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CNAQ
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MilesDavis



Joined: 21 Apr 2008
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 5:36 am    Post subject: CNAQ Reply with quote

We all seem to agree that CNA is a poorly-run place.


But I find it an interesting question how a First World institution like CNA could be so badly run.

My guess is that, somewhere way up the ladder, perhaps even way back in the past, someone was promoted way over their head into a management job for which they had few qualifications. Perhaps a patronage appointment; such things are not unknown in Atlantic Canada or in Qatar. This mistake, made once, tends to replicate itself all the way down the line. For how else to hang on to the best job one wil ever have? You need to appoint people below you who are even less qualified than you are熔therwise your own incompetence becomes obvious, and there are candidates available to replace you. You can probably justify it to yourself as the underdog helping other underdogs.

These new appointeees, in turn, will do the same with the level below them, and so on down the line. Even hiring and firing, eventually, will be based on the lowest plausible qualifications. It is striking that CNA seems to be the only college or university in the prosperous Gulf that does not require a Masters to teach TESOL. In fact, most of their EFL instructors seem to be superannuated grade school and high school teachers from Newfoundland, with no background or experience in EFL whatsoever. A good number of them are in culture shock, convinced that Qatari students are uncivilized, childlike, and in dire need of "Canadian values."

The next thing you must do, to protect your position, is to impose strict secrecy in everything. The more others know, the more likely things can get out of your control, and the more likely your own mistakes will become visible. The result, of course, is institutional chaos; but that's a small price to pay. Repeat this too, all the way down the line.

Welcome to CNAQ.

In retrospect, Newfoundland may have been an unfortunate choice for the Qataris for a mother institution. Canada has more experience with TESL than most English-speaking countries, with its huge immigrant inflow and its huge francophone minority. But Newfoundland is the exception擁solated from the rest of the country, rural, no immigrants, no significant francophone community, no foreign students. The folks who started and run CNAQ have no experience with TESOL, and it is half their business.

Back in North America, it would take generations to fix an institution-wide problem like this. In Qatar, since everyone is on term contracts, it could in theory take as little as three or four years, given a will at the top to do so. The first step would be to impose objective checks on management performance. The second would be to start heads rolling, if warranted, from the highest possible level. The bad news is, there is no evidence yet of any such will, or perhaps awareness of the true situation here in Qatar, at the top. And CNA has only four years remaining on their own contract with the Qataris. The way things have been going, I for one doubt the Qataris are going to want to renew.

In sum, if you are seriously underqualified and underfunded, CNAQ might be just your ticket. You never know where you might end up. Otherwise, stand clear. This entire enterprise seems headed for iceberg alley, and no one is manning the bridge.
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james van cleave



Joined: 25 May 2005
Posts: 59

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a BS and a MS in a related field from two--count'em, two-different Ivy league universities, twenty years experience (mostly in the Gulf) and I speak Arabic moderately well . Yet HCT...QNAC et al won't hire me to teach English in what is -for all intents and purposes-a US protectorate.
We're not teaching these guys English so they can watch "Hockey Night in Canada" in the vernacular.[/i]
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turtlepi1



Joined: 15 Jun 2004
Posts: 94

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

james van cleave wrote:
I have a BS and a MS in a related field from two--count'em, two-different Ivy league universities, twenty years experience (mostly in the Gulf) and I speak Arabic moderately well . Yet HCT...QNAC et al won't hire me to teach English in what is -for all intents and purposes-a US protectorate.
We're not teaching these guys English so they can watch "Hockey Night in Canada" in the vernacular.[/i]


In fairness, with 2 degrees from Ivy league schools I would question why you were applying at these institutions...but that's just the cynic in me.
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sliderama



Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 90
Location: al reef

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I noticed on the cna-q website that they have a couple of "Deans" from Canada that I think only have a Bachelors or a Masters. Even a Masters should not qualify one to be a Dean, Ph. D. should be mandatory. So that fits right in with what Miles Davis is saying...
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Stephen Jones



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 4124

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Even a Masters should not qualify one to be a Dean, Ph. D. should be mandatory.
Yea, academic research is all that Deans ever do, isn't it?
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cmp45



Joined: 17 Aug 2004
Posts: 1377
Location: KSA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:58 am    Post subject: Re: CNAQ Reply with quote

MilesDavis wrote:
We all seem to agree that CNA is a poorly-run place.

My guess is that, somewhere way up the ladder, perhaps even way back in the past, someone was promoted way over their head into a management job for which they had few qualifications. Perhaps a patronage appointment; such things are not unknown in Atlantic Canada or in Qatar. This mistake, made once, tends to replicate itself all the way down the line. For how else to hang on to the best job one wil ever have? You need to appoint people below you who are even less qualified than you are熔therwise your own incompetence becomes obvious, and there are candidates available to replace you. You can probably justify it to yourself as the underdog helping other underdogs.

