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Al Musannah College of Technology
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ThaneKerner



Joined: 13 Sep 2009
Posts: 139

PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:47 pm    Post subject: Al Musannah College of Technology Reply with quote

Let me get in a quick word here on a college in Oman:

Al Musannah College (ACT) is to be avoided.

Don't go to that outfit. Turnover is too high there. This is because the English Department is a hopeless mess, thanks to the department's incompetent dean. I know of five guys who quit work there after only a few weeks, and most of these had MAs and years (even decades) of experience.

The students are very disrepectful, have no ability (you know the rule in the Gulf--Ya gotta pass them no matter what), have no desire to have any ability, and will bitch to the dean about you if you're a guy teacher and as much as even look at the females in your classes. And ACT has hitched a ride on the great wave that is sweeping TESOL today--the 'Blame the Teacher' wave. ACT is bad news. And it's getting worse at ACT by the day, ladies and gents.

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. Stay away from ACT. I've seen ads all over for them of late, and for good reason. They can't keep people around long enough to keep those ad listings off the sites.

I hear Ibra is a good place, as well as some of the other Ministry Colleges.

Send me a PM if you want to learn more about the quagmire that is ACT.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17644
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Al Musannah College of Technology Reply with quote

ThaneKerner wrote:
... (you know the rule in the Gulf--Ya gotta pass them no matter what)

This branch has long had problems with retention, but I have to disagree with this incorrect generalization.

This is NOT the "rule in the Gulf." I worked at universities in Egypt, UAE, Kuwait and 2 in Oman. In every one of them I failed students every semester, the management supported me, and they all had to repeat their courses if they wanted to continue. I still know teachers at all of those places and this is still how it goes.

Yes, there are places that this does happen, but it is most definitely not the rule.

VS
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jdl



Joined: 06 Apr 2005
Posts: 632
Location: cyberspace

PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting how this reputation thing goes. One year Salalah is the worst MoM college in the Sultanate, the next Ibra, then Shinas or Ibri and on it goes. I guess it is ACT's turn at the bench? Interesting how the reputation of a college either improves or fails with the comings and goings of staff?
Some staff leave and within a semester, usually after the posting of the TOEFL results, the reputation has improved despite best/worst blog efforts of departing staff.

There is a lot to be said for developing a stable critical mass of effective teachers while actively reducing the influence of the more unstable elements, when a positive long term reputation is the goal.

Sounds like Musanna is undergoing some mass alignment.

We will just have to wait for the new staff to 'weigh in'. Negative posts on Dave's are as entertaining to staff as a travelling carnival; all read and talk and guess at the identities of the posters, discuss why 'so and so' was asked to leave etc. Unfortunately satisfied staff are slow to 'hit the boards' since they are usually too busy and enjoying their lifestyles too much.

It is entertaining as each college takes its turn in the criticism fest...egalitarian don't you think. MMMMM......do you think the same unsatisfied staff just transfer from college to college??? Maybe it is all part of the Quality Assurance process?
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desultude



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 614

PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Maybe it is all part of the Quality Assurance process?


Cool

Or Professional Development?
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ThaneKerner



Joined: 13 Sep 2009
Posts: 139

PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jdl wrote:

It is entertaining as each college takes its turn in the criticism fest...egalitarian don't you think. MMMMM......do you think the same unsatisfied staff just transfer from college to college??? Maybe it is all part of the Quality Assurance process?


I'm of the old-fashioned school that believes if an outfit has high turnover, you want no part of it. It's like marrying a woman who's been divorced five times yet blames her ex-husbands for her failed marriages. Ya gotta put blame where it belongs and stay away from those problems.

When a guy with 35 years experience and an MA in TESOL does a runner from a place like ACT, who is REALLY at fault?

Turnover matters.

Quality assurance? What are you alking about? Bahwan is an outfit that requires three months' salary or three months' notice. If you're a shitty teacher (in their minds), why would they want you to hang around for three months? The truth is, they DON'T. They simply make your life miserable so you'll quit and do a runner. Everyone saves face 'cept the teacher, who can be blamed and blacklisted.
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desultude



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 614

PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ThaneKerner wrote:
jdl wrote:

It is entertaining as each college takes its turn in the criticism fest...egalitarian don't you think. MMMMM......do you think the same unsatisfied staff just transfer from college to college??? Maybe it is all part of the Quality Assurance process?


I'm of the old-fashioned school that believes if an outfit has high turnover, you want no part of it. It's like marrying a woman who's been divorced five times yet blames her ex-husbands for her failed marriages. Ya gotta put blame where it belongs and stay away from those problems.

When a guy with 35 years experience and an MA in TESOL does a runner from a place like ACT, who is REALLY at fault?

Turnover matters.


What you have to look at is both the turnover and the nature of the turnover. Yes, although 35 years and an MA TESOL is too little to judge by, it may be indicative of a serious problem if he leaves on a runner.

If you have a large number of otherwise qualified people who have histories of being professional and hard working pull runners, quit and don't renew, this indicates a real serious problem and someplace you want to stay away from.

If there is a one time big turnover, it can also be that a department has taken stock and cleaned house a bit. I've seen departments that need to do this to clean out the complacence and bring in some fresh energy. I have seen people with advanced degrees and tons of years of experience decide that they can't be fussed with putting in any effort any more. You get too much of this in a department and you've got a bad situation.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17644
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ThaneKerner wrote:
When a guy with 35 years experience and an MA in TESOL does a runner from a place like ACT, who is REALLY at fault?

Impossible to say... one could have done a lot of runners in 35 years... or been fired dozens of times. I worked with teachers in Oman who had been fired from jobs from Kuwait south to Oman and every country in between... never lasted more than a year.

