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    If they arent providing accommodation then i wouldnt even be considering it....but thats just me. What else arent they providing? Health care? Flights? Travel allowance?
  7. mjensenaza

    mjensenaza New commenter

    It's a 2 year contract with a review clause in it before renewing for another year. There's a 300dollar accommodation allowance. Health insurance, flights are covered. Is your friend at a very big, prestigious school?
  8. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Its a big one, but not prestigious anymore....not after a teacher was caught smoking crack in the toilets on a parent teacher conference night o_O
    Your deal sounds very very low. I think you will really struggle to find anywhere to live for 300 a month
    mjensenaza likes this.
  9. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    While the gulf golf's comments are pretty much on the money, I would take exception to this part of his post.
    "On a day to day basis there's not likely to be much impact on teachers and kids"

    Their most certainly can be be an impact on staff and students. Many of the new, smaller schools in S.E. Asia are privately run for a profit and if things do not go well, and the school does not grow then the owners have a habit of looking after themselves first and staff, students and ancilliary workers come a very poor second,third and fourth.

    Some of these schools do actually have a Board of Governors but this in itself is not a guarantee of anything as the Board is usually appointed and controlled by the owner or company.

    The impact can be as big as salaries not being paid but can be as small as a lack of classroom resources but impact there can and will be.

    As always the caveat to all this that it is based entirely on my own experiences at three schools in S. E. Asia, all privately owned and all suffered varying degrees of this problem, others experiences may be different.

    PS: The cost of living in Vietnam is pretty cheap but their is a big difference btween Sai Gon and Ha Noi
  10. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, I would go along with what makhnovite has written. In Qatar, the owner of the school was given the grandiose title of "chairwoman of the board", but really she was the owner. Owners are answerable to no one, as far as I can see. Occasionally the Supreme (and Absolutely Perfect) Education Council would be in a flap about something or other, but very often the owner of the school had friends and relatives on the SEC.
  11. mjensenaza

    mjensenaza New commenter

    Thank you. It seems like there is a big degree of trust in how things are run. I know things are going well in the school but it's important to be aware of these areas and how it impacts the running of the school and equality. Thank you. It is in Ho Chi Minh City. Any more idea about the salary would help. Thank you
  12. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    this probably isnt going to help much, but why dont they have a pay structure in place? this is extremely common practice in international schools...at least the decent ones.

    according to numbeo (https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/Ho-Chi-Minh-City?displayCurrency=USD) your housing allowance will only get you a 1 bedroom apartment outside the city centre.

    i just found this on a school in the SOUTH of the city:

    The initial contract for international hire is for two years, and the salary and benefits package are competitive for Vietnam and the region. A first-year salary ranges from $37,000 to $50,500 and benefits include housing (allowance credited monthly), travel allowance, relocation/settling-in allowance, health insurance, home leave, sick leave, personal leave, life insurance, disability insurance, a retirement allowance, tuition waiver for up to two children, and staff development opportunities.

    good luck
  13. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    You mentioned "...a big degree of trust", mjensenaza. No, there is not much of that, in many international schools. However, there are some important reasons why international teachers are really not so badly treated, on the whole.

    Firstly, it is expensive to hire a foreign teacher. The expense of putting an advert in the TES is just part of the overall cost. Secondly, international teachers usually know lots of other teachers and therefore word gets round very quickly these days, so most school owners will understand that it does not make sense to antagonize your staff. (Yes, we all know about those "poison pen" reviews on the ***, but there are other ways that teachers can soiund the alarm - or spread malicious goissip, depending on your viewpoint.) Thirdly, fee-paying parents can be a fickle bunch and they are never happy when a popular and well-respected teacher leaves the school, especially if their child was probably going to be in his or her class next year. Fourthly, it makes life easier for just about everyone when teachers sign up again to renew their contracts for another two years, but of course they are not going to do that if they have been treated shabbily.
    dumbbells66 likes this.

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