Tuesday, June 15, 2010

School is over Finally!

My mom and sister left yesterday for vacation in Florida and boy did they deserve it after this last year working at their school. I worked there for 2 months and that was more than enough for me. I have never met such rude and barbaric people before in my life. My husband warned me about those people but I went with an open mind. Now I see what he was talking about.

Before I get into the story if you get offended by some of the things I say about people in this country then please stop reading this article as I have received plenty of anti-American comments along with being called rude and racist. I post almost all comments good or bad so readers may see what kind of mentality people have. I'm happy to say good comments out way the bad so thanks to those who live with an open mind. Other people can't handle the truth and that's why they make rude comments, make a rude comment expect a rude remark from me.

This school is out in the boondocks in an area where civilization sort of exists. The school had it's KG graduation and so the principal thought they were finished with programs and the rest of the upper grades would have their on individual parties. Right? Oh so wrong. One by one the parents of grades 1-5 came in asking about the party for their kids. Their kids are supposed to have a program and receive certificates and gifts and food etc. The owner sides with the parents and says ok. So the staff has 3 days to come up with a song and dance, process the grades, arrange the party, make the certificates and calculate the grades to find the top 3 of each class.

If that wasn't headache enough the parents start bribing the teachers to make their kids top of the class. The mothers head to the Vice Principal's office to tell her their child has to be number one or they won't return next year. Are you serious? On the last day of the exams the parents wait in the office all day for results. They start calling and calling asking for results. Now these certificates are something found on the Internet and printed on photo paper. They won't get your child a job or a degree, I mean they can make the same things on their own computers so why are they so damn important?

Thank God I stopped working for the school before all hell broke loose. So the day of the party came and the kids got their cheesy certificates, not like any of them really deserved them because they weren't the best kids anyways but it's all about money for the owner. Parents started coming up to the principal asking about the gifts for the kids? OMG WTH? Why are people here obsessed with certificates and trophies? Hell you can go get one for a KD and not make a problem.

Then around 30 parents took off after the Vice principal cornering her in an office like an angry mob yelling at her and asking why their child wasn't top of their class. The vice principal is Kuwaiti-American and they were screaming and saying she's not Kuwaiti she's Indian. What's wrong with these people? They proceeded to call the American principal an Indian and was yelling at her. I really wish I was there with my baseball bat. The staff are Egyptians and Indians and will not stand up to local people so they ran and hid.

If that wasn't bad enough the owner told the principal and vice principal (who set up the whole school, furnished it, set up the curriculum and did everything on their own to make the school a nice place) they would no longer be principal and vice principal and they might have a job as a teacher with a 50% reduction in pay so take it or leave it. The owner also decided to take money from all of the staff for the days they missed. Now mind you he already took it from their paycheck during the month they missed but that wasn't enough he decided for every 3 days missed he would take one day's pay!

The principal and vice principal were the only ones who signed a contract with the owner so they should be entitled to their summer pay right? Sure! Minus the days missed and other amounts he decided to take out. He refused to pay the principal money for her ticket even thought it's stated in her contract. He felt he had paid her enough already. This is what happens when you don't sign a contract and you are not legally employed by a company. If your residency is not on your company and you don't sign a contract then expect to not get your pay and if you do expect it to be short. The owner takes advantage of the people who desperately need a job.

Then I found a clone of the owner. A local who works for the Amiri Diwan and owns a nursery school. He hired me as the director. I specifically told him I wasn't interested in teaching, I was interested in PR, marketing and business. He low balled the salary but I thought later he would increase it so I gave it a chance. I get to the school and it was a disaster. There were about 15 kids there and it was the graduation day. I found out the next day that once again this party was insisted upon by one of the parents who knows the school doesn't have a license so she threatened to go to the Ministry if they didn't have a party for her brat kid.

There was one baby about 8 months old. This poor baby was held the whole day, passed from teacher to teacher and maid to maid. No where for him to play. No supplies for the kids. No computers. There is one English teacher and one Arabic teacher and one assistant working in 3 rooms. So there are 20+ people wandering around the first floor of the house, the kids kept running into me and each other. What did I get myself into?

By the third day I had had enough. The owner was rude and wanted me to do 20 jobs at once. There was no budget, there was no marketing, there wasn't even a decent computer. The owner came in and I along with the English teacher had a discussion about the school. In the end he told me he wanted me to be the director/teacher/jack of all trades for 400 KD. The final straw was the English teacher telling me he hasn't paid her the salary for May. Aha a clone of the other owner. Get people who need money, don't sign a contract, don't sponsor them, just keep them for as long as they will put up with it.

Sorry I'm not one to sit in that type of situation. I had a lot I wanted to say but decided to say this isn't working out. Kuwait is very small and one day you will meet these people again so it's better to go out in a good way as you never know where you might see them.

In the end my husband was right about the jungle people. I can't wait to see what kind of comments I'm gonna get about this. Put yourself in my situation, when your mother and sister are being attacked daily by uncontrollable people how would you feel? The Kuwait job market is getting smaller and smaller. Everyone has to have a B.A. in order to get any job, maybe even McDonald's. We try to do what we can to help our families survive but there are so many vultures waiting to take advantage of the little people.

Now all of the teachers are required to have a B.A. degree in English in order to teach. Americans have degrees in education which means Native English speakers may be out of teaching jobs unless they have subject degrees. Even teaching assistants who make 250 KD or less must have B.A. degrees. Back in 2004 expats were wanted and now our welcome has come to an end it seems. Even contracting has become a cut throat industry. But I did read today in Arab Times that Kuwait plans on making the country a commercial hub so maybe there's good news for the future?

7 comments :

  1. It's all about the money and nothing to do with education, greedy business men, you'll find them everywhere. But that doesn’t mean that all of us are like this. Yes sure we see things that we don't approve, but remember it's not in our hands to change them as corruption kills any effort to remedy this.

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  2. How horrible! I can't imagine working there! What a poor example the parents set for their children. It's really just sad. I'm glad you got the heck out of there!

    I loved the part about the baseball bat... :D

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  3. What a horrible situation, especially for children to witness such events.

    By the way, your blog is really interesting.

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  4. Everyone is racist. Americans are more barbaric.

    You probably teach Bedouin.

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  5. Yeah the school is with mostly bedoo children, why? Do you have a thing against bedoo people? Then you are racist against your own kind.

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  6. Anonymous and I bet you are British...Just a thought...:P

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Comments are welcome! Personal attacks are not. Thanks!