These new appointeees, in turn, will do the same with the level below them, and so on down the line. Even hiring and firing, eventually, will be based on the lowest plausible qualifications. It is striking that CNA seems to be the only college or university in the prosperous Gulf that does not require a Masters to teach TESOL. In fact, most of their EFL instructors seem to be superannuated grade school and high school teachers from Newfoundland, with no background or experience in EFL whatsoever. A good number of them are in culture shock, convinced that Qatari students are uncivilized, childlike, and in dire need of "Canadian values."

Welcome to CNAQ.

In retrospect, Newfoundland may have been an unfortunate choice for the Qataris for a mother institution. Canada has more experience with TESL than most English-speaking countries, with its huge immigrant inflow and its huge francophone minority. But Newfoundland is the exception擁solated from the rest of the country, rural, no immigrants, no significant francophone community, no foreign students. The folks who started and run CNAQ have no experience with TESOL, and it is half their business.

Back in North America, it would take generations to fix an institution-wide problem like this. In Qatar, since everyone is on term contracts, it could in theory take as little as three or four years, given a will at the top to do so. The first step would be to impose objective checks on management performance. The second would be to start heads rolling, if warranted, from the highest possible level. The bad news is, there is no evidence yet of any such will, or perhaps awareness of the true situation here in Qatar, at the top. And CNA has only four years remaining on their own contract with the Qataris. The way things have been going, I for one doubt the Qataris are going to want to renew.

In sum, if you are seriously underqualified and underfunded, CNAQ might be just your ticket. You never know where you might end up. Otherwise, stand clear. This entire enterprise seems headed for iceberg alley, and no one is manning the bridge.


WOW! MilesDavis
You start your rant off with it's "My guess..." then you go on to spew ignorant generalizations about a community and pass them off as facts....your assessment of this institution is based on generalizations and hearsay. I wonder what exactly is YOUR agenda in all this ranting?

I am curious... are you currently working for CNAQ and are you are from Newfoundland? Perhaps you should have stated this information upfront.

My guess is that you have never set foot in Newfoundland and if you are at the very least, from Canada...then that really says more about how uninformed YOU are about the people of Newfoundland.

Your sweeping generalizations about Newfoundland and it's people are astoundingly ignorant!

If I were to consider any institution I would be very wary of any individual that makes such generalizations and judgements about a community. Your rant is all one sided...try for a more balanced view and people may take you more seriously. As it is...you just come off as a disgruntled former /current employee at best... that is assuming you are or were working for CNAQ
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MyTrunkshow



Joined: 21 Apr 2007
Posts: 232
Location: One map inch from Iraq

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Miles, your post made sense. When I first heard a Canadian school was contracted to create a school in Qatar, I wondered what CNA even was? I had never heard of it and I am from the Maritimes. I know about most of the post secondary schools in Canada and was surprised to hear about this school's international exposure. In Newfoundland, CNA is a regional type of college that serves mostly rural Newfoundland offering trade programs, secretarial, nursing, accounting, etc.....

If there are high school teachers from NFLD, they must be having a hard time with the culutre shock as they would be from schools that are so un-multi-cultural that there aren't any Spanish, francophone or even blacks in many local NFLD schools. Nothing against the NFLD staff as who wouldn't go as the money is soo good.

I konw that if CNAQ opened up shop here in Taiwan, they would be in for a wild ride. Some students here don't talk, some people don't mean what they say, random application of rules and regulations.

After doing the research last year, I couldn't figure out why they were chosen besides the fact that their curriculum was North American. I wondered what their international experience might be considering ESL, the Middle East and international education. Why didn't I know any of this before? Why? Perhaps, it's because this is their first foray (and Canada's first?) in establishing a significant post-secondary school in the Middle East- or anywhere outside Canada.

I have heard from another poster that his wife needed to get TESOL certificate in a rush to put a head in a class. She had never taught ESL before. This shows that the HR is also not experienced in recruiting proper staff - and how could they be? Consider their background back on 'The Rock'.

There was a piece put out last year by CBC about CNAQ. It is in line with what you suggested about cronyism.

I'm not sure if the Qataris won't renew because who could know this very private information...and who knows what the Qatari's are thinking. If CNAQ's contract price was right, then that may have a play in this whole thing and whether or not a contract is renewed.

I'm embarrassed about this whole fiasco for Newfoundland. There are such organized schools like Brown, Cornell and the like in Doha....and then there's the mgmt at CNAQ ...fighting like old squirrels over nuts for the winter. Gawd. It must be hard on the staff with the management situation.

