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kuwait kuwait

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by El awrence, Mar 9, 2004.

  1. beware my friends those establishments using terms such as "we're just one big family" it usually means a tendency to treat staff like naughty children. There are some excellent English schools out here that's for sure but as there is Ying so comes the big bad Yang and my, my are some of them big on Yang.I myself have been teaching at one particular establishment in the South of Kuwait where we reached January before receiving a wage packet which didn't have a deduction of some kind. This particular place charged teachers for all residency costs, help with getting a Kuwait driving licence also came at a highlyinflated price and maybe i'll save the story of "we can get you a good deal on xmas flights" for next time along with the emptying of a large number of teacher's bank accounts (without their knowledge)by the school. see ya
     
  2. well here goes with more of the same.

    as for that bit about driving licences, i forgot to add the school refuses to help those teachers not signing a contract for another year with obtaining said licence. Excuse given included some tosh about the school being held responsible for a teacher not in their employ - naff excuse on two levels:
    1. Teachers are still in their employ until August
    2. Once you have the licence the school are not "responsible" for any madness you might wreak on the "death super highway" that is the 30.

    Another bit of info if you arE considering a sojourn in the South oF the country - changing schools in an above board manner(i.e. giving required notice etc) will not prevent the school refusing to allow change of sponsor. Sooooooo applications for new visa etc needed with all the fun of medicals etc in Blighty YUM YUM back on the merry-go-round. I'll be back with more if you like
     
  3. Sounds my friend if we have both worked at the same school in South Kuwait.

    It does not happen to be the one run by a family cartel and an advisor to the chairman who wears his trousers pulled up past his belly button???

    Situated in an ideal tranquil setting on the beach, which in effect is a polluted strip which you do not even have access to?

    The one with the luluxury accommodation, which in effect is third rate cheap appartments mainly occupied by Asians and other third world labour such as ourselves?

    The school which is so well resourced that you have to order everything on a weekly basis and even then they half your rations?

    Say no more, say no more this same description would fit many more so called educational insitutions in Kuwait.

    Beware, beware do not go here, it could cost you professionially and financially dear!!!!!
     
  4. I´ve always been curious why on earth people choose kuwait as a place to teach. it sounds like a sh1thole full of sh1t schools apart from one or two. I´m only going on what people say on these boards, it seems that there are many, many disgruntled teachers there who are teaching in misery under corrupt management,and if the management are not corrupt then they seem to be of the bully-boy mentality so you have to watch your back.Then there´s the arrogant and unruly kids, and contracts that would be better served as toilet paper.
    Turnover of staff seems incredibly high, and job satisfaction seems to be nil.
    There will I am sure be some who are content, but reading these boards, I wouldn´t consider a job there. Ever. Not even for a tonne of money.
    What the hell entices people there?
     
  5. shadocg

    shadocg New commenter

    I went to Kuwait because my wife got a medical contract for a couple of years. I was looking at the school that my wife's company was sending the kids to (a great American school if you ASK me ;-) and noticed a jobs link. Contacted the superintendent and was offered a position a few weeks later after everything checked out. It was a very positive experience and I would definitely go back to that school.

    Other schools I am not so sure about - some were good, others not so good. My advice would be to not count Kuwait out, but to make sure you do your research before you accept anything.

    Hope this helps
     
  6. Mr Boggard, you are betrayed by your own words my friend! Anyone with the mentality that they don't want to be around Asians or any other "third world" people is clearly not suited to living and working outside of the UK. May I respectfully suggest that you contact the National Front, they hold similar views to yourself.
    I have worked in Kuwait and found most British teachers justify the tag "whinging poms". Many of them would not get near a job in the uk! Malcontents running away from something. Those considering going, it is not the UK, it has plenty of sunshime and far less stress,it is tax free, and despite some schools being less than professional, worth a go.
     
  7. mmmmmmmm, didn't really start this one as a forum for slagging each other off.
    I'm just tring to keep those innocents abroad informed.

    One bit of advice for those contemplating a job in Kuwait. When at interview you listen intently to answers to your probing quesions, remember the custom for employers is to lie. I don't mean embelish the truth or fib slightly, i mean big fat outrageous lies! you see out here, one vital commodity seems to be information and sharing it is not part of the game. So for a real idea of what to expect, talk to people who have been out to Kuwait. Take what the school says with a large pinch of salt.
     
  8. Norbert, this kind of forum is populated by negative people. Look at other threads, mainly negative stuff. There ARE good schools in Kuwait who have teachers who have been there many years and who have better things to do than moan to no-one in particular. Like you, I look to gauge opinions but be careful about what is truly representative about any country.
     
  9. robusto

    robusto New commenter

    El, it's very hard to give an unqualified thumbs up or an absolute raspberry to life in Kuwait and to an extent it all depends on your outlook on life. My three years there were a real mixed bag - I encountered some very unprofessional practices among owners and management and had I gone there as part of some great career move I would have judged it a failure. Other people will no doubt say the opposite - and I must also say that I worked with some very capable people.

