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Taiyuan Schools Questionable at Best
At O'smart:
- the School did not give me a Foreign Experts Certificate, which is was they were supposed to do
- the school aims to cheat all of its teachers and most of its staff out of money. For example, when I was sick (with hospital records as proof), they docked my pay for lost time and then added an additional penalty. Even drivers and TA's would have similar problems. All utilities have a pultry amount that the school will cover, the rest is up to you
- my contract stated a 15 day period once my notice had been submitted. After that time, I returned my books, lesson plans, and left the apartment all to my roommate in good order. They didn't pay me for these two weeks
- when I asked for a letter of release, they said they would only do so if I gave them $2,000 USD
- the Chinese lessons were arranged, but the Chinese teachers when I was there told me that they worked for free and were there to potentially start a relationship with a foreigner
- a friend of mine who came over, did so. They refused to sign a contract with him and refused to pay him much at all, far below the legal minimum
- a newbie who recently started there, but left because they docked 100% of his pay and required that he pay them an additional 300+ RMB.
- the school has a bad reputation in the city because the teachers who last there are party-goers where teaching comes second. They often skip morning classes because of hang-overs and lack of sleep. Foreigners are occassionally bribed out of jail because they are picked up by cops at karaoke bars (which double as brothels)
- almost a year ago, the owner hired three spies to work at the school. Almost all of the Chinese staff and TA's left, including the principal
- they have hired various teachers from all over the world, but force those not from North America to lie and say they're from the USA
- they have an incredibly long history messing around with foreigners. Two+ years ago, the foreign teachers had to practically form a union to protest not getting the foreign residence permit (AKA green book), which is required to live and work in China
- apartments are virtually empty and way on the far side of town, but they usually provide drivers
- most teching jobs are at other schools, which is illegal in Shanxi province now; and at kindergartens mostly (so don't be deceived by student ages)