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Job standards falling to new lows
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BenE



Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 275

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:08 am    Post subject: Job standards falling to new lows Reply with quote

Just found this wonderful job.

MOD EDIT

Basically the company is asking for native speakers to pay to work in schools in Hanoi while doing a 20 hour teaching week. Is this a sign of things to come or simply a company trying to make $$$ while investing the least in teachers? The best bit is they ask for a "donation" to the company for the privilege of teaching in Vietnamese schools.
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Tigerstyleone



Joined: 26 Mar 2010
Posts: 181

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's another school that also charges a fee if you want to work for them. They make the teachers complete their own CELTA course which is around $2000 usd. After the course the teachers get crappy PT hours on evenings and weekends, but not enough to recoup their investment unless they work for them about a year. It is a pretty famous school and people seem to think its hard to get into, but its not as long as you sign up for the CELTA course.

Only newbies fall for these conditions though. I can't blame them because they don't understand the business.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 763

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks to me like it is just another organization trying to make some money off the most gullible. Notice they reference Nepalese teachers. That is interesting. Looks like they have this core group of Nepalese that are getting paid some pittance, then they get the native English speakers in for free. Somehow they have this thing monetized, and do have some sort of business plan. Notice also the layout of the ad, see how it has a bunch of unnatural sentence lengths? Looks like they copied a document from a pdf somewhere, then were too lazy or stupid to go back and clean it up.

I have seen stuff like this before, there are organizations that try this, and there are people who fall for it. I met one once in the north, she was pretty horrified by how it all turned out, as I imagine most of the people who do this are.

Remember, all over Asia, people actually pay for jobs, or give some other form of compensation for the privilege of having a job. This mindset is not that unusual for this part of the world, its just they have not been able to pull it on us too often. I do know some western teachers do a kickback thing in order to get more hours. Just about anything you can dream of is being tried and done.

On the broader question of wages, it is interesting, and we should really have a dedicated thread to job search and wages. I would just briefly state that it seems to me the market is more clearly segmenting. There are some well to do and/or serious students who desire a better experience, and are willing to pay for it. This includes students requiring an IELTS score, business training, and maybe a few other niches. Of course, not all schools providing these services do a good job or have good teachers, but some do, and I think this segment of the market is clarifying a bit. Those better schools and teachers do seem to be at least staying in place in terms of wages. You could argue that increasing costs erodes their incomes, you can also argue that costs are so low here that it is still a good income and good life if you are in that segment.

The lower levels, I do not have the same clarity on. I do think it is easy to see the numbers of people we have here who try this work, and how this is becoming a better choice for work for some of the guys who have been working in other regional countries, where the experience has degraded significantly. When I do meet these teachers, I see a real mix of nationalities, abilities and performance levels. Pretty easy for employers to find people who will fill a spot. Still hard to get very good teachers for 15 bucks an hour, but the industry is such a mess, that may not even be the question. Appearance and ability to entertain may be the primary needs, along with the willingness to put up with whatever is dished out. I do think 15 is still rather firm for the native speakers of English from the desirable list of countries. I think the mid points are where the pressure is (between 15 and the high end). High end guys are still getting their wage, 15 is still the bottom (I think), guys who might have gotten 18 or 20 in the past may have to drop down and stay at 15 forever, unless they deserve to move to the top level.

Folks from the Phils, Europeans who are not truly native speakers, Africans (other than white South Africans), and folks from other scenarios (other Asian faces who are more or less native speakers), not too sure on their wages, I think it is mostly pot luck for them, but some of them do seem to get up to the $15 range in time. Some of those folks are more serious than the backpackers, and likely much better teachers, but of course they do not fit the classic mold of what an English teacher is supposed to look like.
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BenE



Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 275

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So are you saying $15 an hour is now not a wage to scoff at if it's offered? I'd walk out the room if someone offered me that and said other experienced teachers got it.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 763

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think 15 is the going rate for low end entry level stuff, and suspect it is the most commonly paid rate for foreign teachers. This thing about teaching in the public schools is getting bigger and bigger, those employers seem pretty stuck on 15, if I am not mistaken.

Did not say whether you should scoff at it or walk out of the room or be insulted or any of that. Just discussing what is going on with wages here, everyone is welcome to scoff or bow down, laugh or cry, do whatever he feels is most appropriate.

