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Imdramayu



Joined: 09 Feb 2007
Posts: 384
Location: Prince Sultan University

PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 5:29 pm    Post subject: Great places! Reply with quote

These rumours are not true. It's a great college to teach in!

Last edited by Imdramayu on Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Rawdata



Joined: 22 Jan 2009
Posts: 34
Location: State of Confusion

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 12:53 am    Post subject: CNAQ Reply with quote

All of the previous complaints I have heard about that place seemed to zero in on management and how the work atmosphere was "poison". If the teachers are so bad (unqualified etc.) shouldn't that reflect negatively on HR which hired them in the first place and management which kept them on?
RD
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jdl



Joined: 06 Apr 2005
Posts: 632
Location: cyberspace

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the gulf, as elsewhere in the business world, Quality Assurance equals profit margin. Follow the money for any answers to questions regarding 'who is to blame' and 'why'/

CNA, College of the North Atlantic, actually has a reputable mainstream adult education track record in North America. As with most business ventures into the 'international world of education for profit' many North American colleges and universities saw an opportunity for providing the much coveted 'North American education' to developing nations with wealthier economies. Most Canadian ventures began with a resident international student component, usually with some arms length arrangement with one or another governmental ministry at either or both provincial and federal levels. There was a time when 'foreign student' fees were a cash cow for many institutions and what better way than to transition students in their 'home countries'. Mixed in with the profit incentive was the 'helping the world/we are the world through education etc' view of international affairs/foreign aid. Once established 'in country' the business of education became very real and challenging.

But business is business and the conceptual genesis of most enterprises turns from pride and achievement in a 'mom and pop/ two guys in the garage' operation to profit and sustainability of a corporation.

As long as there is a profit to be turned for all involved CNAQ will exist. Thankfully the CNAQ was founded on an educational foundation... can it survive the wear and tear of the international 'education for hire' business where discussions of quality are dragged out only as a justification for some economic agenda?
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Lonesome Dove



Joined: 01 Nov 2008
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 1:47 pm    Post subject: CNAQ soon gone Reply with quote

jdl, the situation at CNAQ is not what you think. Not everyone is making a profit on this venture. CNA, no doubt, is, but the Qatari government, who is paying for the operation, certainly isn't. In their case, the question is whether they are getting value for their money. And it looks as if they may have finally realized they are not: they are paying premium prices for an inferior product. CNAQ's pay rates seem to be higher than anywhere else in the Gulf, and the qualifications they require of instructors seem to be lower. That doesn't add up to a good bargain for Qatar.

CNAQ has the Qatari money to attract all the best EFL (and other) instructors Canada has to offer. But CNA used the money instead to hire retired or unemployed public school teachers from Newfoundland, with no ESL training or experience, no experience teaching adults, and no experience abroad. Not just in EFL--often in other departments as well. The good pay also attracted the best and the brightest, once CNA ran out of discarded Newfoundland schoolteachers. But CNA continued, and continue, to give the public school teachers preference in every way: higher pay, first chance at promotions, and no visible attempt at quality control. They stay as long as they like.

So although the faculty as a whole could be said to be very strong on paper, the management tends to more than cancel this out in practice. The inexperienced and unqualified stay on forever, and continue to dominate, as they rise through management. Because of their control, it is difficult for the good teachers to do their best—what can you do with one classroom when the curriculum or the basic philosophy is all wrong or out of control?

The really well-qualified instructors even seem to be singled out by the management for abuse. Perhaps envy plays a part. You can be sure that anyone who has graduated from one of Canada's top universities, or who has multiple graduate degrees, will be in more or less constant trouble with the higher-ups, no matter what they do. Over time, they are tending to drift away—or are actually being terminated.

This is not just a problem in ESL; it seems to extend to all departments. The college keeps spending huge sums of money on up-to-the-minute hardware and software that is never installed properly, never properly used, and ends up in huge discarded piles forgotten in one room or another. A large number of security istructors apparently resigned en masse recently.

The problem is quite simple. But there would be no way to fix this without a will from Newfoundland; and that will has never been shown. Instead, it seems they saw all this as a free lunch. The Qataris may have finally run out of patience.
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jdl



Joined: 06 Apr 2005
Posts: 632
Location: cyberspace

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you think there will be openings for teachers/instructors? If the pay is as good as reported there should be a line up to fill the spots.
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linebacker



Joined: 15 Apr 2008
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lonesome Dove...you are a twit. I'm not sure how or why you make these generalized statements regarding retired teachers but I'm willing to guess that:

1. you are not a retired teacher
2. you hold degrees from Canada's "best" universities

Just remember, a higher degree does not mean you can teach...I know many M. Ed's, M. Sc's and Ph. D's who could not teach their way out of a paper bag...at least retired teachers have experience TEACHING...they can rely on previous techniques to teach various topics...these people are not incompetent...

In terms of ESL/EFL...I don't really see a lot of retired teachers in that department...maybe 20 out of 200??? Keep in mind instructors in other departments from Newfoundland previously taught at CNA. .. why wouldn't they come here to teach...they are familiar with the program...

