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Any recent MLI vets?
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omar805



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Posts: 69
Location: Thailand

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 8:40 am    Post subject: Any recent MLI vets? Reply with quote

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titanicman



Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 71
Location: Qatar

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2003 1:14 pm    Post subject: MLI disappoints Reply with quote

MLI is too picky about who they hire. Teachers need to spend 6 hours each day hanging around the office. I'd avoid MLI and try a university or something worthwhile.

Cheers......Titanicman
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16005
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2003 5:03 pm    Post subject: strange answer Reply with quote

Having taught at 5 different tertiary institutions in the Gulf in 3 different countries, your response confuses me. All of them were very picky and demanding about who they hired and all of them required me to be in the office for at least 6 hours. This seems pretty constant for the high paying jobs. As a single woman, I avoided Saudi, so perhaps you are used to their systems which must be different from the rest of the countries.

It would be nice if a current MLI person could address the question, but no one from there seems to be talking these days.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12219
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2003 8:39 am    Post subject: mli Reply with quote

There were some postings over on the Job Info about MLI, but nothing recent. I suspect that paranoia is rampant there and tecahers are keeping their head below the parapet. This is common in the UAE and KSA and is one reason why I use a ridiculous nom de plume.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16005
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2003 2:34 pm    Post subject: true enuf Reply with quote

And of course, this is my real name. Smile I learned long ago that even if one is saying positive things, they can so easily be misunderstood in another culture that is so very different from your own.

I know about a half dozen or so people that are still working at MLI, so I guess they have not been driven out by the situation however it may have changed. But, they are old ME hands who know the way things go in this part of the world. People that can't go with the flow don't tend to be long-term ME expats. From what I have read in the last year or so on this board, there have been some newer procedures for new hires that were causing some early departures.

All I can tell the original posters is that there are a number of good people there, the money is good, and living in Abu Dhabi can be pleasant. I liked it anyway.
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mli_vet



Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2003 4:37 pm    Post subject: Working at MLI Reply with quote

Here’s the scoop from a recent MLI Vet.

Arrow Since leaving MLI, I’ve heard AMIDEAST’s contract will not be renewed. They are the ones who helped get the MLI going and who conducted my hiring interview a few years ago. AMIDEAST did a great job of being a go-between for teachers with the Emirati administration. But the lucrative "consulting" contracts acquired through influence of a former ambassador were no secret, the MLI project being one of the main revenue generators in the Gulf for the "non-profit" AMIDEAST. I'd work my a** off too if were making as much as these consultants were. As I recall, the consultants worked quite hard to get you over there, but once that happened they seemed more concerned with obtaining benefits for themselves as their own contract renewal date came due, COLAs etc (Cost of Living Allowances) than with obtaining benefits for MLI teachers (i.e. salary increases, salary problems--major problems!!!, 10% withholding issues--2 years, NOT just 1 year).

Not that I'm completely indifferent to the implications of AMIDEAST's contract non-renewal--best wishes for their transition to whatever is next. Here’s an idea GHQ! Idea You know all that money you were paying the AMIDEASTERs ? How about spreading it out now among the MLI faculty to increase salaries, start an end of service gratuity (which is actually part of UAE labor law for most other jobs, but not for the military!). Now that might make for some satisfied teachers! Morale improvement! Satisfied teachers Smile = better teaching. The math is simple! Wink

A certain teacher coordinator of a particular nationality has been complained about a lot--see the Job Info Journal on MLI Stay Away (nationality shouldn't have much to do with things anyway Exclamation ), and from what teachers are saying his view of professional development and contract renewal hoops are a problem which has taken on some rather nefarious overtones. I chose not to renew so can’t really tell you about these hoops from my own experience since I didn’t have to jump through them—other hoops for sure, but not the latest pro-dev/renewal ones.

Ah well, hats off to those who rise above all challenges to really make something of themselves in the world of ESL. And pity for those trampled along the way in the process, the all too common plight of we ESL serfs in the slavemarket, frogs waiting to jump to the next lily pad, or however we might choose to describe the condition in which we find ourselves TEFLing in the Gulf. The sociocultural context of TEFLing in the Gulf--something new for the motivated to investigate!

Or go there yourself to experience these "contexts" firsthand at places like the MLI. Late salary Exclamation (first entire year and longer in my case—I had to go begging every month with my hand out, “Er, could I have my salary now, please!!!” Crying or Very sad I would get it, but more often than not a week or 2 late), 10% withheld (and not just the first year!--nearly 2 years in my case--and never returned at end of service—still waiting!!! Where is that final settlement GHQ?!? Ramadan is over! Let’s get a move on things here!), jam-packed offices, exhaustive probing Embarassed military physical to assess fitness for duty, working the first few weeks free while professional/physical competence is assessed prior to contract signing, a hostile teacher coordinator/micro-invigilator Twisted Evil , remote location assignment to places in the middle of the desert Shocked or on navy island.

