E-xue International Foreign Language School appears to be perfect from the outset - a great leader, well spoken with a great vision and your invitation is welcomed with all the great ideas, hallmarks and suggestions discussed at interview. However, it all stops there. Once you arrive at the school, everything changes.
Once in the school, your input is not welcomed or appreciated. Foreign leadership is not respected. Most suggestions are never accepted or discussed. In my observations at the school, people are focused on building empires and not teams or the school.
The headmaster talks a lot about change, teamwork and communication and does completely the opposite. There is very little support, value or respect for foreigners in the school. They are seen as a tool and marketing commodity only.
The students are fantastic - bright, enthusiastic and keenly motivated.
The school buildings are modern, clean and fit for purpose.
The paid annual holiday entitlement (14 days in winter and 14 days in summer) is generous and the working hours are not strenuous.
There are some staff members on the team who are very helpful, professional and will go out of their way to help you.
Hami city itself is a wonderful city. The people are polite, pleasant and positive. Hami city is well located if you like outdoor adventure.
It’s extremely hot in summer and dry throughout the year.
If you are no longer required, you will be released without due process or appropriate notice or payment or full legal entitlement. In addition, they will not provide the legally required documentation to move on; (1) release letter, (2) cancellation of foreign expert certificate or (3) reference letter - all three of which they are legally obliged to provide you whether you are there in person or not. This prevents you from finding another employer in China (which is clearly the aim of this employer – to frustrate your potential employment prospects)
Recruitment process is painfully long and slow – if at all possible now.
The headmaster is rarely ever at the school and the school operates on a blind-leading-the-blind basis for none of the local staff possess leadership or management skills commensurate to the skilful operational management of a school or business.
The leadership and management skill level of the headmaster lacks robustness, fortitude and integrity in terms of doing what is said which makes placing confidence in any discussions or decisions made difficult.
No one is empowered to make autonomous decisions.
The staff are paid according to student numbers. For example, your salary is paid at varying monthly rates depending on whether your class numbers are less than 9 students or more than 10 students. This is in addition to the number of classes taught. The basic monthly salary as a teacher falls below the minimum living allowance as set by the local city administration. Sadly for the staff to earn anything like a reasonable monthly salary, they must take on additional managerial responsibilities for which they are woefully unskilled or trained or they must work on their days off or through their holidays.
Advice to Management
Wake up and smell the coffee.
Do what you say and say what you do!
Treat staff fairly and, to some extent, equally - by means of compet*t*vely and fair pay for fair work.
If you are going to invite foreigners to your school - respect the remuneration packages offered, culture, contributions, skills and isolation factors.
If agreements are made, stick to them.
Do not say one thing and do another.
Welcome positive and constructive feedback - especially when inviting someone to augment change - even if you don't like it.
Hire qualified and skilled people into positions of responsibility.
Provide release documentation as obligated to in law.
Listen to people.
Do not rescind on agreements - especially those that involve financial arrangements - most foreigners travel for financial and cultural reasons not for charity or culture.
Provide staff with release documents as obligated to in law.
Honour your agreements!!!
If you can't manage your own business - get someone in that can!
Hami city, Xinjiang Province.