I do think that higher level teachers are wasting their time applying for those jobs, you may not even get a response to your application unless you dumb down your employment package. I would not expect those employers to offer a high level wage for a low level job. If they are really trying, they may offer a couple of bucks an hour more, but tell you to keep it a secret.
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Mattingly



Joined: 03 Jul 2008
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BenE wrote:
So are you saying $15 an hour is now not a wage to scoff at if it's offered? I'd walk out the room if someone offered me that and said other experienced teachers got it.


I think any school offering $15 per hour is in the outskirts taking on backpackers and people in a bind who have burned bridges.

Except for Cleverlearn Van Bao St......
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VietCanada



Joined: 30 Nov 2010
Posts: 293

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I handed out a lot of resumes last year as I did the year before etc, I get calls for $18 an hour and know a few teachers getting 20 or more (public school teaching).

AFAIK only AMA (Cleverlearn whatever) offer $15 an hour rates. Nobody should be accepting less than $18 regardless of their experience or situation.

Everybody exploits foreign workers if you let them.

You can't live on $15 an hour in this country, maybe a few years ago but not now. Not a westerner.

The Cambridge program and being able to use smart boards is the all the rage. These are serious skill upgrades from AMA's Family and Friends and Let's Go pronunciation and Q&A drills.
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montblanc20



Joined: 21 Jul 2013
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Outside of the two big cities do you think it's the same? I accepted a low rate to start. But all of the schools were the same. Too low I think even for a smaller big city. They are guilt tripping me to stay, but I need to stop being lazy and check out more schools. Or seriously think about the big two.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 763

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I am pretty sure CL is 15, but am not certain about all locations. I chat with some of those guys from time to time. If any of you folks are sure about what is going on with the low range, do tell. My info is not firsthand on that, though I do hear some firm numbers second hand from time to time. I especially wish we could get a Filipino thread going here, but they seem to prefer not to post. Would love to hear their stories. Would especially love to hear what those Nepalese guys got into. Do they have some form of English there? They border India, right? Never heard of them being over here before.

When you say nobody should be accepting less than any number, I think that is a bit unrealistic. Like, I know lots of VN who speak passable English and who would be in heaven getting 15. I think the Filipinos are lucky to get that. Some of the VK are stuck with that. Some of the backpackers I have met would seem overpaid at 15. Everything is relative.
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LettersAthruZ



Joined: 25 Apr 2010
Posts: 458
Location: North Viet Nam

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yepper....

Brand new thing starting up here in The North (and, no doubt, coming to a Southern Community near you, soon!!!) -

Large private English Centres (READ: mills) who have paid bribes to local Departments of Education and Training in order to secure contracts to rent Tay instructors out to Public Middle and High Schools, ARE NOW (get THIS) beginning to link up with and utilise scam "charities" who get volunteers to pay them for an experience to volunteer abroad in a developing nation.

These kids are straight outta high school in Oz, U.K., U.S.A. Continental Europa (many aren't even native English speakers), wherever, and they first pay the "Charity" anywheres between $250 - $1000USD in *ahem* "program costs" and the "charity" then farms them out to the larger Private English Language Centres who have contracts with various public middle and high schools and these Centres pay these volunteers a "stipend" of 3 to 9 Million VND per month and these volunteering kids get sent to the Public Schools to teach for 20 classroom hours per week and are told that they are volunteering in Viet Nam's Public Schools so they can help make Viet Nam a better place.........

......MEANWHILE, the Private English Language Mill that is renting teachers to the Public Schools IS STILL BILLING the school at the same amount that they billed the public school at when they were supplying them with ACTUAL DEGREED AND CERTIFIED TEACHERS (not fresh-out-of-high-school-volunteers)!!

Newbies reallllly have to watch out for this scam -

If you get sent into a 45+ student public school classroom and the Centre or Agency that placed you there is paying you less than 330,000VND/$15USD per classroom hour, don't walk away - RUN.....as fast as you can!!
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 763

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fawwuugghhh. Yeah. Actually, I think this scam was going on in the past, but it indeed sounds like they are trying to take it to a new level. I am fascinated about the ad that had these Nepalese as part of the scam. I can just imagine some wild deal, they have about 10 of them in a shack, feeding them rocks and fish heads. We are very grateful for this wonderful opportunity, bwana.

