Search ESLwatch

Log in Register

Log in

Blacklisted: Zenith Kindergarten, GuangzhouThe 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.


-5 # RE: Zenith Kindergarten, GuangzhouGuest 2011-09-06 05:43
So let's get this straight, you went to work for a company BEFORE you had a Z visa organized with them? I might be moved to be a little sympathetic if your were newbie in China, but even then, there is little excuse for disregarding the rule of law. To work for another company on a RP registered with another business is illegal. Allowing yourself to get involved with another business BEFORE all your administration is in order is 100% your fault. A bitter pill to swallow and a shame you seemingly don't take responsibility for your own mess.

Shame on you.
+3 # Don\'t work in Zenith Kindergarten GuangzhouDuped English Teacher 2011-09-08 06:43
Everything that Sarah wrote is correct, however I will add one detail. When applying from overseas, they offer you a work visa (then you have to pay for it yourself, and the time it takes you to go to HK to apply for your visa, well they reduce that from your salary as well. Forget about the 5 working days you have to wait spending on hotels and they offer 12-14000 a month for full-time. However, when you arrive, they tell you that they will only pay you 11000 and, on top of that, they tell you that they you have to pay "taxes" every month which are 1000rmb, that the deduct from your salary.

Not only do they mistreat the teachers, chinese and foreigners alike, they have a habit of hitting the children! They push their heads around to get them in line, they will grab and tug on their arms, I even saw a teacher, actually she is the accountant, hit a child on his tiny back a good 4-5 times. Just cuz he was misbehaving.

Definitely the worst place I have ever worked.
+2 # Feelings, experiences & Chinese documents.Guest 2012-01-26 16:10
Hello everyone.

I have been living and working in China for six years. I have either personally experienced or had friends and / colleagues experience about every imaginable thing, good and bad, in this time. Moving on...

I spent some time with the Guangzhou Zenith Kindergarten previously. I can attest to the
points mentioned in the first two posts. An additional points that truly bothered me were falsifying the results for the children and the weekly reports sent to the parents about the children all being perfect and having complete mastery over the subject matter. Keep in mind this is a kindergarten.

So let's get this straight, you went to work for a company BEFORE you had a Z visa organized with them?

I might be moved to be a little sympathetic if your were newbie in China, but even then, there is little excuse for disregarding the rule of law. To work for another company on a RP* registered with another business is illegal. Allowing yourself to get involved with another business BEFORE all your administration is in order is 100% your fault.

A bitter pill to swallow and a shame you seemingly don't take responsibility for your own mess.

Shame on you.
Residence Visas.
Each type of residency visa requires different paperwork. To get a Z visa (issued to those coming to China for employment), you’ll need to submit a Work Permit or a Foreign Expert’s License, obtained by the company in China you will be working for, and a letter of invitation from your employer.

Residence Permits.
It is not the visa but the residence permit that gives you the legal right to live in China. Once you arrive in China, you’ll have 30 days to secure your residence permit. Your initial visa will expire within a few months, but your residence permit will function like a multiple-entry visa, allowing you to leave the country and return without an additional visa as long as the permit is valid.

The Foreigner Residence Permit, typically good for one year and renewable annually, is standard issue for the majority of foreigners working in China, though some (such as company executives, legal representatives, or investors) qualify for a permit that is good for two years. With a valid residence permit you are allowed to leave the country and return, even if your initial entry visa has expired.

Work Permits.
Application Conditions:
The foreign experts to work in China should be issued with the "Work Permit of Foreign Experts to Work in China".

Special foreign people who are hired to work in the fields of education, scientific research, press, publication, cultures, art, public health, sports, etc. of China are eligible to be issued work permits is all requirements are met.

The duration of the "Foreign Expert Certificate" is the same to the one of the hiring contract (equal to 5 years or less).

The "Foreign Expert Certificate" should be returned back after the experts transfer the work units. The new hiring institute should apply for "Foreign Expert Certificate" again.

