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Dushanbe International School, Tajikistan.

 
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the lowlander



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 171
Location: The Oort Cloud

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:21 pm    Post subject: Dushanbe International School, Tajikistan. Reply with quote

For your information:

I applied to Dushanbe International School, after seeing an advert on Dave's.

It all looked very professional, and the salary was quoted as being in line with the teacher's home country (let's asume that's the USA/UK/Canada/etc) and open to negotiation.

I had a telephone interiew with the school, and passed with flying colours.

Great.....er.....no.

Unfortunately, that's when it all started going downhill.

After the successful interview I was sent the school's offer document.

The salary was $2,000 USD PA, about $11,000 PA short of an entry level teacher in the UK.

Clearly, this fell somewhat short of my expectations, and when I asked them about the advert's claim that the salary was negotiable and in line with my home country, I was told very curtly that $2000 USD was all they could afford.

Okay.

I wasn't exactly over the moon, but I was still interested in the prospect of working in Dushanbe.

But no, down and down it went.

As a married man I intended to relocate my family to Dushanbe, and thus I asked the usual questions relating to this, and also asked them to help me to arrange an apartment in advance. Something that they had promised they would do.

However, this clearly proved too much for the chap from the school who was supposed to be recruiting me, and he either ignored my questions completely, or eventually answered, days and days and days later after some significant email prodding, with terse, one sentence answers.

Not exactly confidence building.

At the end of the day, the apartment and the apartment allowance were the major deal breakers. The allowance fell far short of the going rental rates, according to my personal investigations, and the school itself failed to arrange an apartment before our projected arrival.

That, and the fact that the school's contact person was rude and uncommunicative.

In addition, having read the contract very carefully, it states that the student's holidays are not the teacher's holidays, and that employees will be expected to take part in significant unpaid out of hours extra-curricular activities.

Needless to say I declined their offer.

At the end of the day, if a school treats you like less than a dog's breakfast before you actually spend a lot of money flying to their remote location, it's probably a good idea not to bother booking those flights.

Once you get to Tajikistan, far from anywhere, and Dushanbe International School start treating you like property, rather than personnel, which would be my educated guess, then it's not like you can walk down the street and find another job, or pop on the number 57 omnibus home.

My advice........unless you are naked, homeless, and begging at the local bus station for spare change......... this is one to avoid.
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amasamy



Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:16 am    Post subject: Dushanbe International School Reply with quote

I can understand the concerns of someone who is considering relocating to another country. As far as the salary is concerned, this is based on qualifications and experience. Even the minimum salary is high by local standards. Accommodation is provided free and the school arranges it for you so you donít need to worry about it. The school will look after you and provide temporary accommodation for a few days until permanent accommodation is available if it is not ready in advance. Taking into account the cost of housing in UK and the fact that your salary in Dushanbe is tax free, you have greater disposable income than in UK. The school contact person is friendly and works hard to help people to settle in. Perhaps, in the frustration of your negative perception of the offer you received, your tone may have been a little angry towards him. The school also covers the cost of the airfare both ways. As for extra-curricular activities, it is up to the teacher how much time he wants to invest in the school. Generally, the teacher is free once lessons are over.
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the lowlander



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 171
Location: The Oort Cloud

PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:20 pm    Post subject: Dushanbe International School, Tajikistan. Reply with quote

Dear Amasamy,

Please let me reply to some of the comments in your post.

1. The salary offered to me was $2,000. This was non-negotiable, despite what the advert said, and it was not commensurate with a teacher's salary in my home country, which the advert also claimed. This may very well be a good salary by local standards, however, the school's advert claimed that it would be a good salary by a Western teacher's standards. This is not the case if one is an experienced teacher like myself.

2. The school did NOT offer to provide free accommodation. The school offered an accommodation allowance of $350 USD, at least $150 to $200 USD short of what one would need to pay to find suitable accommodation, according to my own enquiries. The teacher is also responsible for paying their own utility bills and Internet etc, so the $2,000 USD on offer is not all disposable.

3. The airfare was also capped at around $1,000 USD, so if you were flying from the American Midwest, for example, then the cost of your airfare is not covered both ways.

4. According to the contract I was sent, the teacher IS expected to take part in compulsory extra-curricular activities, and the teacher will NOT be free during all of the student's holidays.

5. The contact person you mention (if it's the same individual that we're talking about) did not maintain any meaningful contact with me in the weeks prior to my departure. In fact he completely ignored most of the emails I sent him. During our extremely limited contact, he did not furnish me with any real information about what to expect, or what was expected of me, nor did this person do anything to arrange any accommodation for my family and I, despite a number of gentle emails from me asking what progress had been made on this subject.