You won't find out until after arrival, but the contract specifies that the military can assign you to work basically anywhere Shocked —lots of very interestingly translated/worded fine print. WHATEVER you do, don’t commit yourself to working anywhere in advance—they will try a fast one on you at the interview such as “Would you be willing to work at other locations besides Abu Dhabi?” or something like that. Of course if you’re desperate for a job, you’ll say yes, but then what? Off to Sweihan? Navy Island? The ECSSR armtwist? Stay away from that place!!! The list goes on. This contract is something else Exclamation

On the positive side, there are a lot of computers there Smile . And if you can hide in the crowd so to speak, you just might escape the major thwacks of the overbearing professional development cudgel to proceed with your own pro-dev at your own pace. And the MLI seems pretty secure with all of the checkpoints and guardgates (moreso than some of the accommodations provided--some of the flats are bull's eye al-qaeda targets if some evildoer wanted an easy Western kill--come on GHQ !!! Exclamation Question Exclamation spread the teachers out for better safety rather than clumping them all together in target formation!). OK, back to the positive, lots of computers, software and CALL Labs as I was saying.

Also, clean classrooms and hallways thanks to the army of Indian/Pakistani/Asian cleaning staff (these poor fellows!—I’ll never forget how they used to truck these guys around Abu Dhabi in cattle cars, cheat them of their wages, treating them like slaves basically—what about basic dignity and human rights GHQ! Pay them a living wage Exclamation Not just the Westerners!). Pro-dev "opportunities", i.e. the co-opting of the unwilling. 7-2 workday, not bad. And last, but not least, lots of computers, you know, the educational technology stuff. Salary isn’t bad either—10 to 12,000 dirhams per month minus that 10% of course, and always a bit late if you’re “not in the payroll system” yet or “they’re computerizing a new payroll update” as was always the reason to explain why teachers weren’t paid on time.

Apply now and begin/continue your experience within the sociocultural contexts of TEFLing in the Gulf.

Check out their website as well at www.mli.ac.ae, but be sure to take other info into account as well such as the above and recent postings to the Job Info Journal.


MLI Vet
mli_vet@yahoo.com
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Pilot in Command



Joined: 19 Apr 2003
Posts: 50

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2003 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, MLI Vet! I appreciate your insights and candor!

I was interviewed by them back in 1997 to be part of what I think was the initial cadre of ELT's. I was selected Very Happy , but my wife (at the time) wasn't wild about the idea, and I got some fuzzy answers to some pointed questions Rolling Eyes . So, I decided not to take the offer. In light of your revelations, I think I made the right choice Idea . I REALLY didn't like that 10% withholding, and now that I know it was for 2 years, I'm very glad I didn't take the job.

I'll say one thing for them, though. They flew me from the west coast to D.C. for the interview FIRST CLASS Cool (the only time a company has done that for me) and put me up in a very nice hotel. I was impressed by that part anyway.
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mli_vet



Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2003 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right, that flight and first class accommodation in D.C. for the interviews were A-OK! Too bad more interviewers don't do that. Part of the initial coaxing/cajoling.

You probably would have been OK in the first cadre of MLI ELTs back in 1997 (partner's concerns v. impt to be sure). Things have changed quite a bit since then, especially with the way benefits and morale have been chipped away at.

For those considering MLI, I'd be especially careful about knowing what you're getting into before accepting. I.e. making sure you know in advance where your assignment will be (Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Sweihan, Sharjah, Navy Island, ECSSR among the possibilities), holding out for the highest salary possible (12,000 dirhams/mo--accept nothing less! Even the newbies/baby TEFLers are getting that!), and realizing that things like salary/10% withholding/family visas/pro-dev ramrod/final settlement when you're done/ just won't go that smoothly, especially the first year.

GHQ, are you listening!!! Pay your teachers on time! Don't jerk them around with this 10% for 2 years b.s., and pay the final settlements to teachers who have finished their service with MLI !!!

MLI Vet
mli_vet@yahoo.com
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tefllifer



Joined: 13 Jun 2003
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2003 8:38 pm    Post subject: Any recent MLI vets? Reply with quote

I know a few folk who work at MLI and although I have no doubt whatever MLI vet says could be true or could have happened in the past, from what I hear, everything was Ok concerning salary payment and so on on with new people they hired in the last year. Their website says that you need to take money to cover you for first few weeks, anyway - reimbursment in full when you are on the payroll.
I heard about the physical - put your arms up, jump, bend your knees, OK you're fit and also the psych test - 'do you like the UAE?'/'What's your name?' - OK - pass, but I think it only takes a week to do these things, but whether you get paid while waiting for the all clear, I'm not sure. And most ME places have a series of med tests you have to do in and out of country.
As for professional development, well most UAE places do observations and have hoops to jump through. The prof dev person probably has to OK you and although we all know that we know best (because we are teachers and have experience and we all know that whatever we do, we are God's gift to teaching), it is just possible that someone else might have some ideas to share with us, or that what we do is not appropriate for the MLI. So, if the MLI prof dev person OK's you, and then there's a problem, it's his responsibility - so maybe their is some CYA going on. BTW, he has a Western passport and western education, I understand.
My MLI friends tell me things are still not settled after Amideast's departure - but they are expecting new contractual terms soon. Hopefully some current employe will report back on that when/if it happens.
BTW, I hear only 4 out of over 50 teachers are leaving this year, so it can't be too bad there.
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omar805



