Name Your School & Comment on their Response to Covid-19. Let’s Keep Each Other Informed


Firsthand accounts that describe how individual International Schools treat teachers during the Covid-19 pandemic will help us ALL to make informed career choices in the future. Schools which put teachers’ safety and well-being ahead of profits are schools where we all want to work.

Let’s help each other identify schools that we can depend on to support teachers in times like these. ISR invites you to Name Your School and tell colleagues about the support, or lack of support, your School is currently providing teachers in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic. Keeping Each Other Informed is what International Schools Review is All About.

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Please Scroll down to tell Colleagues
about your School’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Feel free to include the name of your school with your comments

156 Responses to Name Your School & Comment on their Response to Covid-19. Let’s Keep Each Other Informed

  1. Mahesh says:

    Olive tree international academy Hangzhou:

    Initially like any other, we did online teaching and the school asked teachers to come back by March first week..but suddenly on Feb last week ,they informed us not to come back and wait for further notice. The class continued to be online.

    After March 30 , few teachers contracts were rescinded for different reasons. Now at the end of June , teachers outside China are informed that their contracts will be terminated if they can’t reach China by Aug.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Atleast they should have informed before so that those teachers could have looked for another job!

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      I have heard a lot of negative reviews about the school.That they terminate contracts with out any reasons.
      Thank God I did not accept the offer.

      Like

  2. Jane Doe says:

    The British School of Beijing (BSB), Shunyi (Nord Anglia).

    Our school has been engaged in online learning since the start of February to the end of the academic year in June. We started with asynchronous lessons but things quickly ramped up to full on live lessons daily, catering for multiple time zones around the world. Additionally towards the end of the year BSB ran virtual end of year exams – and what a shambles they were! Add to this having to set work on multiple different platforms such as Moodle and Teams and you can see that your stress levels are through the roof.

    Whilst we were on Chinese New Year holidays and the world was just starting to hear about the virus, our illustrious leaders decided to send out an email demanding that ALL STAFF meet for a briefing at school and then go home to begin online learning. Now consider the fact that staff were all over Asia/the world at this point, why would you want to bring them collectively together and risk the virus being spread in such close quarters? Needless to say most staff refused and so this meeting was cancelled.

    To make matters worse, most other international schools in the Shunyi were advising their teachers to stay put if they had left China and not to return for their own safety (remember there were no confirmed cases outside of China at this point). However, admin at BSB demanded that all teachers return to China! Again staff complained about this and we were then told to return back to Beijing by mid-February. We were told that the school would be opening by the start of March and that we would all need to quarantine for two weeks at home. Around this time, other international schools in the area were telling their staff that schools would not be opening to after the Easter holidays at the earliest. International media were also reporting the same in papers such as the Washington Post. These schools were advising their staff not to return. Again, BSB went against this trend and demanded that their staff return.

    Many staff did return. Then there was a game changer – the US, Australian, Canadian and UK governments issued a travel advisory stating that you should leave the country for your own safety. Again, the primary concern of the BSB admin was to keep staff in China. In fact, they stated that they would pay for the tickets for all staff that were still overseas if they would return now, regardless of where they currently were in the world. Needless to say, this annoyed many staff who had stayed in Beijing or had returned to Beijing – they after all were not being rewarded for returning. In the end 55% of the staff jumped ship and left the country for their own safety.

    Almost daily throughout the month of March BSB would bombard staff with daily emails asking them about when they would return, telling staff how safe China now was compared to the rest of the world. There were many a veiled threat about job losses and disciplinary if you were not to return soon.

    Even after the Chinese borders were closed on March 28th there were never ending threats about the need to return as soon as the borders opened up again. No regard for staff safety and the advice of governments, everything is about the bottom line at Nord Anglia and they don’t hide it.

    April through May was more of the same. Threats to run live lessons in multiple time zones, daily emails from HR hounding us about our travel plans should the borders open and misleading communications from head office.

    Around this time (April) emails were sent out to PARENTS before being discussed with staff, that there was a possibility that the school year was Being extended and that the school day would also be extended should we return. Additionally there would be compulsory weekend classes for students. None of this was communicated with teachers. As a teacher how do you refuse these demands when they have already been communicated to parents and they are expecting it? No mention of compensation for teachers either. You don’t like it then tough luck…remember the threats of contract terminations should you refuse!

    When the school finally did open for specific year groups in May, the teachers who stayed in China had to run both online and offline lessons. Then when June came and most students were back teachers were required to cover lessons whilst the teachers who were overseas relaxed (according to admin). This caused a lot of resentment amongst staff.

    To top things off, we’ve been told that there may be redundancies next academic year. New hires have had their contracts rescinded (imagine that) and existing staff are next in line should the school not open as planned in August. Any delay were told and jobs will most likely have to go!

    What a year it has been.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      three…people… returned… in… march…. do.your.research.

      Like

    • Anon says:

      Seems like I dodged a bit of a bullet here…was supposed to be starting in August.

      Received email from the school informing me that my contract has been cancelled due to fall in student numbers, presumably as a result of Covid-19.

      Now I am out of a job and with very limited chances of securing a new one this year. But I do believe that things happen for a reason…I just hope that things work out for me.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      So sorry to read that you have lost your job in such a way. My thoughts are with you and I hope that you are able to get your situation resolved quickly. There are more schools out there. Next time just be a little more careful about where you accept work…unfortunately schools like this exist on the international workplace.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      The reviews for this school should have been a warning to you and you shouldn’t have accepted a job there.
      Sorry just saying that sometimes teachers are their own worst enemies. We often have a “it will be different for me attitude”.
      Read the reviews. Do your homework. Apply to reputable schools only.

      Like

  3. Anonymous says:

    Shanghai Singapore International School – Like schools all over the world, the school went to distance learning during the pandemic. First asynchronous learning materials and assignments. Then live classes during Shanghai time regardless of where the teacher was in the world.

    SSIS continued to pay full salaries to all teachers until a certain point. Then, in April, the school ended some contracts of teachers who had not returned to Shanghai. It was done abruptly through email. One of the reasons given were financial circumstances. Then, within days, the school announced that it was giving a 1,000RMB (about 140 USD) bonus to teachers who had returned to Shanghai to show the school’s appreciation for returning. Later, in May, teachers who had not returned to Shanghai were given a pay cut – salaries were reduced to 90% for some teachers and 80% for others. This may make some sense, but the pay cut included the time before the school reopened, when distance learning was still in place. So in essence, even though all teachers were doing the same thing, those teachers got their pay cut. Then teachers who returned were given a 2,000RMB bonus.

    Once the school reopened, some of the teachers who hadn’t returned were definitely not still doing 90%/ 80% of their job duties while others did.

    For the teachers who returned, it meant working many more teaching hours to cover for the teachers who hadn’t returned.

    Since we reopened, the school day has been extended by one hour AND the school year extended for two more weeks. The 3,000RMB (approximately 400 USD) given definitely doesn’t cover the time and a half that should have be paid to teachers who work past their contract days. Furthermore, the school is going to extend the next academic year, 2020/2021, so that next summer vacation is shorter as well. So for some teachers, both this summer break and next summer’s break will be shorter.

    The school refuses to acknowledge that it is making teachers work past their contract days. It’s amazingly good at that.

    In regards to housing that the school provides (demands that the teachers live in): For teachers at the end of their contracts, the school has told them they must leave their housing within the first 10 days of July even though their contract is through July. This does not seem right since due to COVID-19: 1) the school is not having an influx of new teachers arriving in July – there are actually empty units currently; 2) they know that some of the teachers leaving have no place to go because they can’t get to their next job in a different country.

    So even though there is space to allow these teachers to remain, the school is kicking them out anyway. To add insult to injury, the school has said they were lucky they didn’t kick them out sooner and the current move out date is an extension. The only reason for this extension is because the school extended the school year; hence leaving no time for teachers to move out much sooner.

    In short, on one hand, teachers could have fared worse since salaries were mostly not affected. On the other hand, the administration that had not built up enough good will among teachers prior to COVID-19 to step up to the strain of reopening school under stressful circumstances without feeling exploited.

    Like

  4. Norman Andrews says:

    I worked at KIS, a much under rated IB World School in Bangkok. We were ahead of the curve and shut down at the beginning of March before the other schools here. We also chose to carry out asynchronous learning rather than having the students staring at screens for the whole day every day. Over the period of the lockdown the school had days and periods where the students were encouraged to get away from schoolwork and do other things. As always you cannot please everyone but, my personal, opinion is that it worked out as well as possible under the circumstances. The returning staff were told that there would be a pay freeze until such a time as it can be ascertained as to what the new situation is going to be. I didn’t hear too many complaints about that. All in all they managed a completely unexpected situation as well as can be expected. I just hope that I can get out now to my new school.

    Like

  5. anonymous says:

    The Canadian International School System in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

    Teachers who needed to return home due to COVID-19 related reasons were fired. They were not allowed to continue teaching online remotely, though the school had begun teaching online as of early February 2020.

    The Board of Directors also sent a letter to these teachers attacking their characters and threatening to sue them if they did not pay the school back, according to the employment contract. They also threatened to copy their petition to the Toronto District School Board, in order to drag people’s reputations through the mud.

    They have never gone after teachers who broke contracts in the past, yet this year when there are exceptional circumstances surrounding health and family, they have chosen to come down on them without any empathy.

    The way CISS has handled COVID-19 leaves much to be desired.

    Like

  6. Anonymous says:

    CAIRO ENGLISH SCHOOL – EGYPT

    We were given our End of Term Arrangements for the final week of school:
    – EVERYONE MUST be in school EVERY day – WHY??? Anything that we are doing at school can easily be done from home.

    – FINAL staff assembly- not compulsory but ‘welcome’ to attend. 200+ people on the field – WHY???

    Apparently emails of concern have been sent to the ESOL head office, which have been forwarded on to the SLT, and nothing has been done.

    The school seems to be going against the rules set by the government just to prove some kind of point.

    Like

  7. Any teacher says:

    We are at Bangkok Prep. We started teaching online the third week in March. The school has been very supportive and informative. Our pay has remained current and if we do teach in July we’ll receive compensation. There has been a bit of micromanaging which is frustrating and demoralising. It’s crazy that some managers think we’re on a jolly. We too feel very tired as the online teaching takes more energy and time.

    Like

  8. Anonymous says:

    Teda Global Academy:
    TEDA, Tianjin, China
    First of all, the school has behaved admirably and properly in financial matters. Teachers are being paid as normal, pay has always been on time, no one has been fired or penalized for being stuck out of the country. It’s been very humane.
    We began distance learning after the Chinese new year, and there were some bumps in the road with the new system; but secondary teachers have school-issued laptops and the school purchased M.S Teams, so there had been some training already about how to use it. The principal regularly stated that teachers must prioritize students’ well-being and connection with each other over teaching content.
    Admin requested that all teachers return to china by March 14th to do a 2 week quarantine, in the hopes of returning to school in Early April. That didn’t happen (and many teachers didn’t return). At present (mid may) we are teaching Gr4-12 in person with about 50% of overseas staff locked out of China. Staff in the building have picked up TA/Cover for 5 extra classes a week (lessons are planned, taught, and graded by the overseas teacher from a distance) and it’s tiring. No extra compensation and no chance of it, but Admin actually do seem to recognize that they’re asking a lot; and praise teachers for putting students first etc.

