The main problem with Zenith Kindergarten is that they promise a work visa that they are unable to deliver. I was interviewed by a woman from their head office in HK (Carol) who told me that they provide a working visa because all their staff work there legally. She told me that they were one of only two kindergartens in GZ who are legally able to employ foreign teachers. She was quite emphatic about this.
I came to them with all my paperwork, including references, an official release letter from my last job and my original degree certificates yet they were still unable to process the visa. It later transpired that nobody there was working on a legal work visa supplied by Zenith; everyone had either tourist visa or a visa issued by a previous employer.
In the end they agreed to terminate the contract ‘because of your immigration status’, however by the time they finally admitted that they couldn’t do it my previous Z visa was about to expire, leaving me no alternative but to leave the country.
The contract itself is heavily biased in their favour, insisting on two or three months notice if you want to leave for any reason, and a hefty fee of 16.000 RMB or more to be paid for non completion. There is also a clause allowing for severance pay to be paid to the employee should they themselves breach the contract, however they conveniently had nobody available who was able to settle this until I had already left. They effectively knocked around 7000 RMB off of my final pay.
Since you were never allowed to remove anything from the office, not pay slips or anything else they required you to sign, it was difficult to check anything. They constantly had to ‘check with Hong Kong’ and nobody from HK was ever available.
The job itself was also serious misrepresented to me. There was comparatively little teaching to be done and in reality it was more of an admin job than a teaching job. I had something like 180 books a day to mark, and there was a very specific marking format to be followed. I was left in little doubt that the marking of the books was the most important thing to do. The children were not allowed to make more than three mistakes or ‘parents will complain’, so I was expected to take the pencil in my left hand and fill in the answers, making it look as if the child had written the right answer, and then mark it as correct.
It was a hard job to do if you had any kind of integrity. I know that this kind of stuff is commonplace in private schools and colleges in China; I have previously worked for EF and so I am well used to the concept of keeping the parents happy so that you can take even more money off of them. However even after all that I was still dismayed by the level of dishonesty that went on at this kindergarten.
I would not recommend anyone to work there. I would certainly recommend that you ask them for the details of anyone they have supplied a visa for, and talk to them about their experiences. I would recommend that you read the contract very carefully and ask them why they demand such a high level of compensation for breaking the contract, when they actually invest no money in you, and you have to pay for your own visa. Ask them why staff turnover is so high.