TBI Bekasi 2012 (Part 4) Rock Bottom Standards Exposed

Binsar has tried to recruit several teachers. Four teachers have come to TBI Bekasi to give
teaching demonstrations. I know that 3 of them didn’t have any teaching experience nor
degree qualifications, as again Binsar discussed these recruitments with me. I asked
Binsar during these discussions would he be happy having these teachers teach IELTS for
example and he said that yes he would, a native speaker can and should be able to teach
This lack of quality control astounded me. He did tell me at the start that he didn’t care about qualifications and that he just cared about what you could do in the classroom (he
was very upfront in his thoughts and comments). He told me this as I have a MSc degree
and a CELTA and he said that TBI valued the CELTA but basically he didn’t care.
Incidentally I don’t have an English language degree but I am in the process of studying for
my MA Tesol which again he doesn’t seem to care about.

I informed Binsar that even EF require their teachers to do the Cambridge TKT. Whilst I
was at EF I did a trial TKT and for teachers staying on we were told that EF would pay for
them to do the TKT but new teachers at all EF schools would need to pay for it
themselves. If you look at EF adverts several of them do mention it in their adverts but
whether every EF follows the policy is another issue. So Binsar had the lowest possible
recruiting standards for native-speakers as basically he’s desperate for staff.
But even
these unqualified, inexperienced teachers refused to work at TBI, just to clarify THEY
refused not Binsar.

One teacher G**** I think was a particularly funny story. He was 19 from the UK, he had
GCSE qualifications which are UK school-leaving qualifications at 16. To go to University
you need A-levels which he didn’t have let alone a degree. He did have a NVQ (workrelated
qualification) in art and design (just what every teacher needs!). In the UK he’d be
lucky to get on a course for being a teaching assistant let alone a teacher able to teach

He came to Indonesia because he’d been chatting to a girl online, fallen in love and
come to Indonesia and got married. His wife had previously applied to teach with TBI
Bekasi but had failed the entrance test (local teachers have to take an English test to be
considered). So she told him to apply to work at TBI. G*** had no experience and didn’t
have any kind of TEFL qualifications. Binsar invited him to do a teaching demo and gave
him an Intermediate level Business class for 4 hours teaching.
I think that was an
outrageous thing to do, I read the teaching notes and apparently he spent the first two
hours teaching the book and then spent the second two hours chit-chat about student’s
hobbies and interests, not exactly Intermediate Business.

G*** stayed at TBI for about a week teaching a few classes. On one day he taught
Kirby class. Now Kirby class is a teen class English in Mind but it’s special because
Binsar’s son is in the class, so Binsar uses him to spy on teachers. I know this as I’ve
taught that class and recieved comments from Binsar which could only have come from
that class. The next day G**** came in and told Binsar that he had a family emergency and
would have to go back to the UK, so that was his time finished. However, the next week I
was walking through Bekasi and bumped into him and his wife, we said hello/how are you
etc and he said he was fine and never mentioned anything about a family emergency so I
don’t think that was true. But I thought to myself that’s what you get for hiring unqualified

Binsar doesn’t really understand about recruiting native-speaker teachers. He thinks
that they’re suddenly just going to pop onto his door-step.
He mostly relies on TBI Head
Office to send an email around of potential applicants, but as you know TBI-wide is
experiencing a recruitment crisis. He doesn’t know about/use any of the sites like Dave’s
cafe or tefl.com etc. He barely knows how to use a computer and would frequently ask me
for help opening his emails. As he doesn’t offer airfare reimbursement, I don’t know how it he expects to attract expats from abroad.

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