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Teacher beating, etc. at Yang-En “university” (China)
Frankly, I was not going to make any contribution to the discussion but quite accidentally I happened to read the most interesting polemics (http://www.eslcafe.com/jobinfo/asia/sefer.cgi?China) between two former Yang-En ‘university’ (Quanzhou, Fujian, China) teachers, both of whom I know personally, and I could not help it. (For readers’ convenience the two original postings are given below my comments.) Well, here it goes:

Mr. Grant: It gets very cold in the winter with poor insulation and concrete floors.
Mr. Wang: Wear extra layers of clothes and don′t go bare feet.
Mr. Grant: There′s no heater supplied
Mr. Wang: There is centralized heating system.

Wow?! Did you invent the lie yourself Mr. Wang? I strongly doubt it! Where did you see (or feel) even the very slightest resemblance of central heating system in Beijing building where you lived? If there was some hidden somewhere under the ice-cold concrete floor why did you put on extra layers of clothes then? I still remember the sensation of not only my feet but even the legs up to the knees being literally frozen. A piece of advice for newcomers: try sealing the windows (and the door at nights) with scotch-tape, it might help a bit - some teachers did that. And one more thing. Wearing extra layers of clothes to survive the cold in your apartment is not the worst of it. Maybe you do not know it Mr. Wang but some teachers (even in China) are used to periodically washing themselves. Just imagine taking even a short shower in your ice-cold shower-room (Though volunteers might follow Mr. Wang’s advice - do it under multiple layers of extra clothes).


Mr. Grant: 100+ students in each class
Mr. Wang: Can′t be oral class you are teaching then. Must be just giving lectures. First-year classes in Canada are the same with hundreds of students in the lecture hall, remember?

Another bloody lie - are you sure you can count properly Mr. Wang? You are an ‘expert’ teacher after all. 100+ students per class NOT ONLY FOR LECTURES is the correct figure.


Mr. Grant: An alcoholic male Canadian teacher who nearly died during the winter vacation, was shipped off to another town to take his sickness to.

Mr. Wang: Of course, would you want him working for you? This shows that the school does care about its image and reputation. Otherwise, it wouldn′t have cared.

Bravo Mr. Wang! But you forgot to mention that the same Canadian alcoholic ‘expert’ teacher WAS SENT OFF ONLY AFTER HE HAD BECOME TOTALLY UNCAPABLE EVEN TO MOVE HIMSELF TO HIS CLASSROOM. BEFORE THAT HE HAD BEEN QUITE ACCEPTABLE FOR YANG-EN!!! Don’t you remember him crawling to his classes quarter an hour late barely dragging his feet, sweating and puffing, hardly alive? What about the ‘image and reputation’? Just imagine his ‘teaching’ in that state of mind and body!


Mr. Grant: Your movements are monitored by guards at gates who are the private army of Boss Wu. Four of these thugs beat a Chinese teacher for not halting his motorscooter at a gate, and then he and four of his Chinese teacher friends were fired for complaining. Chinese teachers must be in their apartments by 10:30 p.m., and they all sign 10 year contracts with hefty withdrawal penalties.

Mr. Wang: Now why would THIS be of any concern to you? You are the foreign teacher here. Just do your job and keep your nose out of the Chinese teachers′ problems unless you want to get into some big trouble.

Oh, yes Mr. Wang!!! When your Chinese colleague was savagely, PUBLICLY thrown onto the ground and beaten by Yang-En guards, when he and his friends who tried to meekly defend him later (one has to be a real hero to do that in China) were kicked out of that “university” - THAT was ‘no concern to you’. By the way, you are frightening people with ‘troubles’ Mr. Wang - but while you were at Yang En there might have been even a greater trouble for you than you can imagine, even despite your keeping-nose-out attitude! Have you ever seen your reflection in a mirror? You might have forgotten that being a Malay you look very much like a Chinese. Just imagine Mr. Wu’s guards mistaking you for a Chinese and giving you some hiding too - don’t you think it would have been a good lesson for you? I do.
One more thing - not only Chinese but ‘expert’ teachers as well will be locked out if they do not manage to get into their apartments before the closing-gate time. Exciting experience by the way!

Mr. Grant: No speaking about religion or politics anywhere in the place
Mr. Wang: That is the case everywhere in China as you should undoubtedly have seen on your contract. This is a country run by a political party that is atheist. As for political discussions, the last thing they want is another Tiananmen Square embarrassment.

But you forgot to mention Mr. Wang that they did have their local ‘Tiananmen Square embarrassment’ at Yang-En, didn’t you? I mean the students’ riots of course, rather violent too. Not very good being so forgetful (or dishonest?) even for a ‘foreign expert in China’!

