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MISR American College, Maadi, Cairo, Egypt
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M.M.



Joined: 18 May 2008
Posts: 24
Location: St. Louis, Missouri USA/New Maadi, Egypt

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:47 am    Post subject: Just keep in mind... Reply with quote

I just want to add that you need to be careful with the recruiters--are they hired by the school or do they work AT the school? Big, big, universally huge difference there. I've read stories of schools here in Egypt that offer one thing at recruitment fairs and then when it comes time to sign, there is a completely "new and improved" document. EEK!! I consider myself lucky in many regards after reading teacher reviews of other schools around the globe. My issues are miniscule comparatively speaking.
It is very good to know beforehand a little of what is to be expected: the good, the bad and the ugly--although things can change from year to year, there are definitely trends. I joined ISR (and Dave's, of course) just because I was curious what goes on in the other schools, and now I'm glad I am where I am. If it's possible, talk to teachers at the school prior to signing on. This is one thing I'm sooooo glad I did. If the "recruiter" refuses to provide current teacher contact info, that's a big sign. It all seems so common sense to me, but apparently from what I've read, it isn't so common after all. Sad
BTW, what do you plan on teaching?
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mishmumkin



Joined: 01 Sep 2007
Posts: 896

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspect that the language schools will never be able to afford qualified teachers (Misr American College not being a language school) simply based on what they charge for tuition.
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M.M.



Joined: 18 May 2008
Posts: 24
Location: St. Louis, Missouri USA/New Maadi, Egypt

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure, it only makes sense. MAC is the "American Division" of Orouba Language Schools, two in a "chain" of family owned schools. I'm sure you already know that.
I'm not sure what constitutes a school being "International", "American" or otherwise here. Even if they use American textbooks and (try to) follow an American curriculum, there's a lot more that goes into it as you well know (accreditation, etc). Many of the language schools are owned by VERY wealthy individuals who absolutely could afford foreign hires, but IMHO, it's just one more way to keep certain levels of society...down if you will. It's a very, very classist society. The rich get richer (and better educated, you'd think) while the poor...well, you know how it goes.
Unfortunately, many of the stories I read on ISR are from the "BIG" schools (CAC, AIS, Chouefait)....and their tuition is no joke. There are about 20 schools with reviews in Cairo, Alex and 6th October. I was really very surprised.
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nstick13



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Posts: 104
Location: The Ohio State University

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, yes, I should've posted the CELTA stuff before. Thanks, VS.
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justcolleen



Joined: 07 Jan 2004
Posts: 635
Location: Egypt, baby!

PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

M.M. wrote:
Sure, it only makes sense. MAC is the "American Division" of Orouba Language Schools, two in a "chain" of family owned schools. I'm sure you already know that.
I'm not sure what constitutes a school being "International", "American" or otherwise here. Even if they use American textbooks and (try to) follow an American curriculum, there's a lot more that goes into it as you well know (accreditation, etc). Many of the language schools are owned by VERY wealthy individuals who absolutely could afford foreign hires, but IMHO, it's just one more way to keep certain levels of society...down if you will. It's a very, very classist society. The rich get richer (and better educated, you'd think) while the poor...well, you know how it goes.
Unfortunately, many of the stories I read on ISR are from the "BIG" schools (CAC, AIS, Chouefait)....and their tuition is no joke. There are about 20 schools with reviews in Cairo, Alex and 6th October. I was really very surprised.


There are two types of schools in Egypt: 1.) those that teach the Egyptian National curriculum (in Arabic) as it is mandated by the government (these are the Egyptian public schools) and 2.) everything else.

Your questions pertains to what constitutes "everything else," so here goes ....

All schools are licensed to operate and supervised by the Ministry of Education.

"International school" is an all-encompassing term that is used to refer to a private school, meaning schools that are not Egyptian National schools.

"Language schools" teach the Egyptian National curriculum, but they do it in English.

"Experimental schools" teach the Egyptian National curriculum, but they offer an extra class period of English education.

"American," "French," "German," "Canadian," etc., schools use the textbooks of that country, teach classes in the official language of that country, must be accredited and supervised by an accediting body from that country, and, ideally, use teaching methods and the curriculum specific to that country.

All students in all schools, National or other, must take courses in Arabic, Islam (if the student is Muslim), what is commonly known as "Arabic Social Studies" (which encompasses the history and geography of the Arab nations but never touches on the social aspect of the region), and either the French or German language.

Additionally, all students, regardless of the school they attend, must sit the Egyptian government's national exams in the 1st, 3rd, 6th, 9th, and 12th grades.

I hope this helps.

ETA: I don't know that I agree with this statement

"Many of the language schools are owned by VERY wealthy individuals who absolutely could afford foreign hires, but IMHO, it's just one more way to keep certain levels of society...down if you will. It's a very, very classist society. The rich get richer (and better educated, you'd think) while the poor...well, you know how it goes."

Whether or not the individual is wealthy has nothing to do with whether or not they can afford foreign hires. It's one thing to charge an expensive tuition, it's something else entirely to actually collect it. My school has a 30% collection rate. Almost a full two-thirds of tuition remains uncollected, even though school has been fiinished for two weeks. So, I have to choose. I can either remove the unpaid students from the school and lose 2/3 of my enrollment, or I can accept the bills for this year have been paid and hope parents find it within themselves to pay for the education their child received. There are no other options.

Unpaid tuition is not unique to my school, either. One American school here did try to prevent students who's tuition wasn't paid from taking their final exams but their parents called the local television station and the school had extensive reputation problems for a long, long time. This year another school separated students into groups according to their paid tuition status and unpaid students took their final exams in the library instead of the classroom. The shame didn't prompt parents to pay, instead they're moving their children to other schools.

I prefer to maintain my school's reputation, so I have no choice but to let it go ... and wait ... and hope.

I also believe the sheer numbers of new International schools and the fact that Egypt's government licenses them to operate speaks volumes. The National system doesn't work and the alternative to admitting it doesn't work (and attempting to revamp it) is to allow other schools that do work to operate. Additionally, the increase in alternative schools means that supply and demand will even things out a bit and tuitions will come down, making private schooling much more affordable.

BTW, this year my school started a scholarship program in order to include disadvantaged children. Because it's a private school, and because at the end of the day it is a business, I thought this would be a tough sell. Thankfully, I was wrong.
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Molson



Joined: 01 May 2009
Posts: 137
Location: China

PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I decided against pursuing that job offer, the money just isn't enough to pay back student loans + support my wife and child. The school looked nice, and I would have gotten to teach something I love, but the student loans were the breaking point for me.

Thanks for the information though.
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