    Like

  9. Expat in Beijing says:

    Beijing Haidian Kaiwen Academy has done a pretty decent job overall. In the beginning, while we were still on holiday for Chinese New Year, they started sending out emails stating we needed to get back to Beijing by a certain date (which would have been the date we should have been back anyway), pushing people to get on the Classin platform to learn it before school begins, sending multiple messages about requirements and quarantines temperature checks and lesson plans. Of course, none of the Classin login and lesson planning was possible for those of us who didn’t have access to a computer while traveling! It was all too overwhelming and it started to ruin my beautiful vacation. And then flights started getting cancelled, which only added to the stress! However, once back in Beijing, and after the first week of classes, things started to shift. The school was actually putting less pressure on teachers, students and parents by giving us fewer classes. They assured us that our pay would not be cut and even offered to pay us more for the added weeks we may need to work this summer. There have been a couple of “bumps” in the middle of all this, however. Just before China closed its borders (I believe that was around March 28), the admins sent those who were still abroad a message that they should plan to return “now” because classes are planned to begin in two weeks and they need to get through their 14-day quarantine so they can begin work. Obviously, that was a blatant lie, and everyone who was following the news knew it. (In fact, Beijing didn’t open schools until a month after admin sent that message, and even then it was only for grade 12).After those stressful few days, and once again feeling like the school was not being transparent, as is a typical feel with this school), things calmed down and the school has been very good about not adding more worry ever since. We’re now facing the fact that we may need to work an extra month into summer, with the 2020-2021 school year starting a couple of weeks later than originally planned. However, there is also the issue that if we leave China we may not be able to get back in! This obviously has nothing to do with the school, but something to think about. The school has sent out emails responding to those who are still outside of China and not being able to return for their belongings or to collect their housing deposits. The school stated that people should ask their friends and colleagues to help out, but if they can’t, then to contact HR and they will do their best to get their things shipped to wherever they need to go at the expense of the employee. Overall, I’ve felt pretty good about how our school has handled the crisis after the initial panic. I’m not aware of anyone getting fired. On my end, I feel like the online classes are going well and I don’t feel like I’m being spied on or micromanaged.

    Like

  10. TeacherTeacher says:

    The Canadian International School of Bangalore has responded well to the crisis. Administration is transparent and communicative with teachers, and principals and the head of school have made themselves available to teachers with questions or concerns. They have solicited and used teacher feedback on key decisions around shaping remote learning and other related decisions, such as the question of whether or not to proceed with spring break. Faculty salaries have continued to be paid on time, and they have continued paying teachers who have temporarily returned to their home countries and have continued remote teaching from there. The school invited any teachers who felt isolated or unsafe staying in their apartments to move into the on-campus dorms (which they prepared with food and other essentials) if they wanted. Although faculty salaries will not see any increase next year, the school has emphasized that their priority is to keeping all teachers on staff, and honoring the contracts that have been signed with new teachers.

    Like

  11. Sampoerna Academy says:

    Sampoerna Academy in Indonesia did not do enough to support their teachers at all. A large majority of other international schools in Indonesia as well as English Learning Centers sent their teachers home with their flight allowance in the beginning of March as boarders began to close. A few schools even gave teachers the option to continue teaching online if they would like.

    I spoke to administration 3 times and expressed my concerns and they refused to release teachers from their contracts with the flight allowance, nor would they allow us to teach online from our home countries. When asked why they said it was because we would be expected to report to work once this was over (as they could see exactly when this would be over.)

    If anyone has been following Indonesia you know this was a very unrealistic expectation especially because the government has been lying and did not report their first case until March not the mention the lack of testing available. All of these things were mentioned to administration as well as the fact that there were only 7 weeks left of school.

    Sampoerna Academy remained open until forced to close by the mayors (other schools had already been closed for 2 weeks or more and had already implemented a plan) and then rushed the throw together an action plan for online teaching. Ultimately, there was no concern about the teachers, their mental health, or well being. Multiple countries were urging their citizens to return home as boarders were closing and their response to teachers was “you are an Indonesian citizen because you have a KITAS you live here so these government alerts do not apply to you.” There was a lot of denial and honestly just a complete lack of sensitivity to the fact that people could be displaced from their family for months even though we only had 7 weeks left of school.

    For the teachers that didn’t leave most if not all are now stuck in Indonesia and of course have not returned to school and are doing online teaching which has increased their workload double fold. They have continued to lie to parents about when they will be reopen and keep pushing the date back by 2 weeks. I think this is done to keep the parents paying tuition.

    Sampoerna Academy is aware of the broken infrastructure and weak healthcare system in Indonesia and still continued to push the false narrative that foreign teachers are safer there during the middle of a global pandemic. As mentioned earlier it was also very clear that the country has been lying about the number of people infected since January and does not have nearly enough test kits to test people especially since it’s the 3rd most populated country in the world.

    Online teaching can be done from anyways as most school had made it work so it’s unfortunate and sad but ultimately Sampoerna Academy does not care about the wellbeing of their staff and gave no support to teachers and did not close until forced to. I feel sorry for those who are still there.

    Like

  12. Anonymous says:

    English school of Kenya, Northern Cyprus

    Not unsurprisingly, to anyone who has worked or works there the board has put it’s self preservation first , parents second and staff last.
    A clear laid out plan for the parents, with 15% credit for any parents re-enrolling their students NEXT YEAR.
    A 25% pay deduction for all staff with threats of forced redundancy from this April and going forward. Some very unhappy contracted staff who are considering what their contracts are actually worth.

    Like

    • Anon says:

      This school is advertising several posts at the moment. Are these to replace teachers who have resigned over covid response? Are they looking to employ new staff on lower wages?

      Like

  13. Ascend Mumbai Facts says:

    Ascend International School in Mumbai, India has been running a remote learning program since March 16, and is likely to extend this through the end of the year, May 29. Teachers are working hard to deliver this program, and they were paid as expected the first payday since this began. Many left the country and are teaching remotely. All are expected to be back by July 1, to serve two weeks of quarantine before starting a mandatory three week orientation July 13; but it is not known if the building will open in August. Note also the slum location of the school, and the difficulty getting food here.

    Like

  14. Anonymous says:

    PanyaDee – The British International School of Samui

    Teachers have been misled by management throughout the crisis.

    Initially they told teachers they could return to their home countries and continue working remotely, but then furloughed them once they returned. Salaries were regularly paid late before COVID-19, but after March’s pay was later than usual (5 days for foreign staff, 10 days for Thai staff) they held a meeting to assure us that our contracts were safe. They then subsequently cut pay by 20% part way through April.

    It is clear they are panicking financially, but the lack of transparency is having a significant impact on teacher morale.

    Like

  15. Beijinger says:

    THIS (Tsinghua International) in Beijing gave us a few days to get used to the idea since we were all on Chinese New Year vacation then 2 days of PD to learn the platforms (zoom, seesaw for elementary, and PSL for secondary) and work out issues. They encouraged us to come back to Beijing in time to start on time but if embassies were recommending people stay in their home countries. School started two days late with synchronous classes with a modified schedule; 40 minute classes reduced to 30 minutes, 80 minutes reduced to 60 minutes. We take attendance. We lost a few students who withdrew and started attending schools in the States where they were on vacation. Most stayed with us even though teachers and students were scattered all over the globe. Those in Europe are teaching and attending in the middle of the night.

    Information comes out about once a week which at the beginning was not enough. But things were changing so fast that it was hard to keep up with the situation. I felt that when they had information they passed it on and did not pass any rumors, only what they could say was official news.

    We continue to be paid on time. We had to do two weeks quarantine in our apartments when we returned and report temperatures to the school everyday. There was no push back when, after three weeks of fighting crappy internet in my apartment, I decided to return to my home country. Those who are stuck abroad have had some issues with landlords since they having a difficult time paying rent from abroad. Getting money out of China if you’re not there is another issue that hasn’t been resolved since the bank requires our ATM card and the school (government school) can’t pay into a foreign bank account. For those leaving at the end of the year packing up is a challenge. They’ve found a service who will pack and ship.

    We need an appointment to enter the campus. But as local schools are starting to open up with seniors starting next week and 9th grade two weeks later since they have major exams to prepare for, our school will not be opening because most of our electives are multi-grade. Because of that we’ll no longer be allowed on campus to eliminate contact between our staff and the Fuzhong students.

    Overall school is supportive but caught between a rock and a hard place. They can’t do anything not allowed by the local education board.

    Like

  16. Anonymous says:

    Wroclaw International School, Poland.

    Allowed certain staff to repatriate and fired others. Poor communication and leadership skills, education and students definitely not at the forefront in this institution. School does not provide laptops, and does not contribute to internet costs. Full review will be written by a colleague once the academic year is over.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      forgot to add some more details. School does not provide laptops, and does not contribute to internet costs.

      Like

  17. Anonymous says:

    Rowad Al Khaleej International Schools, Saudi Arabia. Company has provided minimal support. No devices for those who don’t have their own. Poor internet in company housing. Teachers switched to online teaching with two days’ notice and worked overtime without any complaints. Now that the school year is winding down, they’ve decided to cut pay by 50% even though parents have paid and continue to pay full tuition. The reason given is that other divisions of the parent company have suffered.

    Like

  18. Anonymous says:

    Yes Wah schools, China, – Yantai – currently rewriting contracts to reduce salary and benefits packages, they decide if you have a useful role in the school. Everyone being asked to make “shared sacrifice”. School still closed as local Education Bureau won’t allow to reopen due to foreign staff (currently more than a dozen still overseas and not sure if or when they will return). Foundation reluctant to communicate directly to staff regarding summer holidays and having to work through, but are already asking teachers to repay time/ hours even though we have done remote learning during the lockdown. Can see staff walking and not returning after the summer….

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Generally accurate report. To which we can add the following update (for Yew Wah Yantai):
      1. Online teaching was pretty much full-time and no issues with pay
      2. School has so far had staggered re-opening
      3. Staff, present at school, are now asked to do their own teaching and supervise for teachers locked out overseas
      4. Same staff asked to do extended hours from Monday to Friday, Saturdays, and nearly 2 weeks additional teaching after normal summer break-off day: technically 7 teaching days from Monday to Saturday until July 4th, instead of June 24th.
      5. Staff asked to cancel all travel arrangements and not leave China
      6. Staff asked to accept amendments to contracts – not a discussion
      7. All changes made mandatory under explicitly written threat of wage reductions; no consultation; no compensation, no educational consideration; no consideration for staff and their families’ personal circumstances or wellbeing. No consideration of post-Covid-19 trauma and ongoing issues.
      8. Yantai’s Education Bureau instruction for prioritising wellbeing does not come into consideration.

      In short, do what you are told / leave if you don’t like it. The idea is to placate parents so that they have no grounds for tuition refund.

      Centralised administration and no particular power from principals. That’s what you get when decisions are left to business or bureaucracy. No principal who has power, cared for staff and children, would have made these decisions. Principal is also having to obey directives from the top.

      Yet, teaching and support staff always cheerful and getting on with doing what they are told. Brilliant colleagues as usual.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      What’s the salary like at YWIES Yantai? what kind of changes are they making to the contract?