I have walked into MANY EFL classrooms and watched in horror as a mainland instructor with a "masters" in language opened up a powerpoint FULL with terminology and just read the parts of speech to the class! Where was the interaction? The hands on? Activities to allow the student to own the knowledge? Most retired teachers would have a well connected lesson to introduce the topic, relevant examples, and sufficient practice for the students to master the topic. Reading a power point to students on the finer points of an adjective and an adverb is not good teaching.

BTW I'm not a retired teacher nor a Newfoundlander! I'm just sick of people coming on here and saying half truths and generalizations. Grpw up, do your job and be greatful that CNA-Q hired you! If you were so great at teaching you would've had multiple job offers and you wouldn't have had to travel half way around the world to finally find a company to hire you!

Give me a break. Don't make blanket statements aboout any group - there are great NL teachers just ae there are great Mainlander teachers - there are also crappy ones. However, I bet the retired teachers will fair better than the new grad with his three post grad degrees...experience does matter...

As for the higher salaries...its a two way street. Some provinces do not classify teachers from outside their province the... same as their own teachers...thats life...Newfoundland does it...Ontario and Alberta does it...

Remember...you signed the contract to come here...the money must have been good enough then...why the sour grapes because someone is making more than you...it just means they weren't as desperate to find a job!
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SecretAgent69



Joined: 02 Dec 2008
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These are complete lies. I think it is important that this person is discredited because there are people who come to these forums for advice and somewhat reliable information.

The original poster is a disgruntled employee who has been on a witch hunt since his contract was not renewed. This person is not even living in Qatar anymore! Thank God his contract was not renewed because he is the single most boring person I have ever met in my life. It's a shame students had to suffer through his classes for all those years. He should not have been hired in the first place. Whenever I spoke to him, all I could think was "If he can bore me to death in five minutes, imagine how his poor students must feel."

CNA-Q is the best job in the Gulf at the moment. The place has it problems like any other school. Nothing out of the ordinary as far as Gulf standards go. CNA-Q has a good reputation in the community. I often ask students why they come to CNA-Q instead of going to other schools and they say it's because it's good. I also hear that students are very employable and that companies prefer hiring students from CNA-Q because they come out with employable skills. I also find that students are happy with their courses, their instructors and campus life. It's a great atmosphere for them and they learn a lot.

It is quite possible that the Qataris may not sign another contract, but that would only be due to the fact that things can be fickle in the Gulf. It certainly has nothing to do with some BS inside info this crackhead claims to have.

If you get offered a position at CNA-Q you should definitely take it.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16063
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well... I don't have a horse in this race... BUT...

Anyone considering accepting a job might be sensible if they got confirmation of whether this organization will have its contract renewed or not. One should take care moving halfway around the world if the place may be self-destructing.

Both the positives and negatives of this thread have been posted here repeatedly over the years since this place was opened - as a search will bring up. So... there is probably truth on both sides. It is not an employer with a reputation for employee abuse. Laughing

On paper, it seems a great job for Canadians, but be sure the employer will last until the end of your new contract.

VS
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jdl



Joined: 06 Apr 2005
Posts: 632
Location: cyberspace

PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Secret Agent 69. Love it when someone calls a spade a ----shovel. It is rare that staff from an institution get into the forum to correct some of the comments made against the institution and/or its operation. Well done!
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Lonesome Dove



Joined: 01 Nov 2008
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 5:35 am    Post subject: CNAQ soon gone Reply with quote

Caveat. It seems obvious from what she says, about walking into many classrooms, for example, that “Linebacker” is a member of CNAQ management, and indeed probably EFL management. Her words should be read with that in mind—she (he) is here among us now to “back a line.”

Take that into account.

Note that she is using the high pay as her trump card to justify what goes on at CNAQ—“we're getting a free lunch here, so just shut up and go along with it. You'd never get this with your qualifications anywhere else.”

Which is exactly what the Qataris are upset about according to the original post. It might sound good to folks who could never hope to get such pay with the same qualifications elsewhere, but why would this answer satisfy the Qataris? They are footing the bill.
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linebacker



Joined: 15 Apr 2008
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lonesome Dove...I am an instructor at CNA-Q...there are many inequalities at CNA-Q...different work schedules between Academics and EFL and TPP...size of classrooms (some classes are 2-3 students while my classes are 16 - 20 students...workloads are skewed towards certain instructors...management seems to be vindictive...)

However that is not what is being discussed...its retired teachers and whether or not they belong at the college...from what I've seen, I'll take a retired teacher any day and twice on Sundays...as for a EFL instructor with 3-4 degrees...I would have to seem them in action first. To say that CNA-Q management tries to get rid of the good teachers is crazy!

Sure CNA-Q has its problems..but I think most (95%) instructors are extremely competent. I would think most first year or foundation courses are high school level - who better to teach this then high school teachers!

