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Teaching in the Magic Kingdom

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by the hippo, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Not so long ago I had a message from someone who is thinking of teaching in [This comment/section has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]

    I would be VERY reluctant to work for a school in Saudi Arabia with an Arabic name. I once had the misfortune to teach at a school in Jeddah, the thick ear school. It was an experience that I would not wish upon my worst enemy.

    Just because a school does (or does not) have a review in the *** is not, in itself, proof that it is wonderful school in which to teach. Nor does it prove that it is an absolutely horrible place. It just means that, for many possible reasons, no one has got round to writing a review yet.

    Yes, of course a school's own website will look great. That is what school websites are meant to do. Whether or not the school really is so wonderful is another matter altogether. Has the school given you the e-mail addresses of two or three teachers who are currently teaching at the school? Why not?

    Without wishing to seem to be appallingly racist, I must say that would not want to teach at any school where the majority of the students were Saudis. You may think that this is a bad or negative thing to say, but you must remember that Saudi Arabia is a country in which foreigners have few (if any) rights and freedoms. If a Saudi (or a Qatari) parent makes a complaint about you (probably over the phone to the owner of the school, as they will not bother communicating with the headmaster or the headmistress), then you will find it almost impossible to defend yourself. You must be in the wrong because you are a foreigner and an infidel. You will not be able to defend yourself or answer any accusations if you do not speak Arabic. It is no good contacting your teaching union because unions are illegal in Saudi Arabia. Do not think that the British Embassy will help you because they won't, as the British Embassy will be too busy making sure that another huge arms contract gets signed and sealed.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2016
  2. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    That's why we are teaching in the Middle Kingdom!
  3. hellothisismyusername

    hellothisismyusername New commenter

    Oman or Ohhhhh man ? Is Muscat much cop ?
  4. musikteech

    musikteech Occasional commenter

    I've got an interview for a teaching job in Saudi next week. I've been before. The only thing is the boredom cos there's not a lot to do. I don't know whether to take it or not if they offer it me. It's just the money I can save that I can't save at home. What do you think?
  5. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Oman is wonderful and the Omanis are lovely people.

    In KSA, your job might keep you quite busy, musikteech, so maybe you would not be too bored.
  6. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    Musikteach, it very much depends on the school you will be at, the location (Riyadh or Jeddah) and whether you will be in a compound. Compound social life can be as good as anywhere, you are just in a bit of a bubble as, outside the compound is very different. I would never say my years in Saudi were 'boring'.
  7. Carlsberg

    Carlsberg New commenter

    Afternoon All

    There is a genuine shortage on Maths/Chem and Physics candidates here in Oman. This is a great place to work. Slap on the sunscreen and come on down!
    dljames2013 likes this.
  8. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Well, there seems to be a shortage of Chemistry and Physics teachers in quite a few places, Carlsberg.
  9. Roseea123

    Roseea123 New commenter

    Hi the hippo :)
    I've been offered the job for the Saudi school but I won't be accepting anything until I hear back from the Qatari school as well as go through the contracts with a fine comb. At this present moment I feel unsure about any school in the ME. People seem to be so negative even though there are so many going out there every year. Makes me wonder what is the truth? I suppose I will have to make that decision for myself and weigh up the pro's and con's and maybe even experience it for myself. I declined the Kuwaiti job because of the area and the negative review confirmed the way I felt about communication. I suppose one has to do their research and go with their gut instinct. I feel like all I've done the past couple of weeks is apply, interview and then reject! I need to really make a decision on what I want.
  10. musikteech

    musikteech Occasional commenter

    Doesn't a Saudi work visa cost quite a few hundred quid to get upfront what with everything needing attesting and all that?
  11. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    I can save you time by saying the contracts from KSA and Qatar will not be worth the paper they are written on! You will get NOWHERE trying to take the owners of the school to court in any ME country!
  12. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, I think that I would tend to agree with febbers. Exit visas and "No Objection" letters are also sore points sometimes.
  13. musikteech

    musikteech Occasional commenter

    I'm interviewing today about a job in KSA. I have found it difficult to get a letter of no objection/recommendation from my last Saudi employer 5 years ago. It was on a business visa though and it isn;t in my passport as it is a new passport so shall I not bother getting a no objection/recommendation letter then? Will they know?
  14. oldgit

    oldgit New commenter

    Not sure what the current No Objection rules are. They have changed quite a bit over the last few years. AFAIK they have been relaxed. My own recollection is that it was limited to a 'No return within two years without a NO letter.'

    Also, the passport number may now be irrelevant - depends exactly when you were last here - however, they have introduced fingerprint checks now. PM me if you need any more info. I've been here for quite a while.
  15. Jon_Gretzky

    Jon_Gretzky New commenter

    I can't see much racism in voicing an experience-based opinion.

    That sums it up. You need to know where you go and why.
    Tip: None of my colleagues is there for the sun.

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