      Like

  19. School for Scandal says:

    International School Ho Chi Minh City
    There have been some very dodgy claims by management, including attendance rates in the 90% range, which is a gross manipulation of the real data. (Some faculty refer to the claim as an “outright lie”.) Faculty has been asked to implement a scheme which is a blatant attempt to manipulate data for marketing purposes. That represented a change to working conditions and was accompanied by no meaningful consultation. We only receive news from administration after it has gone to parents (shows you where we sit in the pecking order). We also received a note from Cognita about changes to fee structure, as if we care about that.
    The COVID-19 shutdown has exposed some serious deficiencies in administration. They were clearly unprepared for such a contingency and looked a lot like the proverbial deer in the headlights for quite a while. Messages from admin have been next to useless – lots about them and their days, including haircuts being revealed (I kid you not!). It’s high time to invert the hierarchy. The school is over-governed with egotists.
    The school has a basically sound foundation and will survive better than most but things could be rocky during a recession which is on the horizon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Skoo Teechah says:

      International School Ho Chi Minh City
      School for Scandal is spot on. This situation has exposed this administration’s woeful lack of qualifications and disturbing lack of competence. Early on, attendance engineering forced teachers to spend a ridiculous amount of time retroactively adjusting attendance. Attendance engineering 2.0 finds teachers meeting twice a day with Advisory groups in order to badger students (usually for a second or third time) about the work they haven’t done. And let’s talk briefly about the definition of “attendance”. Showing up for a second during Advisory twice a day and attending no academic classes and doing no work counts as a full day’s attendance. Rather than implement policies to improve learning, ISHCMC administration has implemented policies to make it look like students are doing stuff. Administration wastes loads of the faculty’s time with endless emails, speculation, and pointless video “check-ins” rather than holding themselves or the students accountable for anything. To sum up, teachers have had lessons covered for every class every day since 4 February, and admin just keeps wasting everyone’s time. School for Scandal is right – the school is overgoverned and micromanaged by people who don’t know what they’re doing and who all have their own agendas. The real talent is in the lay faculty whose voices are never heard.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Horse Feathers says:

      Have to agree. Admin have failed HR 101 big time. They seem to think that vacuous thank yous will assuage the riff raff. “You’ve all done very well” just won’t cut it.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Safari says:

    Lusaka International Community School have forced teachers to take a 15% cut in pay. More cuts could happen and teachers were told the school would see them in court if they didn’t like it.

    Like

  21. Anon says:

    The English Playgroup and Primary Group – Kuwait. They’ve provided no support for teachers during this time, failed to communicate professionally, sent emails to state they will be cutting up to 60% of teaching salaries for Early years teachers yet Primary school teachers will remain at the same salary. They’ve disregarded ministry instructions to pay full salaries and they refuse to respond to emails. Some teachers haven’t been paid since February 2020. They’ve moved people out of apartments and their stuff to unknown locations. The COO Antoinette Sullivan forced teachers to take flights back to their home without confirmation of salaries or job security for those planning to continue with the company. The flights teacher took were they withdrawn from their March Salary unknowingly. The company has over 20 branches and so many teachers have been left unable to pay rent, get supplies and support their families during this turbulent time. The pay cut is discriminatory as Primary school workers are still being paid full salary and all senior management.

    Like

  22. Teacher says:

    Maadi British International School (MBIS) Cairo.
    The school has been exemplary in their treatment of staff and pupils. We have been out for a few weeks, teaching from home, and the support has been fantastic. Counsellors have been brought in to help with our mental health and the Leadership team phone, email and send video messages only to check how we are managing. Leadership also speak to parents on our behalf and are adamant that we only work our working hours. I feel very trusted as a professional and supported to do my job properly. Compared to most schools at the moment, I feel really lucky to be here.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Anon says:

    Wales International School – Abu Dhabi:
    The school has been transparent with all information. They have followed government directives to keep everyone safe.
    As class teachers we have been assured, for now, there will be no reduction in pay. We are all working above and beyond to make sure our children are getting the best learning experience we can give online.
    SLT are very supportive and give constant positive feedback to teachers
    and let us know from the parents.

    We are in a very supportive community in this school. Management are all too aware of teachers over working, we have been given times for work and relentlessly told by SLT of our downtime and the importance of this!
    I feel sorry for other schools who do not take teachers’ welfare so seriously during these times! Thank you WIS for your support!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Anonymous says:

    English Playgroup, Kuwait; over 20 school locations. They are run by Antionette Sullivan. She has been recorded trying to force teachers to leave Kuwait putting themselves and others in danger during this pandemic. They’ve moved peoples personal belongings out of their apartments, haven’t paid certain nationalities of teachers since February and have now even cut teachers salary by 50% against their will and against Kuwait orders to pay all employees full salary. They have now stop responding to teachers who they haven’t paid or whose salary they cut. They should be forced to pay all teachers and then be shut down!!

    Like

  25. Anonymous says:

    The English Playgroup and Primary Group (Kuwait). They have been worse than expected and they’re usually pretty bad. They forced all teachers living in their accommodation to fly back home and docked the flight money from the March Salary. Teachers that were on holiday and could not get back into Kuwait we’re told all their stuff will be packed up and stored in an unknown location. They paid March salary late for most and for those who they deemed as not worthy, they simply did not pay. This included cleaning staff and teachers mainly from Jamaica and those who they had recently hired (they fired new staff before probation ended to avoid them having to pay them too). They provided no explanations to lateness, salary changes, indemnity for those leaving and job security.

    They have now informed all Early years English teachers (18th April 2020) that they will be receiving half their pay until an undisclosed date ( this is illegal as the Ministry of education stated Employees should receive full basic pay). They favour primary school teachers who have been paid on time and full salary whilst those who early less or work in early years are subject to unsatisfactory treatment.

    Like

  26. librarianfchk says:

    Branksome Hall Asia, South Korea on the island of Jeju have done a great job of communicating with staff. We continue to be in school providing e-learning to our students. The school already has plans on how to manage quarantine for new staff coming in over the summer. They send regular communications about the situation, discussions with the local government and plans for re-opening. They have been supportive of staff throughout and have done their best to make people feel safe. Sometimes there is a little too much communication that doesn’t really say anything but that is better than too little. Counselors have sent out a wellness survey for staff to provide additional support, there are also wellness activities available.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      North London Collegiate School Jeju is also doing a great job during this crisis. They have been quick to respond as the situation has escalated. The Lynne Oldfield, our principal, and the rest of the leadership team have been communicating with staff every step of the way. They have been supportive of staff needs and wellbeing while still being direct about the seriousness of this crisis.

      Teachers are working hard to keep our high learning standards. Some are jokingly worried about doing too good a job and online learning becoming the new normal.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      St Johnsbury Academy in Jeju has mostly worked well through this unprecedented crisis. There have been regular communications from the head of school and the response from the parent community has been broadly positive.
      The teachers I have spoken with have embraced online learning, although the initial adjustment period was certainly a difficult one.
      It is heartening to hear of the communications between the heads of schools on Jeju – a unified response is in all our best interests.

      Like

  27. Anonymous says:

    St Andrews International School Bangkok (Nord Anglia) have done a decent job with the whole situation. Whilst they were a little slow to react to the staffs growing nervousness about the pandemic, they have worked quite hard to ensure the switch to distance learning has been smooth. The schools IT guru is very competent and has been brilliant. The school sends out a lot of information and updates, a lot focused on staff wellbeing, although how much they actually value that will likely become more apparent as we start term 3 next week.
    They are keen to keep parents paying fees and students attending online lessons, which is fair enough, so work and online time for teachers seems to be slowly increasing. However, we still have all benefits and full pay coming in so we should count ourselves lucky. No layoffs or salary reductions as far as I have heard, and holidays and school year as ‘normal’ so far.
    It hasn’t been an easy situation, but I feel they have handled it well.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      I have received part of a communication that staff have been required to continue work an extra month into the summer and that the administration has taken a pay cut. Is this accurate?

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, this is accurate. There is no extra compensation for this extra month.

      Like

    • Norman Andrews says:

      How did you manage to forget to put this little nugget in? So Nord Anglia are making their teachers work an extra month for no pay…is that correct?

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      This is not true

      Like

  28. anon says:

    Wellington Shanghai: There seems to be a real trend in how Wellington treats staff, regardless of the location of the school. Wellington Shanghai completed pressured staff to return to China from overseas, in a very passive-aggressive way; we had emails reminding us of ‘contractual requirements’ and gave us a deadline date of when we ‘must return by’. The school pressured staff to book flights even though some flights were being canceled. They pressured staff to rebook flights and made it very clear that ‘all staff’ must return.

    The school sent ‘Updates’ from Shanghai which were later found out to be sugar-coated, idealized versions of what life was really like in the city. This meant a lot of staff, lots with young families, were traveling back without a real idea of how they would be treated upon arriving in Shanghai. The school spun stories of offering lots of support for returning staff, assistance with the return process, help with quarantine procedures and support if families were being separated – all of these kind offerings were not actually available as ‘resources were limited’ when the going got tough.

    As staff returned to China and saw how things really were and with the schools not actually being allowed to reopen – the school then backtracked their ‘you must return’ demands and changed tack completely; ‘We wanted you to return to China for your own safety’ was the school’s response now. We have had families separated in quarantine facilities, families separated by countries, staff return on packed flights and therefore have caught the virus, staff hospitalized with having the virus. The school’s response? Remind us all how they were right to ask for our return, to remind our staff that we are still being paid, how lucky we are to still be being paid and to basically ask for us to ‘remain positive’ (do not complain)

    The school has not cared about the safe return of families. They have not cared about the staff. The whole process is about money. Staff are still being lied to with regard to how things actually are – the ‘Updates’ have since stopped. We are all aware that they were a tissue of lies. In one ‘Update’ we were told that ‘no staff member had contracted the virus’ – and yet we knew that several staff were in a hospital at the time with positive tests for the virus! The school silenced the staff in the hospital as it would be a negative message to other returning staff.

    Had I realized the actual truth about the return journey to China, the risks, the fact that schools would not be opening – I doubt I would have returned. Safety and family must come first. Not a business that does not care one bit about me as a human being.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Anonymous says:

    Albanian College Durres has just closed their Secondary school, current students are invited to travel an hour a day to get to Albanian College Tirana instead (if they do) and secondary teachers are being told that they *might* get reassigned to ACT if numbers are good, otherwise they will have no job in September.

    Both schools have also told all expat teachers that their entire salary is being cut to half current levels, despite working just as hard or harder. And anything beyond June or July for salaries or flights is a maybe….

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Sekolah Ciputra has responded well to the closure. Government directive was slow, but school initially took all temperatures of students and staff before closing. Staff were initially allowed to work in School, but directives then stopped this to follow world closures and social distancing. The school has been transparent with all communication, passing on information immediately. No teachers have lost jobs or had reduced pay, teachers were allowed to fly to home countries with no penalties but still had to deliver, but also be available again if the school reopened. We have been paid an additional allowance for mobile phones in case of wifi problems. Our workload was high at the beginning but has dropped to a very manageable online presence which still allows for plenty of student contact. The board have been very supportive, they are even providing testing for staff if they show/have symptoms at no cost. Any staff that struggle to get to their new jobs have been assured they will continue to get support and have somewhere to stay even after contract is finished.

      Like

  30. Anonymous says:

    Albanian College in Tirana and Durres: Internet article about these schools and Covid-19

    Like

  31. Anonymous says:

    HI, this is a different message. I am leaving my job in Montego Bay, Jamaica as a Middle/High School Science Teacher. My school has been very good during the virus and has done nothing to screw us over.