Anyway...if you want to rant on CNA-Q, I'll be the first one to relay my personal experiences to show that it's not all roses at the college. However, OVERALL, it's a great job, great pay and a work schedule that allows me to spend time with my family and travel. As far as I'm concerned its the best job I have had.

If some of the management issues can be corrected, then no greaer paradise would be found.
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Rawdata



Joined: 22 Jan 2009
Posts: 34
Location: State of Confusion

PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2009 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lonesome Dove wrote:
Also This is not just a problem in ESL; it seems to extend to all departments. The college keeps spending huge sums of money on up-to-the-minute hardware and software that is never installed properly, never properly used, and ends up in huge discarded piles forgotten in one room or another. A large number of security istructors apparently resigned en masse recently.

The problem is quite simple. But there would be no way to fix this without a will from Newfoundland; and that will has never been shown. Instead, it seems they saw all this as a free lunch. The Qataris may have finally run out of patience.


I had a friend who worked there a couple of years ago. She told me about a major piece of equipment costing tens of thousands of $ that was purchased for the department she was head of without even being notified... much less consulted. It turns out that the purchase was incompatible with something else which was already in place. Changing what was already there was out of the question since it costs even more and the recent purchase was of inferior quality compared to other choices on the market. Anyone ever hear of similar stories in the GCC? What would happen to those responsible for such a fiasco if that would have happened on the rock?

On cronyism or favoritism: LD, do you meant to say that "people from away" are systematically getting shortchanged? If indeed there is something to that it probably originates back in NFLD. The school seems to be micromanaged to a great degree via remote control.

Top management in the GCC has a very fine line to walk. They have to give an appearance of upholding standards and yet have to do back flips (or get staff to do the contortions) so that only the most blatant cheaters and dimwitted students don't get a pass. It must take a lot of rationalizing to stay on the job for more than two or three years. Could it be that some teachers are not renewed for being too strict on marking? I've seen and heard of so much of this in the GCC, it would really knock me for a loop if this place was different.

RD
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SecretAgent69



Joined: 02 Dec 2008
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2009 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Top management in the GCC has a very fine line to walk. They have to give an appearance of upholding standards and yet have to do back flips (or get staff to do the contortions) so that only the most blatant cheaters and dimwitted students don't get a pass. It must take a lot of rationalizing to stay on the job for more than two or three years. Could it be that some teachers are not renewed for being too strict on marking? I've seen and heard of so much of this in the GCC, it would really knock me for a loop if this place was different.


This is a very astute observation. No, I don't think it is any different at CNA-Q. Obviously, adjustments have to made. The local culture, needs, expectations, situation all have to be taken into account no doubt. It's a very relative thing. I mean, one could argue that even if there was absolutely no academic benefit whatsoever the project would still be worthwhile. It's just as much about changing the views, mentality of the local population and exposing them to different ideas as it is about academics. I mean, if a local goes to a mixed college like CNA-Q, has female instructors and has a good experience, he is much more likely to send his own daughter to be educated as opposed to just marrying her off young. It's just as much about the next generation. The problem is too many people are impatient, short sighted and uncompromising.

Add to that the fact that EFLers tend to be very rigid and self-righteous about how they teach. There are a lot of EFL fanatics who adhere to their way of doing things as if it were their religion.
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Lonesome Dove



Joined: 01 Nov 2008
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 2:57 pm    Post subject: CNAQ soon gone Reply with quote

Rawdata’s claim that Qatari expectations for students may be too high makes some sense. But CNAQ management doesn’t have any wiggle room on that: students must also pass an objective, outside standard, currently the CAEL (a Canadian version of the TOEFL et al). So grade inflation gets them nowhere. They have to produce real results.

But in any case, using elementary school and high school teachers doesn’t seem the wisest way to do it. The Qataris study English in elementary and high school from grade five—more recently, from grade one. If the el-hi approach has not gotten these particular students up to level in eight or twelve years, it is rather improbable that one more year of the same will make the difference. Unless you want to believe that Canadian public school teachers are innately superior to local ones, which seems to me an unlikely and even perhaps racist assumption.

Even if you believe, with Linebacker, that public school teachers “really know how to teach”—a claim that has sadly never been substantiated by any objective data—it would seem to make more sense to go with the TESL approach, if only as something different.
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SecretAgent69



Joined: 02 Dec 2008
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Linebacker that a good teacher is a good teacher and that you can certainly find TEFL instructors with advanced degrees who suck. It's entirely possible that a high school teacher could do a better job. Doing a good job mostly depends on whether or not the teacher actually cares. Furthermore, the entire EFL industry is highly suspect in my opinion. It's full of scams and lies and BS theories with crazy trends.

Having said that, CNA-Q should be meeting the industry standard when it comes to hiring. For the type of job and salary they are offering it's a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics, TOEFL, etc. with a MINIMUM of two years experience teaching abroad.

This will all be irrelevant for the next generation anyways. They won't need us anymore if they're smart and do it right at the elementary level.
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