Why would someone with an MA and all this experience even consider one of these recruiter positions in Oman. These are entry level jobs. If one has a halfway decent track record with those credentials one should be able to be hired by the best employers... not these bottom feeders.

VS
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ThaneKerner



Joined: 13 Sep 2009
Posts: 139

PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:03 am    Post subject: Re: Al Musannah College of Technology Reply with quote

[quote="veiledsentiments"]
ThaneKerner wrote:

Yes, there are places that this does happen, but it is most definitely not the rule.

VS


Okay. I know of one place where it is definitely the rule. I've been told by people with plenty of experience in places like Oman and Saudi that this is the rule in the Gulf. Pass them or you're gone is the complete rule.

"Tee-Chur. I will PASS. You will see!"

And he WILL pass, no matter what.
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desultude



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 614

PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:08 am    Post subject: Re: Al Musannah College of Technology Reply with quote

[quote="ThaneKerner"]
veiledsentiments wrote:
ThaneKerner wrote:

Yes, there are places that this does happen, but it is most definitely not the rule.

VS


Okay. I know of one place where it is definitely the rule. I've been told by people with plenty of experience in places like Oman and Saudi that this is the rule in the Gulf. Pass them or you're gone is the complete rule.

"Tee-Chur. I will PASS. You will see!"

And he WILL pass, no matter what.


I spent two years of hell at one of the crappiest excuses for a university in Saudi Arabia (and that is in a close race to the bottom). I never had the above scenario happen. It does happen, but if it didn't happen to me there, then it cannot be endemic.
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jdl



Joined: 06 Apr 2005
Posts: 632
Location: cyberspace

PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ThaneKerner,

You do know it is rumoured that the Directors of the English Language Centres apparently are followers of Dave's? Do you think it is possible that the Directors of the ELCs of the various MoM Colleges often monitor the boards just to keep a finger on the pulse of things and that this information may sometimes be shared and discussed at the monthly/bi monthly Director's meetings in Muscat at the ELDC of the MoM Offices.


Oman is an interesting place of dichotomy and paradox. Although what happens in the wadi stays in the wadi; there are also, no secrets in the desert.
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ThaneKerner



Joined: 13 Sep 2009
Posts: 139

PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope that rumour is true. The truth is, the students' ability at any entity is ultimately the responsibility of the dean, principal, venture capitalist, head honcho, whatever.

I know of one dean at a college in Oman whose 5th-year students can't string two words together, let alone a sentence. Turnover is far above average because of this 'problem' and the problem of its students' disrespectful attitude towards teachers and each other. This particular dean has been reprimanded in the past by the MoM because of the excessive turnover there.

When the students overall ability is as low as it is at this college, and turnover is as high as it is, I place the blame squarely on the dean, as that's where blame belongs. Maybe someday soon, this particular dean will be shown the door and there indeed will be a new dawn.
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desultude



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 614

PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ThaneKerner wrote:
I hope that rumour is true. The truth is, the students' ability at any entity is ultimately the responsibility of the dean, principal, venture capitalist, head honcho, whatever.

I know of one dean at a college in Oman whose 5th-year students can't string two words together, let alone a sentence. Turnover is far above average because of this 'problem' and the problem of its students' disrespectful attitude towards teachers and each other. This particular dean has been reprimanded in the past by the MoM because of the excessive turnover there.

When the students overall ability is as low as it is at this college, and turnover is as high as it is, I place the blame squarely on the dean, as that's where blame belongs. Maybe someday soon, this particular dean will be shown the door and there indeed will be a new dawn.


While I agree that patterns of non-performance can be attributed to faculty and admin (venture capitalist, head honcho? responsible for student achievement?!?) The ultimate responsibility for achievement rest with the student. In the end, that is always the case.

If students don't learn this early on, they won't become self-starters and self-learners. Most of us aren't teaching grade school. We are teaching university students, or pre-university, and lesson #1 is to take responsibility for your own education.

Passing the buck never cuts it with me. If my students aren't learning, it is my fault and their fault. Once they are in my classroom, it is no longer a dean's or administrator's responsibility- it is mine and my students.

I worked for a god-awful dean in Saudi Arabia, and the rest of the admin, the physical plant, materials, machines, IT support, etc., were also dubious. But once I got in the classroom, it was my job to teach. As I told my students when they complained about books and technology problems- you can teach, and learn, almost anything with a stick and some sand. The rest is extra.
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jdl



Joined: 06 Apr 2005
Posts: 632
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed desultude, the accepting of one's responsibility seems to be essential to self empowerment and actualization; such a simple lesson, the earlier in life learned the better.

Why do so many of us struggle with the concept of responsibility even though it is at the core of our child rearing?

The failure to learn this lesson seems to also be at the core of our problems in adult life.

"One can run but not hide from oneself"
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ThaneKerner



Joined: 13 Sep 2009
Posts: 139

PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jdl wrote:

"One can run but not hide from oneself"


Well, this applies in the real world, not the world of TESOL. In TESOL, a student can simply blame the teacher. Hee-hee. I know of a dean who actually has the gall to tell a teacher after only a few days in the classroom that if his students can't write outlines and paragraphs, that, by God, is HIS fault.

Veteran teachers know of the blame-the-teacher game quite well. This is why when a new grunt goes to a teachers' meeting at a gig, he notices most of the contributions are made by the naive new guys. The vets keep their traps shut, as they know the futility of trying to introduce *ahem* 'new' ideas, ideas that have probably been tried in the past, to no avail.
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doner



Joined: 21 Jan 2010
Posts: 179

PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The directors could not care less. There will always be newbies to take the place of those who leave.
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