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New American School In Kurdistan??
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truman 123



Joined: 14 Oct 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My intention on posting was to provide feedback in regards to this 'school'. The bottom line is this school is not a non-profit or a missionary school BUT rather a school where parents pay tuition for their child's education. I was informed by a parent that the initial tuition payment was around $2,800 US. At 300 plus students you do the math. To have no books, no student facilities, no computers, no ESL classes, sub-standard staff quarters and chronic teacher shortages speaks volumes. As for questioning a teacher's performance under these conditions seems a little smoke and mirrors to me. As for being 'disgruntled', a 50% turnover rate of staff and teachers again speaks volumes. The analogy that AIS-K is for the Few, the Proud, the Marines is silly as we are educators and not the military! Parents and students deserve the education they were promised and paid for. There is no excuse other than greed and incompetence. As for DJ replacing me after I left we both know this is untrue as AIS-K has had no new American staff.

I checked out a Catholic missionary school on my way out and although I am not a fan of missionary schools this one however was a dream. A new building complete with classrooms, lockers, a library, a gym, textbooks, sufficient teachers & staff and a tight professional management team with a vision. Each student was issued a laptop and parents are asked to participate in their child's education. The classroom size was capped as was enrollment as the school wasn't completely finished. Starting with KG to Grade 4 allowed them to meet the needs of the students fully. Offered a job which I politely declined as it involved a 3 year commitment. Loved the atmosphere and energy of the school.
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Desert Jasmine



Joined: 04 Nov 2011
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:36 am    Post subject: American International School in Kurdistan Reply with quote

Well, GOTL and VS, just how many start-up schools in Kurdistan have you got going? It is very easy to opine and criticize from far away. If you really think you know how to do it right, why don't you either or both come to Kurdistan and help out? The children need schools and teachers here. Please don't tell us here how to do it right, come and show us.
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Desert Jasmine



Joined: 04 Nov 2011
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:26 am    Post subject: American International School in Kurdistan Reply with quote

We are quite busy here trying to start up a new school and we don't have time to respond to the sniping and criticisms regarding our difficulties. Please lets end this thread. You have all voiced your opinions on how we should be doing things here and I invite you to join us and to see for yourselves the difference between "arm-chair" quarter-backing and real-life application. In any case, please lets end the thread. Thank you. Peace out!
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babur



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Posts: 117
Location: Herat

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:33 am    Post subject: Visit to Kurdish schools Reply with quote

In my visits to Kurdistan over the last 12 months I came away convinced that the new private schools, colleges, and universities are essentially commercial enterprises NOT places of education. Their meager facilities and a handful of bargain-basement teachers were just window-dressing. Their aim is to make money. Nothing else. If they're already taking money off parents, why can't they provide an acceptable learning environment?

Thanks to Saddam Hussein, Iraqi Kurds were cut off from the rest of the world for decades. Wanting to fast-track their education system to match the rest of Iraq, they're tricked into believing that a bunch of starry-eyed mercenary teachers, all claiming they want to "make a difference" (one of the most over used phrases post 9/11) can actually provide education as we know it in the west.

The last thing Kurds need is somebody hijacking what's left of their education system in the name of
Quote:
spreading American values,freedom of speech, diversity & tolerance
as advertised on the American International School's website, www.ais-k.org
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Desert Jasmine



Joined: 04 Nov 2011
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is the school (it was built as a motel) and here are the students.

Judge for yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/user/TheDovewoman
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It's Scary!



Joined: 17 Apr 2011
Posts: 824

PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's to judge? "It's got good lyrics, but you can't dance to it?"

It's American Bandstand all over again!
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16086
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That video tells us nothing about the school except that it has some attractive kids... but we already knew that without even seeing it.

VS
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safarer30



Joined: 12 Jul 2009
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 8:18 am    Post subject: a worthwhile read Reply with quote

anyone interested in ais-k might consider this a worthwhile read. http://www.everlater.com/dvouri/living-in-erbil/erbil-iraq
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16086
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be sure to go to the bottom of the page on that blog... so reflective of the sadly common lack of management skills in the Gulf.

VS
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Expat101



Joined: 09 May 2012
Posts: 108

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 5:02 pm    Post subject: cheap! Reply with quote

'the initial tuition payment was around $2,800 US'
That is really cheap! I'm surprised the school can afford to keep their doors open with tuition rates so low. Shocked

My private students go to an international school where tuition and fees are well over $20,000 a year. The annual capital fee alone is more than $2,500.

It sounds like this place will run out of money soon because they are not charging enough for tuition. Real international schools are very expensive to run!
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Mikalina



Joined: 03 May 2011
Posts: 110
Location: Iraq

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...ditto vs. Note the increasing sense of insecurity and rising levels of tension.....
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namdak



Joined: 22 Mar 2005
Posts: 617

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

re: DJ's video....

looks like a lot of partying to me and no educational CONTENT...

regarding the conditions mentioned in the first post....

one cannot get up and teach every morning with horrid living conditions, no access to healthy food cooking, and a school with nothing...difficult management....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_Nox_Yxo8I
what a target
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12327
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How many people in Kurdistan are in a position to pay US$2,800 a year ? Damn few !
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Redcar24



Joined: 26 Aug 2011
Posts: 53
Location: Al Hassa Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:32 am    Post subject: This school has excellent owners Reply with quote

I know the owners of this school and have known them for a long time...

I can say in the beginning start up problems came mostly with the teachers and not knowing Arabic culture ...so as far as electricity people forgot to mention generators there are back up generators and you never have a power outage at night for very long..

The Kurdish are very kind people! So I don't believe that this teacher who complained was venting in a proper way. To really have a problem in Kurdistan you have to make the problem yourself...

Sorry I am American and I know first hand that this school is good and so good that they don't even stand up to these poor comments because they know themselves very well.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16086
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:30 pm    Post subject: Re: This school has excellent owners Reply with quote

Redcar24 wrote:
So I don't believe that this teacher who complained was venting in a proper way. To really have a problem in Kurdistan you have to make the problem yourself...

Perhaps similar to someone who damns a whole country because they had a bad experience at their employer? Pot calling kettle black?

Not to mention that this thread refers to 2011 and many of the problems referred to could have been addressed. Let's hope so because these kids deserve a chance in life.

VS
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