Mr. Grant: And don′t believe a word of what their website says. These people are some of the best spin doctors around.
Mr. Wang: Think about it: if they were to tell you the truth, how many people would actually want to come teach at that school?

That is beautiful Mr. Wang!!! That is really wonderful!!! I love it. You are perfectly right - who else would come to teach to that school?


I might have made some more comments but it is too boring (and too late). Yang-En belongs to the past now (thank God). But I do recommend Yang-En to all those unscrupulous, dishonest and barely-qualified - anyone can ‘teach’ in China but twice (or more?) so at Yang-En. You can easily evaluate the educational level of some Yang-En ‘foreign experts’ by checking Mr. Grant’s and Mr. Wang’s grammar and spelling below.

Former Yang-En ‘foreign expert’.


###
Mr. Grant’s posting:

Doug Grant
April 30, 2004
dagrant54@yahoo.ca
Vancouver, Canada

If you are thinking about teaching at Yang-En University in the village of Majia, near Quanzhou, in Fujian, think again. This place is a fraud! Majia is a noisy, dirty, dusty, polluted place that′s nowhere near the ocean and a one hour nail-biting minibus ride to Quanzhou. And don′t believe a word of what their website says. These people are some of the best spin doctors around. YEU is not a university, it′s a factory! Here are some of the lowlights:
-You will be picked up late on arrival
-Your apartment will be dirty and filthy without any supplies and you will have to clean it. There will be no phonebook, no long distance, and good luck getting a number from the office. You will be billeted in the same highrise with the other foregn teachers and Chinese teachers
-Earshattering fireworks at dawn and late into the night. The villagers even have a firwork amplifier nearby!
-Motorcycles roaring by the building as early as 5 a.m.
- You will have to pay all visa and resident permit expenses
-100+ students in each class
-You cannot use your own materials or do anything creative
-No speaking about religion or politics anywhere in the place
-Your movements are monitored by guards at gates who are the private army of Boss Wu. He owns the entire village of Majia. Previous occupation was drug lord in Burma now turned legitimate businessman and "educator"
-Four of these thugs beat a Chinese teacher for not halting his motorscooter at a gate, and then he and four of his Chinese teacher friends were fired for complaining
-The place is like a fortress with gates and guards everywhere with various weapons to quell any disturbance caused by anyone. They tell the students what to do-even how to dress and cut their hair. Students hate the place but they have no choice because life in China without a degree can be very difficult
-Your concerns and problems will be ignored and nothing done by anyone.
-You cannot have any students in you apartment
-Chinese teachers must be in their apartments by 10:30 p.m., and they all sign 10 year contracts with hefty withdrawal penalties. They are indentured to the place. Most of them are retired and old
-The stench from open sewers, the village, and the surrounding lake, is all perversive. The lake is the waste dump for all sewage from the university. It will kill you if you go in it!
-The students come here because they don′t have the grades to get into a better state cshool. They pay double what the state schools charge! Many come from poor farming families that have to borrow money to pay the fees
-Most of the wealthy students are here to "buy" a degree and don′t put in any effort. They cheat on tests and spend their time sleeping in class. Once I had over 30 students asleep in the class! They have invented more ways of cheating than we know of. If they fail a course, they get 3 more times to pass it!
-The so called "Foreign Teaching Experts" are some of the worst peole you will have the misfortune to meet. They belong in asylums. They come here because they have nowhere else to go and they will do anything to keep their well-paid jobs by Chinese standards. They will spy on you and spread some of the worst gossip and innuendos about you. Many are here for a good time:drinking, eating and smoking. They couls care less about the needs of the students. They have no morals and principals. They are the scum of the earth that has floated up in China
-Many holidays at other universities are not given at YEU, so you will be stuck here and cannot get away
-The weekly bus service to town for shopping is used by the Chinese teachers so you will have to fight for space every time. No one will do anything about it
-There′s little medical care and what there′s is dangerous
-An alcoholic male Canadian teacher who nearly died during the winter vacation, was shipped off to another town to take his sickness to. You will find many teachers like him who bring their diseases and sicknesses to YEU. This is a terrible tragedy for the students who want an education for which they pay dearly
-The satellite tv is rarely in service and the BBC is almost always cut off
-There′s no hot water in the kitchen. It gets very cold in the winter with poor insulation and concrete floors. There′s no heater supplied
-5 students live in one small dorm room with communal shower facilities. Their electricity is turned off at 11 p.m. and during school hours. Girls cannot ride bicycles
-There′s only one photocopier in the entire university and one computer for the entire foreign staff. The computer lab doesn′t have a printer!
Don′t expect anything to get done when you want.
I went there to teach, to travel a little, and to learn something about China and the Chinese culture. I learned a lot from the students at YEU, many of whom are now my good friends. I feel sorry for them and their prediciment because they can do nothing about it. A man like Wu has the power of a feudal lord, and the money to enforce it. I only hope that the Chinese government will soon make reforms to the educational system so that terrible things like this no longer continue to happen. In the meantime, I hope what you have read will give you a better insight into what sort of place YEU really is.