    However, not being particularly career driven I went more for the dosh and the lifestyle. I'd worked in Saudi a few years previously and had enjoyed it. In Kuwait I did some things I'd never have done back home, I saved some cash and I met people who will be friends for life. Of all the teachers I met, I doubt if many regretted going, even those who just stayed for a year.

    If you ask me, people who take to life there accept that there will be extreme frustrations, which are amplified if you sit around with like minded people who are determined to think negatively. On the other hand, those who get involved with things, meet loads of people (ideally people they don't work with) and hone their home brewing skills tend to have a ball. I was glad to leave when I did, but if the right offer came along I'd have no problem about going back.
     
  10. robusto

    robusto New commenter

    Sorry, my last message should have been addressed to Norbert.
     
  11. Kuwait was my first post abroad and for the time I was there I really enjoyed it. It is essential to actively go out and seek things to do and work hard to meet new people. The success or not of your time there will greatly depend upon you.
    Work wise, I met some very good teachers who were proffessional in thier approach to the school and the children. Management was a mixed bag with many being totally inexperienced in handling people and getting the best out of the individual. This was a shame as lots of talented people were 'missed' and the school suffered as a result. Sadly, the principal and owners did lie and were very dishonest in their relations with staff - take great care before accepting a job. I have now moved on to another ME country and I am much happier- it ia a more tolerant and welcoming society. There are lots of jobs out here, don't rush and accept the first one - even if the money is better, you may find you would be happier somewhere else.
     
  12. I totally agree that there are good schools in Kuwait. But it really is ifficult to get a handle on which ones unless you're out here already and able to speak face to face with teachers with a positive experience. One point i'd like to make is that there's a whole bunch of good'uns with minor grumbles associated,but one or two steaming piles which should be avoided at all costs. Yes being out here is one hell of an experience and there are always ways of enjoying yourself to take the sting out of a ****ty job, but why put yourself in that position if a better school is available - so do take note of particularly bad experiences - it could save much heartache!
     
  13. Remember this piece of advice do not accept any verbal assurances, get it in writing! Then check the small print (which may actually require an electron microscope to be seen) Also remember the first 100 days are probationary so you can useually escape without penalty during this period. Jumping ship once out here seems a normal way of career advancement! Do Not feel guilty about that - loyalty is expected of you but very little is shown in return - so play them at their own game! speak soon cheers
     
  14. Assuming I did my research (and it sounds like I would have to do a lot) and finally narrowed it down to the one or two "respectable" schools in the country, what could I expect from the kids? Again, reading these boards, I get the impression they are spoiled, arrogant, rude, (probably fat and in desparate need of exercise) and treat teachers the same way they treat their Asian maids/slaves.
    What about management? Few people sing their praises. Are they ALL liars, cheats and bullies? Did anyone actually have an interview where it turned out that everything was the way they had been told. Anyone work in a school where they felt a relaxed atmosphere? eg Is it the norm to go for a beer with management on a Fri afternoon, say? (home brew of course). What about the Kuwaiti people? How do they see foreigners? Is it easy/normal to travel through Kuwait and mix with locals? What do people do at weekends? I've even heard of schools withdrawing pay over the summer holiday to make sure you come back in the new school year!!!!!!and passports being taken!!!!not true surely??
     
  15. Trying to answer norbert's queries as objectively as possible - the school owners /management don't all lie cheat and bully all of the time (in most cases), but their motives are driven by the fact that all schools bar one (named in honour of this web site) are profit making businesses. That fact stands above everything else, so comparisons with state schools and many other international schools cannot take place.
    Kuwait labour law is very punitive. The law seems weighed in favour of employers. That does not mean that schools have to stick to financial sanctions and other measures, but they do - eg. if you have one day off sick you must go to the doctor (no home visits) and get a sick note, otherwise you wil be docked a days pay. They don't have to do this, they could be more understanding, but they choose not to.
    As for relaxed atmospheres - thet probably happens in many establicshements, but in most places a culture of mistruct and 'covering your own back' prevails. Because these places are businesses, the customer (money brings power in that neck of the woods) is always right. Don't count on superiors to back you. They are as dispensible as you and they know it. The idea of plane loads of new labour queuing up to go to the place includes the teaching profession. No one is bothered about high turnover of staff as long as the schools fees keep rolling in.
    The beer with the boss may take place, but it would be on a Wednesday. It is an insular place, but you can choose to socialse as much or a s little as you please with colleagues. The social life can be good, if you are into drama, sports, darts(!).
    Local view of foreigners - they are pleasant enough to westerners but treat other asians in a disrespectful manner - all domestic workers, shop workers, labourers. These people are often paid and treated poorly. Local newspapers often reported suicides among domestic workers but never questioned why this happens.
    Read the threads about the few schools worth considering, tread carefully, go with realistc expectations, remember the 100 day escape clause. You may go there and love it. Many people stay there for years and are very happy.
     