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Posts: 69
Location: Thailand

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2003 9:11 pm    Post subject: thanks for the replies Reply with quote

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hmbaba



Joined: 06 Apr 2003
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2003 9:38 pm    Post subject: Any recent MLI vets Reply with quote

Hello,
Ref the 10% - 'they' (whoever 'they' are now AmidEast is gone) say that there will be no 10% witholding in the new contract and that there will be some kind of end of service gratuity paid. I have also heard that the 10% will be reimbursed when the new contract happens. We are all still waiting to see what happens and what the contract is and who is dealing with all contractual (and other) matters.
So, it is likely that contracts for new teachers will not have the 10% factor in them.
Watch this space!
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mli_vet



Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2003 5:04 pm    Post subject: MLI and Gouging Reply with quote

Glad to hear you have no doubt these things happened tefllifer, because they did happen!!! To the MLI Vet! And believe me, it's not nice to get slapped with those late payment fees for your visa payments/student loans/bills etc ("Er, could I have my salary now? The late payments and fees are starting to accrue!"). Glad to hear these payroll things are being cleared up! Is this for real? You sure seem to know a lot about MLI for just having a few friends! Hmmmmm. Tell us more when you find out.

What's the deal with the fellow who was assaulted on one of the MLI campuses? Shocked Has this ever happened to anyone else? As he was coming on base one morning, so the account goes, he was attacked by someone who tried to gouge his eyes out. This is not just hearsay. I saw the guy with my own eyes a few days later, face gouge marks and all. This gouging cadet had some claws! Guess who was apprehended, and who got away? The gouged guy was apprehended by "alert" UAE military security guards (who failed to scope the gouger's plates), and the gouger got away scot-free.

There were also a few of the typical mugging incidents, MLI wives being approached by drunk locals (what do you expect GHQ with a block of teacher flats right next to the Emirates Plaza Hotel brothel ?!?), but this gouging incident is cause for concern.

Yes, we know Hamish/Scot47, "The Middle East is for adults!" But even adults don't like to get gouged, in any manner! Physically, salarically, benefitally, contractually, or otherwise.

Are there any recent hires who can give a more recent update on whether MLI/GHQ is really going to stop the 10% and other forms of gouging? Don't be paranoid! Majors Abdullah, Hamad, Commander and various Mohammeds are not reading your email or webposts! Honest! (if you don't believe me, wait till summer vacation and post at the nearest internet kiosk in Europe or wherever). Give us a heads up! Don't keep 'em below those parapets! We want to know!!! That would be great if they start the end of service gratuity--It's about time!

To gouge: [i]verb. 1. "to cut with or as with a gouge." 2. "to force out (esp. an eye with the thumb." ("force out" Interesting!). 3. "to swindle or cheat."

Stop the gouging GHQ! And not just with the "Westerners". Give all of your workers a decent wage, on time, and respect a basic level of dignity and human rights!
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TNT



Joined: 19 Jun 2003
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2003 4:32 am    Post subject: Thanks for your information! Reply with quote

Thanks so much to MLI_VET and others for their replies. I am currently considering a contract with MLI and value all of these comments. If anyone has ANY info they could share about MLI, it would be so very greatly appreciated.

TNT Very Happy
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nowasta



Joined: 16 Mar 2003
Posts: 74
Location: uranus

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2003 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The aforementioned comments on the MLI (both good and bad) certainly provide us with valuable "food for thought". While it looks as though steps are being taken to improve the situation I am still being told by sources on the inside that paranoia is running rampant at the moment and none of the teachers are really being informed of the decisions that are supposedly being made on their behalf. And what is all of this stuff about a sadistic coordinator who is out of control? Is anyone from the MLI willing to inform us of these very important issues or are they ducking their heads in the sand?
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holbrook



Joined: 14 Jun 2003
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2003 8:47 am    Post subject: veiled sentiments Reply with quote

This veiled sentiments character sure sounds a lot like Randal Martin. He the old Amid-East teacher coordinator turned new MLI consultant. Of course he claims to just be close with some teachers but he seems to know a lot of small details about the MLI and interestingly nothing at all bad to say about it. Strange when I work there now and I can't think of a single teacher that would post such supportive comments. Hi Randal.
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