    Like

  32. Anonymous says:

    Gulf English School Kuwait
    I would like to say well done to the management at GES they have handled this situation fantastically and really brought colleagues together to support one another. The children’s education has been at the forefront of their plan and it’s fair to say all of our children’s needs are being met. I first struggled with the online learning but was given support and guidance when I needed it.. These are tough times for everyone but I can happily say that I feel privileged to be at GES and feel valued and appreciated in the very short time i have worked there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      This comment is clearly written by management themselves as my comment below shows the actual truths of GES at this time. If you would like me to provide picture evidence of emails received by staff from management then please do provide me with your contact details and I’ll be happy to forward them on to you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • bery interested says:

      It looks like ISR is removing our request to have such letters sent. Probably for our own security. Please add your letters to your post. All ISR can do is remove them if they object.

      Like

  33. Anonymous says:

    Swiss international School in Qatar (SISQ)

    The school prepared us well for the transition to online learning and did it with enough time for us to have something in place when the school closed (quite suddenly). Parents have been happy overall. Contracts and salaries have not been affected. Pretty smooth overall!

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Parents have not been happy at all if you’ve attended any of the “coffee mornings” with Pbradley and Susan. It is clear that teachers are being asked to create elaborate lessons that families cannot follow. But I am not a teacher there, so maybe it’s great being paid to make families miserable.

      Like

  34. Anonymous says:

    Universal American School- UAS Kuwait

    I got fired! Why? I left Kuwait to be with my family and did not inform Admin. I sent them an email apologizing for not informing them prior to traveling. I also stated the obvious- teachers can teach from anywhere! I performed all teacher duties at a distance, taking care of my responsibilities. They fired me, one month before the end of the school year.
    I miss my kiddos! Their parents have been sending me tons of messages on Whatsapp, asking why I left suddenly. I feel terrible.

    UAS is not a family as the owner proclaims. This pandemic has exposed them.
    I’m happy to be home and surrounded by my ‘family’ during these tough times.

    Like

    • Anon says:

      The same thing happened to me and couple of teachers in A’takamul international school. It wasn’t communicated to us they just blocked our work emails prior to e-learning.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      I disagree, what is the logic behind staying somewhere which has closed its borders and won’t be reopening schools until September when they can do the same job from home. I know some teachers who are now frantically contacting embassies to try to get themselves out of these siutations.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m an employee at UAS and the administration clearly communicated with all staff by stating please communicate your travel plans with them and the HR department. This communication was not only said during the pandemic situation but has been reiterated numerous times from the start of the year! Let’s be fair here…!

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Why on earth would you leave the country without informing your employer? What if the school were suddenly to reopen for whatever reason and you can’t get back in to the country.

      IMO the school were completely within their rights to do this. What a silly thing to do

      Like

  35. Anonymous says:

    Jerudong International School, Brunei

    School responded quickly by closing the school as required by the government. Now starting the 4th week of online teaching. Teachers were given 1 day to prepare for this. JIS a is a big school but in some faculties no PD/direction or help was given to teachers. Absolutely no support at all by Senior management. In one faculty the management spends the whole day checking on what their teachers are posting and checking that teachers are working on their computers.Teachers are able to work from school or at home. As a whole school there is general email sent every few days by the Head of the School but no mention about teacher’s contracts/pay etc. So basically teachers really don’t have much idea about what is happening. Very little support has been given to the welfare of the teachers as the school is too busy trying to please the parents.

    Like

  36. Anonymous Teacher says:

    As an international educator, I am honored to be a part of the Al Bayan Bilingual School family (BBS) here in Kuwait, for eleven years. Since the start of this pandemic, BBS has continued to demonstrate their care and support for us. For example, they sanitized the teachers’ housing and provided us with cleaning supplies. In addition, we were paid extra early and given information about a variety of services that we can access online. Furthermore, we were surprised with fruit baskets, delivered to each teacher, by the deputy director. I am thankful to be here, in Kuwait, at BBS, especially during these uncertain times.

    Like

  37. Anonymous says:

    British International School Shanghai, Puxi (Nord Anglia). Teaching since the start of February remotely providing full lessons and marking work as normal although more work as many teachers did not have access to laptops as they were still in China so resources planned from scratch. Despite this the school took our Easter break. The school have now also told us we will work for an extra month until the end of July and have not really explained why and aren’t providing any extra compensation. This was decided with no consultation and the parent email deliberately went out immediately after staff were first told so no time to reply and raise concerns. Staff have been working flat out since February so this is unfair and devalues the effort put into teaching so far and goes past our contracted days. Poor communications as big changes in China policy like banning foreigners was not communicated by the school directly and staff were left to find out from informal ways like wechat groups and rumours. No understanding of staff wellbeing. Loads of parental surveys but staff have not been asked about anything and nobody has really checked in with us which means that there is more and more work. There is a sense that management feel we’re all on holiday and not really workings hard which couldn’t be further from the truth. There are threats of job losses if we don’t comply with all of this so staff feel forced to accept things and go along with it even though there’s a huge amount of anger. It’s a shame as the school is good in normal times but this situation has revealed how the parent company prioritises profits over people.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Kenny zai na li says:

    International School of Brunei

    The School response was swift and decisive under the directive of the Ministry of Health. The school closed the very next day after the first case of COVID-19 was detected and has remained so to this moment.

    The school provided training and support using ZOOM and allowed test runs for meetings to ensure staff were up to speed for online learning.

    Salaries, benefits and online CPD courses have been paid in full and registered accordingly as stated in our contracts. There is a real feeling of togetherness here amongst the staff, which has ensured that morale and motivation has remained high. We feel we are some of the lucky ones, given some horror stories on these boards.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Anonymous says:

    Gulf English School, Kuwait

    Only one word to start this school off: SHOCKING!

    The school has changed its mind more times than I can count. We are constantly being hounded by management to complete tedious and unnecessary tasks under the order that the ‘ministry’ needs evidence. This is nothing but a LIE. Many other schools in Kuwait are not going to the same extremities or being forced to do such ridiculous tasks.

    As for the staff welfare I don’t even know where to begin. The staff have had no clear communication from management since day one about travel/school finish date/school start date etc. Staff just want to know if they can safely leave the country without any issues but a clear response to this has never been given since the beginning. We are working until all hours of the night trying to complete tasks and have little time to communicate with our own families. They are providing different pieces of information to different staff members and some of the email responses from management have been disgustingly rude. I am honestly so appalled at the treatment we have experienced here and cannot believe I have worked for such a company.

    Please really consider your options before coming to work here.

    Like

    • Anon says:

      GES, Kuwait

      Staff are also too scared to email management at fear of consequences as previous email replies have been either ignored or replied to aggressively. Totally unacceptable!

      Like

  40. Martyn Pilkington says:

    ABC International School, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

    The school were told that students were not allowed to come to school from the beginning of February (which was after a two week break for the Chinese new year holiday). Throughout the whole time we have been teaching online (10 weeks) and the school have acted very proactively and professionally and the communication has been excellent from the SLT.

    Online teaching and interaction between students has been via google classroom and google meets and the feedback from SLT and parents has been very positive about this.

    The school has paid all teachers on time, facilitated teachers to run CPD sessions, and most recently started a staff well being programme where staff can set up workouts or yoga sessions on Zoom, or be involved in a weekly quiz get together via Kahoot.

    Overall, a very good response from the school and I feel very lucky to be in the position I am at this time.

    Like

  41. Anon says:

    Atakamul international school in Kuwait

    The school is beyond evil and they are thieves, stole some teachers belongings, no pay since March, some teachers are made to e-teach double, triple classes.

    Management lies a LOT like they are KG kids ( this is true)

    No communication whatsoever amid the covid situation.
    Work for these evil people at your own risk.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      I work in high school and this hasn’t been the case. No one was given extra teaching loads. People got paid. I don’t want to comment on management in other sections but ours is alright.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      I work(ed) in Elementary and I put the (ed) there because I with other KG and Elementary teachers have no idea if we still work there or not. Firstly I left the country after having gotten approval from immediate superior elementary vice principal and when advised to informed HR of my travel, I did just that. To my shock I did not get paid for March after having actively participated in e-teaching via class dojo at the time. A week into April my work domain, Google account was deactivated without any prior communication. Sent countless emails to HR enquiring about this action and to date I have not received a response. What I know having heard from concerned parents is that another teacher has taken over my class and they were informed I can no longer teach due to personal reasons.

      The School is extremely shady and no transparent at all about anything. Even people who are currently in the country and teaching are not being told any relating to school calendar moving forward. Again speaking for Elementary.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      GES is the partnering school to A’Takamul and we also haven’t had any communication about moving forward. It seems that the overall manager of these schools just isn’t bothered about the staff at all and is only concerned about making money from the parents. Such a shame that we are being treated like this.

      Like

  42. anonymous says:

    My current school, American International School Abuja (Nigeria) response to the pandemic was outright horrible. There were several meetings in the weeks leading up to the pandemic growing, but no real communication other than “its a dynamic situation, which we’re watching”. A set of procedures/rubrics were developed by Admin to be followed in the case of a need to move to online learning, but the very procedures Admin created, they did not follow. For example, the rubric stated, if we were to move to online learning, we’d have 3 days to prepare. This did not happen. We were told Tuesday that school would be closing and we were moving to online learning. Faculty/Staff were required to come to work on Wednesday to “prep”, but spent most of the day in meetings that felt unthoughtful, panicked, and scattered. Online learning began Thursday, in full swing amidst many staff and families evacuating. Due to the start of various border closings/limited flights out of Nigeria to home of records, and lack of cohesive communication from administration during the week of 3/14, several people decided to start preparing to leave on their own. By Thursday, the school suddenly said we could leave as early as Friday, but had to use the school’s travel agent in order to be reimbursed for the cost of evacuation(who, by the way, was also booking evacuation flights for many schools in our region, so it was 5+ days before many people got word of a flight out). Head of School, both divisional principals, and Curriculum Coordinator left without letting faculty and staff know they were leaving. Every.single.admin ghosted, with not so much as an email to faculty and staff that were still waiting on flights or who were choosing to remain in Nigeria. Overseas hires were allowed to stay in their campus housing if they chose to stay in Nigeria, however, the Security Manager made up rules as he went, instituted a residence lockdown that was much more severe than the National Lockdown mandate and required remaining staff to leave their homes daily and meet the school nurse in a community area (residence clubhouse) to have temperatures taken. Isn’t leaving your home to gather with others in a community space for temperature checks exactly the opposite of social distancing? The leadership during this time was outright appalling(to include the Board of Governors, who make final decisions on school closings, etc). Just a terrible experience which has cultivated in a lack of trust in Admin during a time when trust was just starting to be rebuilt due to circumstances that took place in previous years.

    Like

  43. anonymous says:

    At Shanghai HD Bilingual school, China we have had very little communication from the school. The staff have worked online since the end of January providing daily lessons for the children. We have been fully paid and welfare packages were sent to those who were in China in the first 6 weeks. Those who didn’t return were threatened with firing and sent numerous news articles about how the virus was not serious. At first we were told that if we started online teaching straight away we would not lose our holidays or have to extend our working days once we returned. We have been constantly reminded how we have to follow the advice of the bureau, however, this advice was not followed when public school remained on holiday until the 2nd of March and we started at the beginning of February. We have now been told we are losing our May holiday and we are still unsure of whether we will have have to work longer days/weekends or through the Summer. As it stands we have worked from the end of Jan and will be working until the end of June with 2 days off.