Regards,
mytrunkshow
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lukey



Joined: 05 Apr 2005
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 5:31 am    Post subject: CNAQ Reply with quote

I worked at CNAQ for a number of years so what I have to say is not hearsay. While the first poster does make some generalizations about Newfoundlanders the fact remains that a lot of the ESL teachers they have recruited are ex school teachers, nurses etc - basically anyone with a Bachelors degree who can complete an online ESL course - and they are all Newfoundlanders - no surprise really - CNA is an NL school and their main objective is to hire Newfoundlanders first - other Canadians second.
The so called "world class" college has been poorly managed from the beginning (2002) and continues to be (according to people still working there). An employee survey done in May 2007 showed that a toxic working atmosphere existed at the college, with management showing no regard for employee's rights.
I don't think the Qataris will drop CNA because they have found a group they can manipulate - even the President of CNAQ - Hal Jorch said in a meeting last June that they have to beg for everything they want from the Qataris - and if the don't get it they keep begging. As long as the "showpiece" is there - the Qataris are happy.
It is a place to be avoided - the pay and benefits are ok (if you are a resident of Canada though you will have to pay Canadian income taxes (federal and provincial)), if you do decide to work there you will be working for a second rate disorganized place. Be warned!!
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16063
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 2:14 pm    Post subject: Re: CNAQ Reply with quote

lukey wrote:
It is a place to be avoided - the pay and benefits are ok (if you are a resident of Canada though you will have to pay Canadian income taxes (federal and provincial)), if you do decide to work there you will be working for a second rate disorganized place. Be warned!!

I recall the posts at the beginning when they brought in that first totally clueless, unqualified batch of teachers and almost laughingly inappropriate materials (if it wasn't so sad for the poor students).

As to the tax situation, there were some posts from teachers who said that if they were hired abroad and already had overseas status (not sure of the Canadian terminology), they didn't have to pay the taxes. But, all the teachers that they brought from Canada did have to pay.

What kind of degrees are they offering to their students? Is this place supposed to be providing education for those that are unable to get into any other tertiary institution? More of a practical job training?

VS
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lukey



Joined: 05 Apr 2005
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 11:15 pm    Post subject: CNAQ Reply with quote

If you are a non-resident of Canada you do not have to pay income tax. You have to go through some hoops to get the non-resident status - no residence in Canada (can be rented or lease out at arms length if you do have one), no spouse or dependents living in Canada - you have to cut ties to Canada as much as possible. Some CNAQ employees decided to stay residents of Canada for various reasons - they pay tax - and Employment Insurance and Canada Pension Plan - a lot of deductions!
The so called "world class" technical college is basically an ESL and Business College - since most students take ESL - some 25 hours a week and Business is the most popular faculty. Not many Qataris take Engineering or Health Sciences - too much work - and it leads to jobs where they might have to do something - like a technician or process operator - or paramedic (and Qataris look down upon jobs in the health sciences area). The college awards diplomas - usually two year programs in Canada (NLD) but a lot of students take three or four years to complete because of English - much to the chagrin of employers who pay their way there.
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lukey



Joined: 05 Apr 2005
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:53 pm    Post subject: CNAQ Reply with quote

Any comments from people still working for CNAQ - how is the atmosphere these days? Still crazy and disorganized?
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Mine's a pint



Joined: 08 Feb 2007
Posts: 46
Location: Somewhere

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, still crazy, still disorganised. EFL is led by clueless people from public school backgrounds who tell experienced EFLers with higher degrees and a lot of ME experience what to do. Morale is low, taxation scares rampant. It is the stupidest place I have ever worked.
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MyTrunkshow



Joined: 21 Apr 2007
Posts: 232
Location: One map inch from Iraq

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lukey..you have left CNAQ?

Where are you these days? Country and job would be sufficient....or did CNAQ turn you off of the ESL biz?

Cool

Regards,
mytrunkshow
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Reality check



Joined: 02 Sep 2007
Posts: 17
Location: Qatar

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 9:13 am    Post subject: you are gone? Reply with quote

Hey Lukey,

You are gone?? Hope you are in a better place. This place is still the same, we are waiting for our raise (which is coming since September), and they got us chasing that hanging carrot. O! We got a salad bar in the cafeteria, is not that exciting Wink ?

I was wondering who or what is COT anyway? All other foreign post secondary institutions are under the sponsorship of QF. Why CNAQ is the only exception? Looks like COT was created to satisfy the power hunger of some influential relatives....any body knows the real story?
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lukey



Joined: 05 Apr 2005
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 1:09 am    Post subject: cnaq Reply with quote

yes, back in Canada - sooo glad to be back here. The pay is less but life is enjoyable again - dont have to live in that crazy country and work for CNAQ.
I don't know the whole history of the COT etc. but I do know that the land was alloted a long time ago beside Qatar University - I believe that they wanted the college to be "associated" with the University since Qataris look down on college diplomas as inferior - a university degree is the ticket to the managers office where the perks are good. The College of Technology Committee (COT) was formed to look at colleges in Canada and pick a "winner" to manage the new tech college. They held discussions with BCIT and SAIT among others. Dr. Latifa has been the head of the COT from the beginning. The Qatar Foundation schools are different - they are branches of mostly American Universities - given a fair amount of autonomy to run themselves (as much as you can get in Qatar.) Whereas CNAQ is basically run by the Qataris.
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