Posted: April 30, 2004
###
Mr. Wang’s posting:

With all due respect to Mr. Grant who I have never met and who I have never corresponded with prior to reading his posting, I want to use his posting as an example of culture shock (or Bitter Westerner Syndrome to be exact) due to ignorance and failure to mentally prepare oneself before coming to China.
I will not comment on statements about the school owner′s alleged criminal past and characteristic. But there are various things that I have come across in other postings that many people never seemed to have commented on.
> Majia is a noisy, dirty, dusty, polluted place
As compared to Vancouver (where Mr. Grant is from), I would say most cities in China fit that description.
> And don′t believe a word of what their website says. These people
> are some of the best spin doctors around.
Think about it: if they were to tell you the truth, how many people would actually want to come teach at that school? Most ads online are either lies, misleads, or truths stretched to beyond imagination.
> You will be picked up late on arrival
Being late is a norm in China. Many people have no concept of being on time or showing up early. Also, don′t forget such factors as traffic jams.
> There will be no phonebook, no long distance,
Telephone books are a rare novelty in China. People just call 114 if they need to get a telephone number. Long distance calls? Did you ask about long distance telephone cards (IP cards)? You didn′t actually think that the school would let you make long-distance phone calls for free did you? People in China pay their phone bills based on the number of minutes of phone calls they make each month, unlike the flat-rate system in Canada and USA. That is why maky parents despise their children yapping on the phone all day.
> Earshattering fireworks at dawn and late into the night.
Chinese people love their fireworks. They have them even in the middle of the afternoon to celebrate a wedding or the opening of a new business.
> The villagers even have a firwork amplifier nearby!
In China, the louder, the better.
> Motorcycles roaring by the building as early as 5 a.m.
People in China wake up as early as 4am to go to work. Not everyone lives a 5-minute walk away from work. Imagine living next to the airport and listening to pairs of fighter jets taking off at 10pm from the near-by navy base.
> You will have to pay all visa and resident permit expenses
Something you should have asked the school about BEFORE coming.
> 100+ students in each class
Can′t be oral class you are teaching then. Must be just giving lectures. First-year classes in Canada are the same with hundreds of students in the lecture hall, remember?
> You cannot use your own materials or do anything creative
That′s the Chinese education system. Now think of how much time you save from having to research for lesson ideas and planning your lessons.
> No speaking about religion or politics anywhere in the place
That is the case everywhere in China as you should undoubtedly have seen on your contract. This is a country run by a political party that is atheist. As for political discussions, the last thing they want is another Tiananmen Square embarrassment.
> Your movements are monitored by guards at gates
Maybe they are worried about your safety. You are the school′s investment and property. They maybe also worried that you are having personal relationships with female students.
> The place is like a fortress with gates and guards everywhere with
> various weapons to quell any disturbance caused by anyone.
The Chinese would look at this as keeping proper security for the safety of the staff and students and to keep the students disciplined.
> They tell the students what to do-even how to dress and cut their
> hair.
Many schools have dress codes -- even universities and colleges.
> You cannot have any students in you apartment
ANY students, or any FEMALE students? Did you try to ask about private tutoring?
> Chinese teachers must be in their apartments by 10:30 p.m., and
> they all sign 10 year contracts with hefty withdrawal penalties.
Now why would THIS be of any concern to you? You are the foreign teacher here. Just do your job and keep your nose out of the Chinese teachers′ problems unless you want to get into some big trouble.
> The stench from open sewers, the village, and the surrounding lake,
> is all perversive. The lake is the waste dump for all sewage from
> the university. It will kill you if you go in it!
Again, failure to do any homework before committing yourself to go to that school will result in some rude awakening and shocks.
> Most of the wealthy students are here to "buy" a degree and don′t
> put in any effort.
Just fail them.
> They cheat on tests and spend their time sleeping in class.
If they cheat, tear up their test paper, give them a zero and report them to the school and then watch them wet their pants.
> Once I had over 30 students asleep in the class!
That′s because either they found the lesson too boring or they were to tired. Hey why do you care? You just focus on the students who really want to learn from you. No matter how good of a teacher you are, you can never have a full class of students -- especially if they are in that class because the school told them that they had to be there or because they want to get some easy credits. Sleeping in classes is common in China and it beats students talking on cell phones in class!
> If they fail a course, they get 3 more times to pass it!
That′s the case everywhere in Chinese universities and colleges.
> The so called "Foreign Teaching Experts" are some of the worst
> peole you will have the misfortune to meet. They belong in asylums.
> They come here because they have nowhere else to go and they will
> do anything to keep their well-paid jobs by Chinese standards.
Making these general remarks about your fellow workers shows you lack maturity and make you look worse than they are.
> Many are here for a good time:drinking, eating and smoking.
Beer is cheap in China so I myself enjoy a few beers too at night. Is there a sin in eating? After all, often one can never find many of the food in the Western world. I don′t see any evil in enjoying a nice delicious Chinese meal just as long as one doesn′t waste too much of the food. Smoking? Many people smoke in China, what′s your point?
> They couls care less about the needs of the students. They have no
> morals and principals. They are the scum of the earth that has
> floated up in China
Tsk tsk tsk. Not nice generalizing ALL foreign teachers. While yes there are many alcoholic chain-smoking obese dirty old men teaching English in China, there are also plenty who are the complete opposite.
> An alcoholic male Canadian teacher who nearly died during the
> winter vacation, was shipped off to another town to take his
> sickness to.
Of course, would you want him working for you? This shows that the school does care about its image and reputation. Otherwise, it wouldn′t have cared.
> You will find many teachers like him who bring their diseases and
> sicknesses to YEU.
All foreign teachers have to pass a medical exam. If there is anything as bas as you have mentioned then they would have been out of China a long time ago because they wouldn′t have been given a Foreign Resident Permit.
> The satellite tv is rarely in service and the BBC is almost always
> cut off
Censorship is a part of life in China.
> There′s no hot water in the kitchen.
Very common in China. The plumbing system in China is not as sophiscated as in North America.
> It gets very cold in the winter with poor insulation and concrete
> floors.
Wear extra layers of clothes and don′t go bare feet.
> There′s no heater supplied
There is centralized heating system.
> 5 students live in one small dorm room with communal shower
> facilities.
Five is nothing, try 8 or maybe even 10 in some schools. Paid public on-campus bath houses are a part of life in China.
> Their electricity is turned off at 11 p.m.
All public schools do that to prevent students from staying up too late and also to save electricity.
> I went there to teach, to travel a little, and to learn something
> about China and the Chinese culture.
Now you have learned something from me.
Thomas Wang
Dalian
May 25 2004
tw@canada.com
Posted: May 25, 2004
###