    Like

  44. Rocky Raccoon says:

    International School Ho Chi Minh City has been closed for about the last 8 weeks. The continuity of learning is a bit questionable but that’s true everywhere. The success is due to the efforts of unpromoted faculty – not the hierarchy who have been ineffectual and lacking imagination. Cognita owns the school and has promised to honor existing contracts. They haven’t yet offered to pay for the electricity and internet costs (which they are obviously saving at school). Teachers were unnecessarily required to be on site for the first four weeks (not trusted to perform duties at home) and are now at home due to a government directive. Vietnamese government deserve great praise for proactive response.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Anonymous says:

    Merchiston International School in Shenzhen, China has been closed since the Chinese New Year holidays on 23 January 2020 due to Covid-19. Online home-based learning has been carried out since. Throughout the entire months of February & March, expat staff, many of whom were outside China, were given contradictory and conflicting advice on whether to return to China, and there was a clearly emerging gulf between the Head and the Chairman of the Board of Governors regarding advice on how to proceed. At one point, staff received email to treat this ever-evolving situation like “the British weather” – one could never know what was about to happen next, and so should just take it under the chin – never mind the travel advisories issued by the UK FCO.

    Salaries for expats have been paid in full up till the end of March so far. However, on 07 April it was announced that the Head had been let go with immediate effect. It would seem that this was due to an irreparable rift between himself and the Chairman of the Board of Governors.

    As expected, a slew of terrible measures followed in quick succession, the worst of which was the announcement on 10 April that, in a mere nine days, all expat staff who were not presently in Shenzhen would be evicted from their accommodation and have their rental allowances rescinded. This meant that rental contracts were subsequently broken, with colleagues having their rental deposits forfeited of a up to a tune of nearly £2,000.

    The school, which is now only operating in its second year, has since admitted that it is under considerable financial strain and we now worry that more clauses in our contract will be broken or not honoured, including continual payment of salaries. We will update as the situation progresses.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gtk says:

      Was going to apply for a job there,would be intrested to hear of future developments

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Not the original poster but I can confirm that what they have said is true.

      In more recent developments, two weeks ago MIS informed those staff stuck outside China that they will not be required to deliver online lessons from May 11th. Staff outside China will not receive their salary from this date onwards. The school quoted a section of the contract that relates to failing to return after a school holiday to justify this.

      However, it has recently come out that those teachers stuck outside China who have renewed their contracts to stay on at the school next year will still be paid during this time. This is clear manipulation of contracts, given the fact that they are all expected to return should the border reopen and are all employed under the same contract expiring at the end of July.

      It seems possible that this is what led to a dispute between the Head and the investor and led to him leaving during school closure. The way the school have gone about this has lacked transparency. It has put those teachers stuck outside China but who chose to renew their contracts in an awkward position, where they are still being paid but their colleagues (and friends!) who decided to leave at the end of this year are being paid nothing.

      For those currently in China, they are working an increased timetable with extra demands including compulsory boarding duties. They have been told that it is likely that either there will be an extension of the school day / Saturday school / extension of the school year to make up for lost class time. If the school year is extended, as seems likely, this will be another unpopular decision given the fact that all staff were expected to provide online learning throughout their two week Easter holiday and it will result in more lost pay for those teachers stuck outside China who chose not to renew their contracts with the school.

      End of contract bonuses have been guaranteed for all staff, including those stuck outside China, however the school is being very evasive and not committing to paying shipping deposits for those leaving at the end of this year and annual/end of contract flights home.

      Like

  46. Nathalie says:

    Royal Britannia Kindergarten – Kuwait.
    Worst place to work for. They laid off about 30 staff members without any prior notice on 31st March after having then work their hardest for a month on e-learning. Their excuse was that they had no money to pay the staff. However it is a well known fact that for special needs children the government pays the school. Hence they have just pocketed a whole lump sum and left their staff to fend for themselves in these difficult times.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Jackson says:

    Royal Britannia Kindergarten in Sideeq, KW

    All teachers and staff were laid off last 31st of March and were told that it will be closing since they can’t afford to pay us because they couldn’t ask parents to paying in full due to the crisis. They did this on a virtual meeting which everybody thought that it had something to do with their implementation of e-learning aside from the home learning packs that teaching staff were working on since the 1st week of suspension of classes so nobody had foreseen that we were gonna lose our jobs in just one snap. Very bad. Very sad.

    Like

  48. KUWAIT ENGLISH SCHOOL
    A first class treatment by the Management of KES. The school continues to present full online teaching timetables through the E-learning infrastructure KES introduced, years ago, for which all staff members have received training. Salary is paid in full and the care and concern for well-being, physical and mental, is demonstrated by all throughout the school, from security guards to Higher Management.

    Like

  49. Anonymous says:

    Ghars Bilingual School Kuwait
    Good support, paid in full on time. Online learning going well and any issues being worked out.

    Like

  50. Anonymous says:

    EPG Kuwait.
    All newest teachers sacked with no reason. All teachers made to book flights and leave the country within two hours.
    Some specific nationalities unpaid completely and not even being responded to.
    None on the support staff paid and can not even afford food.
    Even let us keep working and backdated the letter to 1st April but sent the email on the 10th.
    Honestly never been treated so disgustingly or seen such racism ever. DO NOT WORK FOR EPG!!!!!

    Like

  51. John citizen says:

    Royal Brittania Kindergarten Kuwait.
    Meeting on 31 March 2020. Just informed all teachers that school close because they did not want to accept 1/2 pay and unpaid leave. With immediate effect and no further salaries or payments. On 4 April letter goes out to parents that e learning will continue. On 5 April message on school facebook that elearning will continue. More than 30 teachers, ta’s and cleaning assistants without warning put out of work with no salaries.

    Like

  52. Anonymous says:

    HD Ningbo school, China. Terrible treatment of staff with many now without jobs as they did not return during the peak of the virus in Feb/March time. No support or guidance. Only kept parents notified.

    Like

  53. Anastasiya Kharytonova says:

    Mahindra International School (Formerly Mercedes Benz International School) in Pune, India has been and remains super supportive of its employees. We are on a total lockdown here in India for almost three weeks already and more than likely it will be extended till at least the end of April. Our residential areas security does not let anyone in or out so the first 7-10 days were quite challenging in terms of supplies. Yet the school admins are incredible in helping get what we need, our HR bought food and other essentials for me and other colleagues on several occasions, went grocery shopping for us, organized drinking water delivery, etc. As a single teacher here in India I feel supported and taken care of. Our Director and Principal are constantly checking upon us and our local colleagues are always in touch in case of an emergency. In such difficult times, it is very important to know you are not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. S.Vernon says:

    American Embassy School, Delhi, India has been incredible. One colleague said that it’s times like this when you really know if you are working at a tier 1 school. The admin has been compassionate and allowed overseas teachers to travel to wherever they feel they need to be. I opted to stay in Delhi where there is order and structure. I am working from my off-campus apartment. I can request and arrange a van with diplomatic plates to come get me and drive me to a grocery store. I am actually able to source most everything in my market down the street, so I have done the larger shopping via the van only once. The school is well-connected to the Embassy and is supporting teachers who have elected to take chartered evacuation flights with transportation to the nearly-shuttered airport. (The whole country is in lockdown – no local or international flights and no passenger trains.) The school has made counseling available to teachers. We had a smooth transition to distance learning. (We had a practice day one year ago…who knew?) The school has evacuation insurance if the US Embassy orders an evacuation. Learning has continued and students are engaged. I run our Taekwondo program and we are managing to produce instructional videos plus do one-on-one Taekwondo coaching via Zoom to those students as well. AES has helped teachers get salary to household staff, cash advances on payroll to transfer USD to local rupee accounts, and more. The Health Office reaches out regularly as well. Given the challenges of the current moment, I give AES an A+ for handling the situation with grace, generosity, and compassion.

    Liked by 1 person

  55. Anonymous says:

    Saigon South International School, Vietnam. The school has been phenomenal. They have given all teachers a hardship bonus, have taken care of local staff, and have a good online learning system. It hasn’t been without bumps, but that’s more about the crazy situation.

    Liked by 1 person

  56. Mike Burns says:

    Concordia International School Hanoi has done a fantastic job navigating this pandemic and supporting staff, students, and parents. Coming out of the Tet/CNY holiday the Hanoi People’s Committee ordered schools closed. As a staff we took the first three days to come up with a plan to continue to provide instruction as appropriate depending on grade level. For the HS we opted to use Zoom plus our LMS. We have been meeting continually with students. The school has delivered materials as needed to all students. Admin has encouraged to be innovative and try navigating this new situation. We were told to not be afraid to fail as we experiment. Our counselors check in with all students 2x a week. We are encouraged to keep realistic expectations as to what students can accomplish, and that showing grace is the order of the day. Counselors, Teachers, and Admin have reached out to students who are struggling.

    Admin has generously accommodated teachers with special circumstances. I cannot imagine anything that our school could or should have done differently. I am extremely grateful for working at Concordia International School Hanoi.

    Like

  57. Tired says:

    Australian International school Malaysia is all about the money. We were made to conduct parent conferences online for five afternoons after teaching all day, in our second week.
    No one was permitted to leave the country. One staff member, a 22 year old in her first term of teaching, was so distraught she cried for an entire day. The response was that if she left she would be breaking contract.
    The school is nothing but a business, which cares nothing for staff and even less about education beyond the superficial bells and whistles.

    Like

  58. Anonymous says:

    International School Ho Chi Minh City – American Academy. We’re the sister school of ISHCMC, part of Cognita Schools group, but run by a different local administration. Our school has been OK, but not great. The Cognita COVID-19 response plan is reassuring, although in the fine print if you get sick and use up your sick days, you don’t get paid, it’s unauthorized unpaid leave. Also, as the majority of our staff is American, going home isn’t really an option since the health plan doesn’t cover healthcare in America. However, this is a non-issue for most of us, since America isn’t the place most people want to be at the present time. Obviously, no policy is going to be perfect, and some staff have left Vietnam to work from their home country. As far as how the education side of things are going, we just removed electives for the students so they can focus more on their core academics, as a number of students are disengaged from online learning. This means that electives teachers don’t have anything to do other than monitor a virtual study hall for one hour once per week. We also have directives that students do not need to be on camera during assessments, so there has been a lot of cheating. Teachers are doing the best they can, but the Admin are really struggling to deal with how to roll out an effective online education to the students. I feel really bad for our struggling students, but also for our students who are being successful, but had something that they love like band or art taken away from them.

    Like

    • anonymous says:

      I feel lucky to be in Vietnam during this pandemic, as they have been very proactive and handled it very well. Less than 300 cases and no deaths is where most countries would love to be. A lot of International schools, especially in China, are facing much more serious issues than the ones you mentioned.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed about how the country is handling things, but that’s independent of how the school is handling things. Just trying to provide some information for those with interest in our school.

