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Focus on Navitas at the Military Technological College

 
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spudulike



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:00 pm    Post subject: Focus on Navitas at the Military Technological College Reply with quote

Navitas staff were unqualified. No questions about or discussion of Navitas qualifications was allowed. The Head of Navitas at MTC claimed to have Diploma Tesol, but avoided any discussion of ESL related topics. The Deputy Head of Navitas initially claimed to have Delta. She later explained that she was in the process of taking Delta. She didn’t seem to make any progress with that. She put up the same Delta assignment reply page on her computer at the beginning of meetings for 3 years. On a positive note she did invent a “Spelling Bee” which included a nice picture of a bee on many photocopies.

It was clear that none of the Navitas managers had ever actually managed anything, and made the whole thing up as we went along. What was there to manage? Well, nothing really. Most of the teachers had years of experience, MA’s , Celta or Delta. Navitas management began with an assessment of the teachers. They didn’t have access to our CV’s and new nothing about us. So the assessment was based on feminine intuition. Big scary guys didn’t fare well. We all know from the cinema that big scary guys are…you know….big and scary. An ideal teacher would be female, not big, and Australian. Out of favour teachers were incessantly micro managed. For example: Teacher X had placed a chair in his classroom possibly obstructing the exit. 1. A verbal warning issued. 2. A whirlwind of CC’ed emails to all and sundry. 3. An interview with the Head of Navitas. 4. An Action Plan to assist the teacher to conform to Navitas thinking. 5. Possible Struggle Sessions with Navitas Staff and HOD, and so on, and on.

Victimisation didn’t always work though…not everyone resigned. It took ages before they figured out how to rig observations. But then the writing was on the wall for everyone.

As time went by the Navitas Head withdrew to her office, spending days writing elaborate, complex emails, containing bizarre and impossible to follow instructions, disconnected from the reality of what was happening in the college. While classes were becoming totally out of control, instructions were being sent on playing party games. Attempts to convince Navitas of the reality around them would be met with the rebuttal that the teacher was to blame for being unable to keep discipline in the classroom.

So what went wrong in terms of management? Navitas were only required to provide support to the teachers, not to manage them. They should have made efforts to manage the students, but could not. So many good teachers resigned or were dismissed. The students became uncontrollable as they knew that they could do no wrong.

Navitas staff were inexperienced, or more accurately, had no experience whatsoever. It became apparent that many Navitas “Academic Team Leaders” or ATL’s, had little teaching experience and very often were less qualified than the teachers. Some initial classes contained 52 students, under the supervision of one teacher. That is, fifty two excited 17 to 20 year old boys, away from home for the first time, in military uniforms, but without any military discipline. Navitas told the teachers that these classes would not appear on out timetable of official working hours, as they “Did not involve contact with the students.” They were Guided Individual Learning (GIL) classes. Supervised homework, basically. In the world of Harry Potter, it might have worked. But the reality was a shrieking, howling, screaming mob. The first Irish HOD said that a good teacher could read a novel in such a class, in perfect silence. Thereafter all the Irish teachers were to be seen with books balanced in front of their faces during the GIL classes.

The whole organization was unnecessary in terms of the operation of the college. Navitas achieved nothing. Without them, things would have worked more smoothly. Their presence was of no importance. I’m guessing though that a lot of money was changing hands to keep them there and a good few backhanders were given. Teachers who fell foul of Navitas were met with every dirty trick imaginable.

Many teachers were victimized by Navitas staff. This is what Navitas are best known for, and as I said previously it was like a prolonged Stanford Experiment. It was the one thing that Navitas was really good at and few of their victims lasted more than a month or two.

Favourites of Navitas were given preferable treatment. You could be assigned to teach higher levels, up to optimistically upper-intermediate. Progressively easier to teach the higher up you went. The upper echelons were reserved for personal friends of Navitas staff. You could be assigned to create exams. No qualifications required, just the right nationality or contacts. You could be assigned to LSE, English Language for the Engineering department, and teach the same 3 lessons twice a week, otherwise relaxing.

Navitas didn’t actually succeed in managing anything. Instead of assisting the teachers, they tried to micro-manage them, but that quickly turned to corporate bullying which went on for 3 years. As for the thing they were actually hired for, paper based support for the teaching staff, they improved over a three year learning curve from total incompetence to mediocrity. They bully teachers and students alike, try to push students through too many levels too fast and otherwise use every underhand strategy available to keep things working their way. I’d avoid them if I were you.






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Whatever will be



Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 303

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:28 pm    Post subject: Agencies Reply with quote

After reading that account, I feel blessed for having had an agency that didn't give a [email protected] about me.

They just picked me up from the airport, did the rigmarole required for the work visa and then dumped me at the work place.

Only in hindsight do I realize, how lucky I was to have had such udderly disinterested and disengaged recruiters. Laughing


Last edited by Whatever will be on Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sleepwalker



Joined: 02 Feb 2007
Posts: 441
Location: Reading the screen

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My typical ME environment has been that if there are no complaints from students and results are okay, then I get left alone. No support but that's fine. I did have a few years of bullying from a sub-continent group but the students were behind me and I weathered it.

The experience described by spudulike is unbelievable.


Last edited by Sleepwalker on Sun Sep 04, 2016 10:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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Whatever will be



Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 303

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:59 am    Post subject: No support but peer trouble Reply with quote

Well, the sub-continentals gave me a hard time too but in a passive-aggressive manner: forming an in-group that would keep me out by speaking Hindi, withholding information or giving wrong information, spreading rumors, and such like.

Their behavior ensured that they kept their perks (better timetables, nicer classrooms, newer desktops, more pleasant office cubicles, etc.).

One just has to get used to being on the bottom of the food chain and accept the left-overs.

Oh yes, and never venture any educational perspectives/ pedagogical theories or provide any other indication that one has actually received proper teaching training.
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bilalbill



Joined: 03 Apr 2013
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Navitas is a company gasping for air.

It's funny because in their 2020 vision they're pursuing an innovative "fail fast" approach to project development. I know it's jingoistic for figure out what works, but the irony would not be lost on the vast number of teachers/managers that have worked within the organisation.

Their management culture is toxic, and it's not just in the Middle East.

Nepotism and underhanded dealings are common place in securing leadership roles, and only the odd decent manager makes life bearable here and there. Budgets for unnecessary things such as professional development are slashed and marketing teams are lavished with bonuses.
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spudulike



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 2:31 pm    Post subject: Navitas and the foundations of mismanagement Reply with quote

Navitas did the groundwork for establishing the current state of affairs at MTC. You have to hand it to them. We begin to see the results more clearly now...
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Motorcycleman



Joined: 13 Jul 2016
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:47 pm    Post subject: Engineering College in Muscat via Red Chair Recruitment Reply with quote

Any news on working at MTC?
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