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MTC, Muscat
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 894
Location: Flying around the ME...

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sleepwalker wrote:
So. was the first post inaccurate?


I think it's just that things have calmed down a bit since the inevitably chaotic opening..
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Rostom



Joined: 16 Apr 2014
Posts: 102
Location: UK/Veteran of the Magic Kingdom

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any update on the working conditions with MTC?
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kobold



Joined: 26 Dec 2013
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:25 pm    Post subject: MTC...told as it is... Reply with quote

To answer any privately sent questions, the salary of an English teacher at MTC is 1900 Omani Rial. The contract is currently for 3 years. Accommodation on campus, in a small furnished studio flat, costs 150 O.R. inclusive of domestic bills. Free internet use is provided but your phone calls and all internet use is recorded. Watching porn (at home, in private) is a disciplinary offence. They can break a VPN signal. Too bad. If you were determined to save, you could live on campus without a car for around 200 O.R. a month. As to your mental health after a couple of months, who knows?

To answer points from this forum:

V.S. what makes you so sure I’m not a glamorous woman? Kisses for you ma cheri. Mr. Ma, the comments I made are all based on fact, as you well know, so you’ll have to re-think that strained sarcasm. Still, there will be time. MuscatGary, yes teachers are leaving. Only one has admitted to being dismissed, but others have been Disappeared in mysterious circumstances. There’s a repeated Disciplinary Offence, Rushed Interview / Interrogation / Threats procedure for those in Big Trouble. Just say that you’ll resign and all this will stop and we’ll be nice again. Sleepwalker, the first post clearly wasn’t inaccurate as nobody had a word to say to the contrary.

Regarding management:

The first H.O.D resigned not too long after my first post. He was replaced by his deputy who became Acting H.O.D. She had, painfully obviously, little management experience. As time progressed she fell under Navitas control and recently announced that she will resign from her private office to take a desk in the open-plan Navitas office, a trophy for them, like one of those sad moose-heads on the wall of a hunting lodge.

One year after we started work a request was made for teachers to forward their C.V. A bit late in the day, perhaps? Also, we saw the abortive introduction of the “Teacher Appraisal Scheme”. There was never any attempt to visit classrooms though. The shambolic appraisal scheme called for teachers to submit student essays, to be checked for plagiarism on www.turnitin.com. The subject of the essays was to be “My Teaching Philosophy”. We had hours of meetings on the introduction of the scheme, the implementation of the scheme and finally the collapse of the scheme. Well, I had time on my hands anyway. The meetings didn’t really achieve much. The aim of the scheme was actually to find grounds for the dismissal of teachers who didn’t fit in, but other methods now perform that function. Namely rigged negative teaching observations, triggered by contrived complaints from students.

Related to this was the self–suspension of the entire Teacher’s Representative Committee, in response to incompetent management.

The most pertinent questions in meetings are never answered, but dismissed offhand. The verbose and the unhinged amongst us are encouraged to speak at length.

To keep this brief here is a list of the main points of conflict between teachers and management:

Exclusively female, draconian authoritarian management.

Management refusal to accept any form of criticism or even advice, combined with a predilection for gifts and flattery from the ambitious.

Asking teachers to work beyond contractual hours by designating some classes as non- contact time.

Requests for letters of apology for perceived insults or absurd points unrelated to teaching: “I wish to express my sincere apologies once again on behalf of the poodle recently found in my apartment...”

The victimisation of members of staff who don’t conform, accusing them of being unprofessional and pressuring them to resign as scapegoats for management unable to meet their own unrealistic targets.

Giving teachers who don’t conform little or no work as cover teachers, or assigning them to unsuitable levels.

Covertly arranging with students that complaints be made about specific teachers in order that the teacher might be repeatedly interrogated.

Moving students to inappropriate levels regardless of diagnostic testing. Increasing class sizes in order to place certain teachers under pressure.

Forcing teachers to work beyond contractual hours by designating some classes as non- contact hours.

The promotion of some ethnic groups and the debasement of others. Of a cosmopolitan multi-national staff every low level teacher in the final semester of year one was white and English. Almost all have been labelled incompetent. No Irish or Australian staff have ever had a bad teaching observation result or faced disciplinary procedures.

Finally – the virtual impossibility of receiving medical treatment, a point often raised at meetings but never addressed.

How to get by unscathed? Be Irish. Claim Irish descent. Find distant Irish relatives. If all else fails, be Australian, or claim to be applying for Australian citizenship. Do not, under any circumstances, be English (unless of the gift bearing, flattering sycophant variety). If you really have to be English, don’t be male, be female. Find a way round it.

Regarding working conditions:

They are good. There are state of the art classrooms with Promethean smart-boards and each teacher has a new laptop. The campus is large and the rooms are light and comfortable.

Each office has desks for 5 or 6 teachers. Many teachers don’t speak to others, as is usual in the ESL world, for reasons of innate superiority, high levels of talent, or whatever the case may be. Too bad.

You can visit the “Officer’s Mess” for lunch, a brown-nosing opportunity par excellence, not to be missed by the ambitious. Here’s your chance to click your fingers at the baffled Phillipina waitresses and generally show your upper classness. If you’re lucky you might eat with Navitas staff and feed them some lines. You can bray about your dubious academic credentials and nobody will ask questions. Help yourself to the carrots.

That’s it. Any questions?





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CVN-76



Joined: 28 Mar 2014
Posts: 116

PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For that salary I may be able to stand a month working there. But I'd want a guarantee I'd get a plane ticket home when I arranged to get fired. Not if. When.
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madrileno



Joined: 19 Aug 2010
Posts: 157
Location: Oman

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CVN-76 wrote:
For that salary I may be able to stand a month working there. But I'd want a guarantee I'd get a plane ticket home when I arranged to get fired. Not if. When.


Just a month?

I could tolerate one year, max, for that salary. I can handle sucking up to people of other nationalities for twelve months, and then as the saying goes, "take the money and run"!
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CVN-76



Joined: 28 Mar 2014
Posts: 116

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The middle east is more or less a two-bucket region. You go there with two buckets--one for the BS and one for the $$. When one gets full, you leave. The race is usually pretty close, as the salaries are better in the middle east than other regions. But the BS bucket does fill, unfortunately, so you need two buckets.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16123
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And we even have a poster here with the screen name "Two Buckets." Laughing

VS
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