      Like

  59. Anonymous says:

    When I read the way other schools have handled the virus (especially in China) I’m even more disappointed with my school Wellington College International Hangzhou. Other schools put faculty well-being first. But not our school. It makes me angry that a school I’ve worked so hard for just doesn’t care that much about me. A lot of the faculty say they feel the same way but everyone is frightened to say it to management. It’s dreadful.

    Like

  60. Anonymous says:

    The American International School of Mozambique has done a stellar job in taking care of learners, teachers, and staff. The Director and Board moved fast and kept all parties informed. AISM is now spread across the globe with a flexible, compassionate and responsive Distance Learning Plan. All staff are being paid on time. There is great Zoom communication between leadership, teachers and students.

    Like

    • Fed Up says:

      I’m glad they have been doing well by you. For newcomers, it’s a different story. They said we are being treated the same as current teachers but I don’t think any of us believe that. We haven’t heard anything from the administration in over two months. We’ve heard current teachers have had another meeting and that some have even been notified that their contracts will be honored. Neither HR, the director nor either of the principals have returned emails. I am regretting my decision to work for his school. They have told us that they have no money saved and are relying on tuition. What terrible business practices. They do not care about their staff and they better hope they don’t get burned the way they are burning others. We have families to take care of and they only seem to care about themselves. If they aren’t going to honor our contracts, so be it. TELL US INSTEAD OF BEING COWARDLY!

      Like

  61. Sasha says:

    Kings college Murcia. We worked online (normal timetable ) for 3 weeks and now on holidays. No change to teachers salaries.

    Like

  62. Jody Ubert says:

    ISHCMC -The International School of Ho Chi Minh City has handled the situation beautifully. We just started our ninth week of online teaching and I continue to feel as I did in the beginning supported and proud to be a member of our staff. Contracts being honored this year and next, no issues with pay, a comprehensive Pandemic Policy developed that allows teachers that need to go home the ability to do so as long as they continue to work the Vietnam hours, and ongoing support from colleagues and administration. Yes, we all have good days and days we fight back the tears, but I feel supported and a part of our community EVERY day. I am so thankful I landed here in a beautiful country and an exemplary school.

    Like

    • Strontium says:

      Jody must be in the primary school. There is a big gap between primary and secondary at ISHCMC. The leadership at secondary level has been insipid. The communications from the SLT have been embarrassing and condescending. Most people are getting on with the job, doing a very competent job but don’t give the SLT any credit for that. That’s a result of fundamental competence. The online learning phase has been satisfactory, considering the constraints but all the credit goes to teachers not SLT. That would be a mistake.

      Liked by 1 person

  63. Anonymous says:

    Nun Academy, Saudi Arabia

    We have now into our fourth week of online learning. At first, the school asked us to come in in order to try and get everyone upskilled after the abrupt announcement of closure by the government that we had thought was going to be later than it was. We were asked to come in a few times until staff began to voice the fact that we didn’t think we should be gathering and then admin listened and this was stopped. The school has done its best to support people that needed extra help in adopting technologies with a person available that is an expert in working in online tools available to give advice. Admin are monitoring the work being put into classrooms and are meeting with them online to discuss this. At times, there could be a more positive tone used in email communications from admin given the challenges everyone is going through with some feeling they are trying their best but only being told about where they could improve. Still, the owner of the school has just sent out a message thanking everyone during this difficult time and saying she sees all the efforts people are putting into their lessons which is much appreciated. People also show their sense of community through messages on our WhatsApp groups.

    We are being paid in full while working online and have never felt worried that this would not continue.

    Like

  64. Anonymous says:

    The KAUST School- Saudi Arabia

    The school and the KAUST community has been really good. We have been fully informed of all steps along the way. We have been gradually shut down inline with the rest of the country. We have a reasonable school schedule which allows parents to work with their own children and not be overloaded by teaching others. They’ve asked us to adjust our expectations and not overload our students or ourselves. The admin trusts us to make good decisions for learning and they check in with us regularly to see how we are going. A few decisions they made were poor but when enough teachers complained they stepped back and trusted us. We are all still being paid (even the TAs). Our spring break flights were also compensated if we couldn’t get a full refund from the travel companies. We feel very fortunate to be in this school during this pandemic.

    Like

  65. Bunnycarrot says:

    Nottingham British School in Kuwait
    Staff were paid late. Staff that got stuck outside of Kuwait before the lockdown (we had a holiday prior to airports being closed) are only receiving 50% of their salary. Staff that receive a housing allowance are not being paid that housing allowance.
    All staff have been teaching online since the closure of schools. 6 weeks after school closure the school, trying to get parents to pay fees, has bought into a new e-learning platform (EduNation). Staff are now expected to teach on this. We have received a total of two ‘training sessions’ of an hour each (they were basically a demonstration).
    Staff and SLT have been told to bot communicate with parents at all, just redirect them to the administration.
    Parents have received a letter stating the new start dates, but no staff have been informed of these dates. Staff that is leaving are extremely worries about receiving their summer pay. This school does not pay indemnity anyway (which is against the labour law of Kuwait).
    Members of staff who have questioned and expressed concerns have been threatened with dismissal.

    Like

  66. Anonymous says:

    Institut auf dem Rosenberg, Switzerland.

    The most disappointing thing in the management has been the lack of communication. The day that they announced that the school will moving to online classes, they told firstly the students before the staff.
    They also made the announcement over lunch so the rest of the afternoons lessons were chaos.

    Then they emailed parents without first informing staff that we will have to work an extra month and a half into the summer holiday. No clarification on how our pay will be affected and whether we would be compensated.
    This also comes after the Swiss government announced that state schools are not to use summer holidays for extended teaching.

    The IT support has been reasonable for the move to online classes. However staff are still required to come into school to teach lessons if they were living locally. They eventually allowed staff who had to commute by train to teach from home, but insisted all their lessons were recorded and uploaded.

    Every management decision is lead with money in mind. We were invited to do private lessons over the Easter break for students who might want extra help, as another source of income for the school.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Just to clarify this post further, the Institut auf Dem Rosenberg has been offering online lessons for 3 wells prior to the Easter break.

      They want us now to continue online teaching from 27th April till 5th June. And then they are asking students to return to school from the 15th June until 15th August. Officially, our summer vacation starts on the 29th June. They are threatening us by suggesting they will count the number of hours worked during online teaching and docking our pay accordingly if we refuse to work these extra weeks.

      A number of teachers are working together to seek legal advice. The way they are treating their staff is revolting. The atmosphere at the school is really unpleasant and if anyone is looking at getting a job here I would consider other options. Staff wellbeing is right at the bottom of their priorities.

      Like

  67. Anonymous says:

    Huili School Hangzhou/Wellington College International Hangzhou
    The school has continued to pay staff throughout. HR and IT have worked tirelessly. However the school has continually pestered teachers to return to Hangzhou and made vague promises of support with regard to quarantine that HR do their best to support although overloaded with work. We were given nebulous threats as to what might happen if we did not return on each date given by the school (return by February 17, return by March 2, return by March 16 etc) despite it going against UK/AUS/US consular advice adding considerable stress to an already an extremely stressful situation. Overall, I have gotten the strong impression that money overrides the safety and well-being of staff (both Chinese and overseas) as they were quite prepared to trick teachers into returning to an unstable situation. Bickering has erupted between faculty as those who stayed publicly shame those who didn’t. Management not only allows it but actively rewards those who “stay positive” against those who are “not sensible”. Information has been slow and not transparent.

    Like

  68. Anonymous says:

    Well done!

    Kaohsiung American School in Taiwan has been transparent and supportive. Several times a week we get updates from our HOS after he has met with the leadership team to find out the latest information from the CDC in Taiwan, as well as the AIT (subset of US embassy)in Kaohsiung. Our IT department is on top of things, and our principals have been very understanding. We are getting full pay, with no confusion or concern about that continuing. I feel extremely grateful and fortunate to work at KAS!

    Like

  69. Anonymous says:

    I am at Fairfield International Academy in Montego Bay, Jamaica. We were told on Thurs. March 12th that all schools in Jamaica would be closing for the next two weeks. The Jamaican government said they would review the situation after 10 day. In this time they determined that schools would remain closed for another week. Following the week is spring break in Jamaica and we will be waiting to hear what is next. My school implemented the at home schooling where we give work for the kids to do each day on Google Classroom. Each Sunday we submit our Weekly Lesson Plan to the director so that he can send it out to the parents. Once a week we are required to have a Google Hangout with the students to answer any questions the students may have. Teachers are allowed to meet with their students more than once a week if they desire. FIA has been very respectful to the teachers and we have not suffered an financial loss from the virus in terms of getting paid. I am happy to say that everything has been going smoothly and no extra stress has been put on teachers. After spring break we were told that things may change a little and we may be required to spend more Google Hangout days with the students. We are waiting for that email.

    Like

  70. Anonymous says:

    Albanian College (both Tirana and Durres) have withheld all our housing allowances, worth around 20%-25% of our salaries.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Even if you remain in Albania to offer online lessons?

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      All teachers at Albanian College are teaching online lessons. From Albania or from other countries. No housing allowance for anyone.
      50% pay for TAs and support staff, no clarity if April’s salaries will be paid to teachers.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Force Majeure has been enacted. Despite this, admin still wants teachers to continue teaching Status Quo. They have offered to pay less than half salaries, no housing allowance. Any ideas on what to do in this case? We can’t leave due to airport being closed.

      Like

  71. chiangmaiuser says:

    Prem Tinsulanonda International School, Chiang Mai, Thailand. Staff are relatively well-informed in regards to what the government is doing and the expectations of staff. Daily health updates occurred from the HOS well before the school closed, and staff were told when and to what capacity they could come on campus to collect materials. Remote learning is happening and we were reasonably well-prepared due to several trainings we had in preparation for school closure due to the high pollution in the area.

    The problem is that the staff are not informed about what will happen in the future. This is partly due to the government and when (or if) they will let schools open again. Staff were told that there would be no raise in salaries for next year. This is because the HOS decided not to increase the school fees, and with enrolment numbers possibly dwindling, she cannot afford to give us pay raises. In addition, some staff still do not have contracts for next year.

    We were not told that we could go home to our respective countries, and if we did, we would risk not being able to enter Thailand when the school opened again. Consequences of this were not clear.

    Liked by 1 person

  72. Anonymous says:

    American Pacific International School, Chiang Mai, Thailand. The school was rather slow to acknowledge the issue of government-mandated school closings, but the leadership has made a reasonably good effort to keep staff informed of what’s going on. Transition to online teaching has been decent so far, though communication with students who have returned to their homes in China has been a concern, and the school is exploring some (in my opinion, misguided) alternatives to Google Classroom moving forward. Overall I think the response has been acceptable. I feel that the people in charge do genuinely care about the well-being of the students and staff, but some decision making has been slow and questionable.

    Like

  73. Cheri says:

    Beijing (China) SMIC Private School is sending a care package to expat staff abroad. We will each be sent 60 face masks, 100 gloves, and goggles. I’m very proud of SMIC!

    Like

    • Keelah Rose Calloway says:

      I used to work for SMIC. I’m so happy to hear they’re doing this for their employees. I always loved the big hearts that (most of) the people at that school showed on a daily basis.