The above section is merely for the sake of clarity. In the initial post Sarah indicated she entered into a contract of good faith with the kindergarten which agreed to provide a work (Type Z) visa as a benefit of working for the school. The school then failed to adhere to its part of the bargain. IMO the school is at fault for not fulfilling its part of the bargain. Perhaps this is just my opinion.

...there is little excuse for disregarding the rule of law. To work for another company on a RP registered with another business is illegal.
Working on a Work Permit attained by a different company is indeed does not follow the laws of China however a Residence Permit is a different document. What I got from Sarah's post was she followed protocol, presented all relevant documents to apply for her new permit & visa yet the school did not follow through.

Anonymous, I am truly surprised that either you have not encountered issues with any organization, either personally or through a colleague, since you have been in China. One is taking it for granted from you post that you have been in China more than a few months. Then again this is an assumption. If you truly have not encountered any unpleasantness during your time in China I am truly happy for you.

Shame on you.
Anonymous, I am truly amazed you would treat one of your own, seemingly not blessed with your good fortune, in this manner.

Hopefully this post will be of use to one of you out there. I wish you all a wonderful year of the Dragon.


[size=small](RP = Residence Permit)
0 # Kindergarden queryPhilip Woods 2012-05-31 11:48
Hello, may I ask how many teachers / assistants you were during a typical class. Tkx and rgds, in advance,
0 # EDUCATION WORLD - veracity of organization (URGENTKat Weiss 2012-07-12 19:28

I am a portuguese citizen and was accepted to realize an internship with stipend in Guangzhou, starting at 1st september. It is supose to teach english in a kindergarten to children from 3 to 7 years. I have not an english degree, just some experience with teaching.

Thus, I would like to know about the veracity of this organization: CHINA EDUCATION WORLD -, because it's seem very weird and there is no adress associated.

Many thanks,
0 # Observer 2012-07-12 19:56
Looking at the main article and what you have written it is most likely that the school will not give you a visa which means that you would be working illegally in China.

The lack of an address is also an indication of illegal practices.

If you still want to go I would suggest getting in contact with one of the current foreign teachers at the school to confirm any suspicions that you may have.

Adding Your institution is Easy as 1-2-3

Simply add your institution, the form only takes a few minutes.

Register yourself on the website confirm that you are a human. Wait for confirmation via email.

Once you login to the website you can then review your chosen institution.

Recently Added

Newton International Schools has a number of private schools located in Doha, Qatar. Address: Newton British Academy Barwa City (NBA) Barwa...
The British International School (BIS) has a number of international schools located in Moscow, Russia. Address: School №1 24 B.Akademitcheskaya Street,...
HD Qingdao School is a private school located in Shandong, China. Address: No.369, Jinqiu Road, Starlight Island, Oriental Movie Metropolis,...
The British School is a private school located in Wotton-Under-Edge, United Kingdom. Address: Wortley Road, Wotton-Under-Edge, Gloucestershire, GL12 7JU, United...
British International School Madinaty (BISM) is an international school located in Cairo, Egypt. Address: Talaat Mostafa Road, Madinaty City, Suez...
Shanghai Jinshan World Foreign Language School (Jinshn WFLS) is a private school located in Shanghai, China. Address: 1799 longhao road,...
National Tsing Hua University is a research university located in Hsinchu, Taiwan. Address: No. 101, Section 2, Kuang-Fu Road, Hsinchu,...

Connect With Us Today

We believe it’s important to stay closely connected with the great individuals and organizations in the ESL/EFL industry, and what better way than through social media? We’re constantly posting updates online and participating in the buzz.

Please consider connecting with us on the following social media websites to stay up-to-date and connected!


Select a Country

Have you added your Institution!

Add your institution for review!

Thank for using ESLwatch, just one more thing before you go. Have you added your institution for review?

Does not matter if it is a school, college, university, recruiter, company, individual or online website that you have had dealings with in the past or present. The review form only takes a few minutes and you do not have to review the institution yourself.


Add Your Institution for Review