rbcn1999@yahoo.ca [2004-10-29, 06:30:00][ID: 1030-5559] Mr. Grant: "No speaking about religion or politics anywhere in the place"

PLEASE POST YOUR CONTRACT…. I want to see the writing where foreign teachers are not allowed to speak about religion or politics. This is an incredible revelation. I had no idea such things existed. Thanks in advance.

Ron [2004-10-29, 07:05:00][ID: 1030-5561] Are you really surprised by this? Sadly many private institutions in Asia (and I mean schools, colleges and universities too) are run solely for the purpose of making money. Also student welfare does not exist, or certianly schooling systems are not run to benefit students quality of life. Students are simply equated to $s - hence they are given pass grades whatever standard they are. In most Asian places, if you come with a western caring teacher attitude it will be numbed or knocked out of you very quickly. Sadly, this is the current Asian situation. Do the minimum, pass your students regardless and your administrators will be happy. You will get no bother if you do. Expect more and all you will get is frustration and hassle. Standards and practices in the West are not the same in the East, and very sadly malpractice and money making is increasingly the norm.

Bobito [2004-10-30, 08:15:00][ID: 1030-5566] That is incredible. I have never heard of such a thing. Does anyone know if all Chinese given esl labor contracts for foreign teachers contain a similar clause, "No speaking about religion or politics anywhere in the place"

Surfer [2004-11-24, 01:57:00][ID: 1030-5761] Thanks Guys…
After spending too much web time considering wether or not to teach in Asia, it refreashing to find some postings(seems to be a lot on this site) that don′t paint the whole continent as Disneyland. Sobering yes, but you have too look at all sides to make smart decisions I suppose.
Thanks (I think), Martin.

Mamurph80@hotmail.co [2004-12-06, 23:16:00][ID: 1030-5846]