      Like

  74. Anonymous says:

    Cairo English school.
    How leaders handle pandemics says a lot about them as people. Well the leader of this school is a complete buffoon. The ministry announced the Saturday evening that schools are closed and the WHO stated mass gatherings should not take place, so with this in mind the director assembled everyone into an auditorium. Teachers, admin, workers, and even the stray cat made it in. 200 people in a tiny space for her to then reassure people that 200 people isn’t a mass gathering and this pandemic reminded her of princess diana’s death. I’m not quite sure if she’s qualified to lead.
    Many staff were obviously very concerned about being away from loved ones and putting themselves in danger by being told to come in. Still we were told in no uncertain terms that you must be in school, no exceptions. People requested to travel to the UK and assured the director that they’d do online learning, to be simply told no.
    The following day a lunch was provided and all staff ordered to collect this from the canteen. Another 200 people in a smaller room, coughing and spluttering over your food, yet we were still told we were very safe in the school. To hear this esteemed leader talk you’d think CES had a bubble placed over it like the Simpsons movie. In bitter reality, we had, but not for cleanliness, but to keep us trapped in the school.
    The government announced the closure of the airport and the UK advise people to travel home. Still the word from the top was, stay at school. Travel in as normal. Ten or more people on a bus for over 90 minutes and you’ll be fine.
    With the dread that the airport closed and many staff trapped here worrying and anxious about not being able to go home, the decision to allow people to work from home was granted but not until 4 days after the airport closed.
    In short, I’ve seen better organised destruction derby races than this school.

    Liked by 1 person

  75. Anonymous says:

    The British School of Nanjing (Nord Anglia School)- We have been Totally supported by the Principal, HR and IT department during this difficult time. I however feel disappointed in some of my expat colleagues who have used this difficult time to report untrue facts about the school like writing articles in the TES about not being paid when in fact we had just been paid. The truth is: We have all been paid fully and on time ( our February pay was paid locally as due to the spread of Coronavirus it was not possible to pay abroad as this meant asking local staff to go to the bank). Unfortunately some of my expat colleagues seem to have no regard for our poor local staff’s welfare and used this against the school. The same staff bad mouthing school I see are not stating how they have abandoned their pets asking remaining staff to release them into the wild! Please note our staff are amazing but a small number of disgruntled staff who intend on leaving are milking this terrible situation which is wrong. Yes my school is not perfect but this they could not have handled this situation any better. Staff were asked to consider coming back, they were offered support in returning and costs were met by school.

    Like

  76. saigon911 says:

    Shenzhen American International School,(SAIS )Nanshan Shekou, Shenzhen PRC is the only school in Shenzhen that actively campaigned for teachers to return to China after the Chinese New Year holiday amidst the virus, quarantines,they threatened to take away contract completion bonuses and fire teachers for not returning by March 16th.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      It was the same at Vanke Meisha Academy in Shenzhen. The principal was sending *fake* news articles to the staff saying the WHO said it wasn’t a pandemic or global health crisis. After rebellion by staff they agreed to let people not return.

      Like

  77. Anonymous says:

    Qingdao Amerasia International School has been paying teachers full salary and has emphasized emotional well being over academics during distance learning. They have been running an altered schedule that doesn’t expect teachers or students to be in front of their computers all day, which is great. Middle/high school admin have mostly trusted teachers to get on with their jobs and there is little interference, although the parents in the elementary school have been rather unreasonable about certain things and the admin seem unwilling to push back in any way.

    Originally there were no plans to cut the summer holidays but that was based on the assumption that regular school would resume in April. Not sure what’s going to happen now. There was a bit of pressure for teachers to return to China even when the numbers were at their worst, but there was no threat to our jobs or our pay. At the moment things are a bit up in the air as to what the school will do with regards to teachers still stuck outside China if schools are allowed to reopen. Previously they told these teachers they would be allowed to keep their benefits but they wouldn’t get paid until they returned to the classroom (this is only in the event the school actually reopens; until then everyone is getting paid their normal salary).

    Communication has been a bit inconsistent and the admins seem unable to tolerate any kind of “negativity” – i.e., people being upset about the current situation (like normal human beings). It’s just a relentless wave of forced positivity that borders on the delusional, and it’s a bit annoying that the school is not allowing teachers to express any legitimate concerns without being made to feel they’re being unreasonable or ungrateful. Some teachers were scolded for suggesting that there’s a lot of anti-foreigner sentiment going around in China at the moment. It’s likely the admin mean well but their attitude has stirred up some mild discontent.

    Like

  78. Paco says:

    I work at Nord Anglia International School Rotterdam. The first two days of preparation was insane. We were told that they will make sure that we keep the 1.5 meter social distancing thing, but we were crammed into the conference room which felt like our rights were violated and it felt unsafe. Although I was put off with the director’s original emails telling us that this is not a vacation and that we should take thing this seriously and work hard. We were told that we cannot travel and need to be ready to go into work for emergency meetings and if we were not available we will not be paid. However, the principals have been pretty understanding and have made changes to our original plans that felt too much for lots of teachers. It could also be because we have a worker’s union kind of thing, which is because of the law here in the Netherlands. Fortunately, they were the ones who started asking us what we needed and checked in with us before the administrators started really communicating with the staff. We got our normal check last month.

    Like

  79. Anonymous says:

    As schools began to close throughout Egypt and mass gatherings were being banned and discouraged, Cairo English School staff were required to attend a meeting in the auditorium including teachers, SLT, TAs, cleaners, admin etc. The Director’s opening gambit was how safe she felt because a large gathering was defined of 400+ people, thus a mere 200+ was absolutely acceptable. With the pandemic gaining momentum around the world, and with all other international schools now remote learning from home as per governmental and WHO advice, we were fully expecting to have a long day of setting up e-learning provisions alongside all other international schools in Egypt before working remotely to self isolate.
    It came as a shock being told we were to be in school as it would be business as usual for staff. When mutterings began after a few days that other schools were not doing this, SLT flatly lied saying that this was not the case. Again, the Director reiterated how safe we all were in school because it had been cleaned thoroughly and it was far better to be here than home. Further advice was given to staff to not watch or read the news as this would only serve to panic them about the severity of the situation. Again, it was business as usual just without any students in school.

    On one of the days, management decided to pay for everyone’s lunch, which although a nice gesture, meant that all staff then gathered together in the canteen for it. There was very little thought to safeguarding and the need for social distancing as SLT kept up a business as usual approach. Towards the end of the week, Egypt announced they would be closing the airport to all flights. There was no word from management or encouragement to work from home, be it in Egypt or in home countries, but still teachers were required to come into school to deliver e-learning. Some members of staff asked why they couldn’t work from home and were simply told that the staff as a whole, were not trusted to. For those with children and no childcare, to ensure staff came into school instead of working at home, a creche was set up for all those children whom the school was closed for, to come in and be babysat by TAs making the total number of people in the school even higher.

    On the day that flights ceased to come in and out of Egypt, CES announced that teachers could work at home so those who wished to leave, now couldn’t. With the lack of transparency and not knowing whether they would be sacked, people did not leave to go to their home countries such was the level of scaremongering and the culture of fear that has been cultivated, leaving many staff waiting and hoping to be repatriated should they get the chance.

    Even now, with hospitals shutting across Egypt, countries banning gatherings of more than 2 people in some cases, weekly bulletins from the Director boast how ’50 teachers came into school’ to work on a given day. The actions of management show a flagrant lack of regard for the the safety and wellbeing of their staff, which though no surprise, in this unique position, gets increasingly more dangerous.

    Liked by 1 person

  80. mbkirova says:

    Hobby in Mongolia is a small private AP school which was just in the middle of trying to finish a new building and was clearly overstretched financially even before the crisis- we actually closed school at the end of January. They handled the switch to online teaching very badly, since there is no IT person on board to help with the transition, and some of us got in a bit of a muddle, particularly with advanced classes that do not work well under the seemingly primary school oriented directive of ‘you must upload three lessons a week (at specific date and time)’. The result is that many AP teachers were docked at least 1/3 and me, trying to work from the US, by 2/3. We have no idea how the local teachers are faring, but worry for them. We understand, between the lines, that many parents have stopped paying tuition as there was no need to pay all up front. But the school would have done far better to be honest about this rather than treating it as a punishment. I am just finishing up term 3 grading (meaning I will work free for the next week or so) because I simply cannot drop my excellent students in the dirt. Then I quit. I think many more would do so but Mongolia is under full lockdown with no flights in or out, so they are truly stuck, being in school apartments etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  81. Anonymous says:

    Shanghai American School has been online since February 3. Over CNY faculty were advised to go somewhere where they would feel safe. Admin/school board have generally been supportive as the kinks were worked out of our onine delivery. Faculty members were given 14000 rmb and dependents 7000 rmb to help offset costs incurred during this time and salary and benefits have been maintained. I am very fortunate to be somewhere safe and able to continue doing my job.

    Liked by 1 person

  82. Anonymous says:

    The current Director TJ Coburn at International School Dhaka has done a very good job in making sure that teachers will be paid and is very supportive of the effort done by faculty on online learning. Teachers and local staff are paid and the faculty members who are not returning will have their shipment done by school staff. The community is really supportive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      Whist, TJ Coburn has done a good job on his part the secondary leadership team was horrible in providing the necessary support. There were unreasonable expectations for teachers to teach and mark assignments with lots of clerical work. The head of secondary and curriculum coordinators appeared to be unprepared for the pandemic response.

      Like

  83. Anonymous says:

    Cairo English School (CES), Egypt: As Egypt announced a closure of schools around the country, CES kept staff in full-time working. This included cleaners, teachers, teaching assistant, SLT, etc. On the first day of the lockdown, with the concerns of COVID-19 already known worldwide, leadership brought 200 members of staff into the auditorium. Instead of announcing a work-from-home policy, staff were informed we would be conducting online e-learning, as expected, but staff were expected to come in full-time as normal.

    This included being in the enclosed space of staff buses everyday and showing up to a work in a building teeming with staff as normal. Although many voiced their concerns, CES continued as normal.

    To placate staff members, leadership provided free lunch on one of the days. However, this meant another large gathering in the school canteen. Distancing rules were not encouraged and advice was not shared. In fact, staff were continuously told how “clean” CES was and how it was “safer” than being outside.

    It was soon announced that the nation’s airports would be shutting down with very short notice. Other international schools informed their staff they could fly back and continue to provide e-learning remotely. Despite moving to a wholly online format, CES kept staff in school until the airport shut. Many who wished to have taken flights home felt worried they would lose their jobs if they did so, due to a lack of transparency.

    On the last day of that week, likely due to increasing staff agitation and pressure, CES leadership announced that the following week(s), staff could work from home. This was, again, announced in the third large gathering of that week – having all staff members meet in the auditorium again.

    By then, the airport had shut. However, CES leadership was keen to stress that the school would remain open as normal. In fact, emails were sent out by leadership praising the numbers of staff coming in, as if they were proud of having 50+ people in a building despite the dangers of infection.

    There has been a very obvious, and worrying, lack of safeguarding and commital to staff welfare during this entire process. In fact, the Director of CES informed everyone that it was safer to be in school and to avoid watching the news as much as possible (!). She likened the COVID-19 pandemic reporting to the news of Princess Diana dying in the UK press, stating that even children who did not know who she was were swept up in the emotions.

    Despite the very real worries of the global pandemic, it seemed more important to CES to keep up the “business-as-usual” veneer and staff felt that they were not trusted as professionals to work from home initially. Many were also very upset at being forced to come in daily when the airports were shutting with such short notice. Staff were given no time to make a decision as they were working full-time still.