The good thing is, there are not THAT many people who are going to fall for it, and our guys are not THAT stupid, eventually, word will get around. I would not expect this to have a huge impact on the market. I DO think the market is being held down though, especially at the low end. I just feel that the economies in the west are still not doing that well, and 15 bucks an hour in a low cost nation with the "additional benefits" sounds better than unemployment checks (which have run out for a lot of guys), along with minimal opportunities for those "additional benefits".

Just wonder how it will all play out. I read that Cambodia and Thailand are not worth trying any more. Yeah, you can get work, but it is more like 10 over there. Better to just enjoy the benefits of the region and forget about work at that point.
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montblanc20



Joined: 21 Jul 2013
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be nice to know the actual budget allotment for a foreign teacher at a govt school or at a govt after school program. Is the money coming from kids' tuitions or does it come from the ministry? Hearing about plans for Filipino teachers to make $2000 a month makes me wonder how many people are getting money from the situation.

http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/pages/20121130-hcmc-schools-reluctant-about-hiring-filipinos-to-teach-english.aspx


Last edited by montblanc20 on Sun Feb 16, 2014 5:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 763

PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, the Filipino story was really crazy. Look again at this part of the later story (the one you linked), which repeats the logic for hiring the Filipinos.

Quote:
Son then said they chose Filipinos instead of native speakers because of financial difficulties, citing a survey as saying that Filipino teachers asked for $2,000 per month compared to $5,000 charged by Australians and $10,000 charged by British.


As if the govt is actually going to do this because they truly believe this data. Why they even try to create a story is beyond me, if that is the best they can do. If they really wanted a believable story, they could have come up with something a lot more plausible. Maybe they could have cited the greater need for female teachers for younger students and how westerners are mostly men, at least that would have been somewhat believable.

The real answer is likely that the system they have in mind for using Filipinos generates more profit. I could only speculate how, perhaps others are more imaginative in this department than innocent I. I do know that one well known school that does this public school thing a lot may pay their foreign teachers a bit less than half of the income generated by their efforts. This same school also will send out folks who hail from all over. I recall they had some Asians and Italians (the public schools thought the Italians were Brits with particularly difficult accents). They had a Scot who DID have a difficult accent. They had various backpackers from all over whose English was not that great, not so much the accent, but the content (or lack of it). I forget where all these teachers came from, all over the place. Actually, looking at the group, a serious Filipino would not be a downgrade. But none of these guys was expecting 5 grand a month, I can tell you that. They were mostly living payday to payday, boozing it up, mooching cigarettes off each other, doubling up on housing, that sort of lifestyle. Some of them were serious and trying hard, some were rather questionable.
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Ralph Winfield



Joined: 26 Apr 2013
Posts: 32

PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AMA in Vinh is run by crooks who only pay 14 bucks per hour to foreign teachers with decades of experience.
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8balldeluxe



Joined: 03 Jun 2009
Posts: 64
Location: vietnam

PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This story is still dragging on, but evolving. I think there are a lot of forces that will keep this scam in place for a while. I hate to sound negative but I don't want to have Schadenfreude either. I've got a bunch of my long term buddies who have no other options than to serve on these kinds of assignments, so they just do. They say I'm negative but anyway you roll it in the kitty litter box it's still a turd. Yeah sure, they can always get people to come here and work these shifts , and do these jobs but there is a high attrition rate. Some of these jobs are not possible to have a good educational outcome in such conditions. I heard that one of the suppliers is now desperate for more teachers, because a bunch couldn't hack it or wandered off mid season. So all is not well in paradise for the new paradigm. These agents and Tchur suppliers load you up wherever they want you, and if you try to pick and choose they say: " Oh don't you want to work for us?" . There are so many things that can go wrong, the schools can charge extra for the class, advertising a foreigner- ; The schools can pack in more students to increase profit. The Supplier supposedly gets half. ? But what will probably bring a halt to this is the bad feedback from the kids to their parents. "Mommy our teacher just stands there and talks, we don't do anything, and it's a big waste of time I don't want to go to English anymore. My after school class at VUS, Apollo, ILA was better. " there have been some articles in the news recently.
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