  16. After leaving a message on this thread, this is the first time that I have returned and feel I must address the rather personal, totally ill informed and derogatory remarks made by a Mr Bobcat on the 18th of March 2004.

    Firstly, I am an experienced international teacher with over ten years experience. I have worked in the Bahamas, Europe and the Middle East. The reason I entered international education was infact to live amongst and experience different cultures and people. In all the places that I have worked, with the exception of Kuwait, I have both embraced and been openly accepted by local people.

    To suggest in no uncertain terms that I harbour racist views towards to Asians or any other nationality, just shows a total naivety which I feel borders on stupidty. Dear Mr Bobcat, you have totally missed the point of my message. Asians were the most welcoming and warm people that I encountered in Kuwait. Unfortunately they along with the Philipppino's are totaly exploited and treated like *****, by the majority of Kuwaitees. When you start to look a little deeper and analyse (bit of a big word there)this situation, you could draw obvious comparisons to how alot of teachers (of many nationalities) are treated.

    As for your final remark about hot weather etc, that is the sort of shallow, non-sensical babble that you give you at interviews for Kuwait (are you sure your not one of the passive middle manager types, that thinks they are really important and does everything to appease the owner??).

     
  17. After leaving a message on this thread, this is the first time that I have returned and feel I must address the rather personal, totally ill informed and derogatory remarks made by a Mr Bobcat on the 18th of March 2004.

    Firstly, I am an experienced international teacher with over ten years experience. I have worked in the Bahamas, Europe and the Middle East. The reason I entered international education was in fact to live amongst and experience different cultures and people. In all the places that I have worked, with the exception of Kuwait, I have both embraced and been openly accepted by local people.

    To suggest in no uncertain terms that I harbour racist views towards to Asians or any other nationality, just shows a total naivety which I feel borders on stupidty. Dear Mr Bobcat, you have totally missed the point of my message. Asians were the most welcoming and warm people that I encountered in Kuwait. Unfortunately they along with the Philipppino's are totaly exploited and treated like *****, by the majority of Kuwaiti?s. When you start to look a little deeper and analyse (bit of a big word there) this situation, you could draw obvious comparisons to how a lot of teachers (of many nationalities) are treated.

    As for your final remark about hot weather etc, that is the sort of shallow, non-senseless babble that they give you at interviews for Kuwait (are you sure your not one of the passive middle manager types, that thinks they are really important and does everything to appease the owner??).
     
  18. Mr Bobcat, you truly sound like a man(?) that has found his true vocation in life......teaching in Kuwait.

    What was it again, sun, sea and duty free shopping. Don't rock the boat and all that. Just keep your head buried in that fine Kuwaiti sand my friend and ignore all the injustices that are occuring every day towards fellow teaching colleagues.

    The sun is out, the sand is looking yellow and it's far less stressful than teaching in the UK, so lets just forget about important educational issues such as pedagogy, assessment, resources, professional development, living conditions, contracts not being honoured and money with held.

    While I am not working in the UK and have no long term intention of returning there. Please do us all a big favour, stay where you are mate with your 'I'm alright Jack' mentality, you obviously have alot in common with the country, culture and people.
     
  19. the thing to remember about Kuwait is that there is a very real caste system working out here and Westerners are not that high up it! You may have years of teaching experience but you are just an expendable "asset". The fact you have a professional qualification doesn't really change that.
    Many employers here run buisnesses as side lines so they see the buisness as a way to line pockets and believe me my experience is that they will line their pockets with your money as much as possible. So beware the deductions from wages for this and that spurious reasons. DO NOT go to management for any money saving deals they may offer they will probably be pulling a flanker. For example getting very cheap flights home but charging you full or close to full price. Sorry to sound so negative but I did set this string up to examine pit falls to help people avoid them and I do talk to other teachers so this ain't just a personal winge! good luck and for your own sakes keep the eyes open at all times.
     
  20. Well Mr(?)Bougered, may I suggest that you have missed the point too. I am not a middle management type but it seems that what you are looking for -"important educational issues such as pedagogy, assessment, resources, professional development, living conditions, contracts being honoured etc" can all be found in the UK! This is all VERY important to the middle management types there, so perhaps that is where you may find your dream job (perhaps in midle management?)

    I am not working in the UK either as I got sick off all the "important educational issues such as pedagogy, assessment, resources, professional development blah blah blah" and the rain, and decided that I would much rather stick my head in the sand in a foreign sunny climate. I tried Kuwait, it ain't perfect but where is?

    You seem to have had an unfortunate experience. I sincerely hope you can get over it and move on. One man's meat etc etc etc
     

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