    Even now, the school remains open and emails are being sent out praising those who choose to come in. The way a school treats its staff and safeguards their wellbeing is always key – however, during a global pandemic this is even more important. The way CES has conducted themselves during this time is not only shameful, it is also dangerous.

    Like

    • Anon says:

      Ditto Malvern College Egypt. Apart from the addition of not paying due flight allowance this month and not commiting to paying after April despite receiving full year fees from all parents. They also send lots of lovely passive aggressive emails about making sure all your work is recorded or you won’t get paid. Pure class from this rent a name ‘international school. At least no-one pretends they care because they really don’t.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      I disagree. I was allowed to leave once it was announced the airport was closing. Okay I had to sign a piece of paper saying I would carry out my duties online, but that was it and perfectly acceptable. I have taught quite happily for part of term 2 and the whole of term 3. I have received my salary and my flight allowance. I don’t think there was much more the school could have done. Sure, it has its faults, but I think the handling of this pandemic was first class.

      Like

  84. Anon says:

    The Nord Anglia British School of Nanjing have continued to pay staff who are working from abroad. However, despite US/UK/Aus government advice, they have continually pestered teachers to return to Nanjing and made vague promises of support with regard to quarantine. We have been given nebulous threats about gardening leave or unpaid leave if we do not return, adding considerable stress to what is already an extremely stressful situation. Overall, I have gotten the strong impression that the survival of the current management team overrides the safety and well-being of staff overseas as they are quite prepared to trick teachers into returning to an unpredictable and changing situation without full consular support and access to basic human rights.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Interesting. We got that vibe from HR in Shanghai but not management.

      Schools in Beijing and Guangzhou said they felt no pressure to return which surprised me.

      For teachers that did return to Shanghai the school did follow through and provide a lot of support. HR walked them through the process and provide a care package when they returned. Not sure if Nanjing will be the same.

      I know the exact clause you are talking and some staff at our school are worried about it as well. Still not sure if they will enforce it with the travel ban…

      Interesting how different schools in the same company are often so different.

      Like

  85. Helena Schulenburg says:

    Zanst International school Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq.

    They didn’t pay their teachers. Didn’t even ask if teachers have food. Teachers with small baby didn’t even have milk or diapers for their baby because they were not paid. Sabis school, Choiefat bought them food and necessary goods. The owner is very rich, but cared zero for his teachers.

    Like

  86. Nicole Brya says:

    The response by the American School of Dubai has been amazing. Of course, the school has absolutely followed the guidelines and rules set forth by the Ministry of Education and KHDA. The administration has kept in co stand communication with the entire community, providing opportunities for both parents and staff to ask questions, and the answers are honest, transparent, and easily accessible. I feel beyond supported. My husband and I are both teachers at ASD and our son is a student. I feel so lucky to be here in Dubai and to be employed by such a wonderful school. They have been beyond understanding, compassionate, and supportive of all of us through this crazy time. It is so nice to feel valued and cared about by the school and community.

    Like

    • Fear of Reprisal says:

      I would agree with above, except today we’ve been told by our Superintendent that, ‘for the integrity of online learning, it is best we stay in Dubai and not travel, unless of course there is an emergency.’ I’m not sure how the integrity of online virtual learning will be impacted when internet works in our home countries. As well, how can a person get home in an emergency if then they must quarantine for a minimum of 14 days…

      Like

    • EEAH says:

      I don’t really understand the urge of teachers wanting to leave a country if they are safe and well taken care by the school. For everyone’s safety it is best to stay where you are and move on with your life until things get better. We are talking about a worldwide pandemia and it really irritates me to hear teachers complain about not being able to go home.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Unless your purpose for going home is a near palliative family member.

      Like

  87. Michelle M. says:

    Yangon International School – Myanmar
    Mike Livingston – director has been extremely supportive as well as our owner U Tin. We are being supported, paid and given updated information as it is known. I had the choice to leave the country or to stay. I chose to stay as did many of my co-workers. This is a great community and I know that no matter what happens my school will take care of me and my fellow co-workers and support us in anyway possible. We are doing continuous learning online with our students and our administration put in countless hours before we had to go live to make sure it all ran smoothly. It hasn’t been without ups and downs but we had a fairly smooth transition to online classes due to the hard work of our IT and administration teams and fabulous teachers.

    Like

  88. Anonymous says:

    Basis International School Park Lane Harbour

    Word of caution! How a school treats it’s employees in the midst of a disaster is telling. So everyone knows that Covid-19 broke out in the middle of Chinese New Year when most expats were abroad. Most schools sent out the directive not to return to China. Our school instead offered bribe money to return before the “peak.” Many did not take this bribe. Then another bribe to return for $750 a week until school starts (that lasted 2 weeks). Some returned. Still most schools are saying stay put! Travel advisories saying not to travel. Finally, come back by March 16th or lose $150/day of your bonus.Even though we all received an email that stated no one would be expected to return until an opening date was announced. So no start date has been given and everyone is teaching online yet people are being punished for not wanting to risk their health and travel. It didn’t matter. They wanted people to literally put themselves and their family at risk to travel. They even sent out a newsletter to parents bragging that teachers were so dedicated that they risked their health to return. What they failed to mention is even many of the teachers that returned only came back because they feared being fired and losing money due to the threatening behavior of Grace Chen of Ascend (the Chinese side of the company). One director lost her job because admin had 5 days to return after March 16th or be fired. The sister schools were even worst with many directors being fired and even having people moved into their apartments. This schools doesn’t give a crap about the mental or physical well-being of their teachers. Its all about money and image.

    Liked by 1 person

  89. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous :
    KIS Phuket (Kajonkiet International)

    No reassurance about contracts moving forward.

    Thai staff offered extra insurance way before foreign staff and only then we think this is because someone has been kicking up a fuss about how the school has handled it and how Thai staff are treated with more respect.

    The School took half term away, adding to the low moral already in place.

    School has been using three platforms to facilitate a shambles of online learning.

    School has no concern for the wellbeing of staff who are held up in apartments looking at a computer screen all day.

    Many young staff who were staying for the second year of the two year contract are looking at leaving!

    Like

  90. Anonymous says:

    International School Kazan – Our leadership has handled this well and generally they are not very popular among staff. We are either quarantined on or off campus, working remotely and are beginning our second online learning week, Monday. Teachers have been guaranteed their contracts and the Director even guaranteed the health insurance of those in transition, shall they not be able to move in June. It’s a terrible situation for everyone. Let’s hope we are back to normal soon. Good luck out there.

    Like

  91. Done with it. says:

    Access International Academy Ningbo. Shambolic leadership by Dan Waterman. Teachers ordered back weeks ago and many didn’t return and stayed put. Told school would open today, then canceled again. Meanwhile, some teachers who returned are trapped in China indefinitely with no leadership direction and dragged off for CV testing. Happy to be in the USA on a paycheck. Won’t be returning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rocket_Man says:

      So nothing has changed in three years then! No wonder student numbers are shrinking and teacher quitting!!

      Like

  92. Anonymous says:

    At a Chinese Nord Anglia Education school (there are about 60 schools worldwide). All schools have the same policy so it doesn’t matter which one.

    The Chinese schools have been remote for 7 weeks now. The other ones have joined as the virus spreads.

    The school/organisation has been fairly supportive. The official statement has always been to follow your countries health instructions and many people are still outside of China. Some of the HR departments put pressure on people but still backed off once you made your position clear. There was also talk of working into summer to make up lost time but it sounds like this will be more for the students than staff (there is a summer camp at the school).

    Full pay during the whole time and extra flight allowance to return to China. Communication at the beginning was a bit late but has improved over time.

    Unfortunately, the school does not have any control when it will open and the internet in China isn’t the best. We have tried multiple platforms to see what works the best and have finally standardised on Microsoft Teams which … mostly works.

    Started with distance learning and are now doing a mixture of distance and live online learning which is mostly working.

    Wasn’t that impressed at the start (we had to work during the holidays to prefer for distance learning) but have been more impressed overtime at the way they have dealt with the situation.

    That being said it has been a long stressful time. My main concern at the moment is what happens next academic year and will we be forced to work into the summer holidays (looking less likely) but … who knows.

    Like

    • anonymous says:

      Nord Anglia Hong Kong is also being governed by the corporate policies. This is a good thing as it protects teachers from the whims of less-than-stellar, sometimes volatile Heads of School. This week, we were told that all Senior Leaders would take a cut in pay, and that hiring and promotions would be frozen. At this time, teachers are not impacted. The school and the larger corporation have been supportive of our teaching efforts and hopefully they realise that we are the faces of the school right now and that student retention depends on us doing a great job, which depends on us feeling supported. At least I am hopeful that they think that!

      Like

  93. Xanatos says:

    American International School of Guangzhou. Since we’re in China, we’ve been out for quite some time (3 Feb). The school’s response has been amazing. Constant communication. Incredible support as we transitioned to distance learning. Quick to acquire resources to help support us when we asked for it like buying subscriptions for things like Kognity and Nearpod. They dipped into emergency funds to get people an additional travel allotment to help them as we were advised to evacuate. HR has been incredible in helping those of us who have returned. Honestly you couldn’t ask for a better response.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Anonymous says:

      I worked for a nearby school a few years ago and we would participate in Athletic events together. Based on my experience working with AISG, it is no surprise that they would treat their employees well in this crisis.

      Like

  94. Anonymous says:

    Vietnam Australia School, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam: The school is closed for 2 months due to Covid-19 and we are constantly informed about the situation, teachers provide online lessons and the SM is supportive and honest. The CEO gathered us and informed us personally and all contracts are intact and they are paid in time.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      It should be added that in order to complete their contracts teachers will be required to work for at least one month of their summer holidays at about 40% of their normal pay in order to make up for the teaching hours lost during the period of online working.

      Like

  95. R Moody says:

    Al Ain English speaking school
    With me……
    Supportive, concerned for teachers as well as students, honest and committed… Confident in the ever changing climate and loyal…….RM 42

    Like

  96. IB_Expat says:

    Our School is located in one of the harshest areas in Africa – Sudan! This sis Khartoum International community School or simply called KICS. Despite the challenges brought by COVID-19, the School has gone out of it’s way and done the following:

    1. Reassure the staff that their contracts are still intact and all continue to be paid in time; ( school has said that they cash that can last up to three months if we are completely closed with no fee paid by any student).

    2.School has given extra cash of about $40 to ALL its 240 employees, not only teachers to help them cope with daily home supplies because of COVID-19; this is a good amount by local standards

    3. There is a Q&A session, 3 times a week moderated by the principal via zoom to talk about our concerns

    4. There is food supplies which we can order in advance via a google sheet

    Like

  97. Jon Cristofer Miller says:

    I substitute almost daily for the Rowland Unified School District in Los Angeles County, California. On Friday the 13th of March 13, the District followed Governor Newsom’s Directive to shut down schools and non-essential businesses. At first, our order was for two weeks before Spring Break, i.e., three weeks in all. It has been extended a month. Of course, substitute teachers receive no pay when there is no work. Finally, it appears that international summer schools – like the one drawing teens from Europe (especially Italy!) will shut, too. Of course, from a health standpoint, Newsom’s order seems to have slowed the spread of Coronavirus, giving some time for testing and supplies to build up.

    Like

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