I eventually telephoned him prior to our departure, to politely ask him if he had found anywhere for us to live. He curtly told me that he hadn't, but that he would contact me by the end of the week regarding this matter. He didn't. The next I heard from him was when I received a very rude email demanding to know what my flight details were. Needless to say, at this point I was unprepared to fly my family to this (for us) remote location without any meaningful information about the school/job/city, no pre-arranged apartment, nor any mention of temporary accommodation, and the "unorthodox" approach of your contact person.

6. Your contact person went from being extremely curt in his initial emails to me, to being downright rude in his final ones. He was most definitely never "friendly" at any time, and if anyone was "angry" it was your employee, who clearly found doing his simple job far too much trouble.

7. Indeed, the attitude of your contact person did leave me feeling negative and frustrated, but these feelings were directed towards both himself and the school, rather than at the offer I received. I might add that I did not vent my frustrations towards him during the time prior to my proposed starting date, as you seem to be indicating.

May I politely suggest that if you have any managerial influence over the contact person in question, you should take a closer look at how he operates, and ask him to Cc all of his emails to/from potential teachers to you in future. If we are indeed referring to the same individual.
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the lowlander



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 171
Location: The Oort Cloud

PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 8:16 pm    Post subject: Dushanbe International School Reply with quote

No reply, Dushanbe International School?

I rest my case.
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citadel



Joined: 12 May 2012
Posts: 60
Location: Over the river and through the woods.....

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just received an offer from the school without an interview!

I sent them a bunch a questions, easy and customary ones and I have not heard back from them. For some reason, they expect me to get on the plane blindly and accept the ambiguous terms and conditions in the 'offer' letter.

I asked them about medical insurance, flight arrangements and banking. I have not heard back from them. It seems that they want one to take one cursory look at the 'offer', book a flight and accept a medical insurance policy ( or lack thereof) and head to one of the most isolated places the world, a place incidently that is riddled with typhoid, lack of medical supplies, and TB.

They will not find an experienced and qualified teacher to accept assignment there. If one is backpacking, just out of school and risking disease and huge medical expense, then Dushanbe International School is the place.
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amasamy



Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some negative comments but DIS is a nice school with well qualified and experienced teachers who are happy to stay several years.
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the lowlander



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 171
Location: The Oort Cloud

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"amasamy" sounds more like a Tajik moniker, than a western one.

Any chance you are a local who actually works for the school?

And if it's so wonderful, with lots of well qualified western teachers staying for years, why are they not on here defending the place?

As would be usual on these forums.

No....no offence.....but I think you'll have to try harder than that.


Last edited by the lowlander on Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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amasamy



Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lowlander ... I guess teachers who are well established in the school don't look at this forum
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the lowlander



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 171
Location: The Oort Cloud

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not?

In my experience, pretty much everyone reads Dave's.
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the lowlander



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 171
Location: The Oort Cloud

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're reading it now.

And you haven't answered my question about whether you're a local who's employed by the school.
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MaiPenRai



Joined: 17 Jan 2006
Posts: 380
Location: BKK

PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry amasamy. Im not buying it. In fact I dont think anybody reading this thread is buying it.

This school advertises for teachers all the time. That is a key indicator that there are troubles at the school. Of course you will get some qualified western teachers who are willing to hop on a plane for an adventure, but most will think like Lowlander.

I am sure your school is willing to sit back and wait for the few that will not cause too many problems and make you do too much work (the things your school advertises that it will do).

Ive seen this many times with "International" Schools in remote locations.

While you have been vague and sounding like a job advert in defense of your school, it seems that Lowlander has very specifically outlined what has occurred in the real world.

Ive had 2 very similar experiences.
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amasamy



Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Calm down guys. No one is forcing you to come to DIS.
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the lowlander



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 171
Location: The Oort Cloud

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's not the point!
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rdobbs98



Joined: 08 Oct 2010
Posts: 194

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amasamy is probable this Azamat from the Dushanbe, Tajikistan job offer:
http://www.eslcafe.com/joblist/index.cgi?read=26096.
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lapd08



Joined: 12 May 2008
Posts: 76
Location: New York

PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 4:31 am    Post subject: Things can always get worse Reply with quote

Good thing people read these forums. I was considering applying to this school, whose ad I'd seen before. I've just arrived in Cuenca, Ecuador to teach and while the Ecuadorians are the nicest people I've met in my travels, I can see already after a few days that the school has, as often happens underestimated the cost of living and a decent apartment for which I have to pay and find on my own would cost far more than my monthly salary. I'd be bankrupt if I stay here a whole year, but after reading all of this, Dushanbe is obviously not the answer.
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