Over the past month we have been focussed so much on the shockingly bad reports coming out of TBI Bekasi that I have not offered anything about TBI Kelapa Gading in 2012. In parts 1-4 of this series, which I now resume, we started to examine how Nunu Pratama managed to lose 35-40% of all classes in just 3 months after we left. We looked at factors such as Luke Preece’s luring teachers on false promises, Nunu admitting he was ‘basically lazy’ and rarely coming into work and Nunu lying he had a CELTA. This post is a little more narrowly focussed but it emphasizes for us how much even the remaining classes, fed up with low standards, have ‘thinned out’.
When Cam, Lipi and I left TBI Kelapa Gading at the end of February 2012- after the owners tried to bully us into accepting Firlana back, even though he had been caught encouraging staff not to do work- Bodmin was the largest class in the school. This Teens 1 class had 16 new student recruits in there and they should have been a source of income for the school for a couple of years. However, three months after we left, were only five students left in Bodmin. Oh dear. What happened?
Our informant says that he / she walked into this class during his final days with the school and found only 5 students in there. This teacher no idea that there had been 16 happy students just 3 months before. The teacher described them as the most badly behaved and unfocussed class he had met in some time. They spoke nothing but Indonesian in class and seemed to think that school was just for teasing each other and making jokes (in Indonesian). When the teacher challenged them about their behaviour, the children looked surprised and said that the best thing about TBI was that you didn’t have to do any work!
It seemed that the mucking around and doing nothing had gone on for months. The teacher looked at their books and found that there was barely any work being done. The students said that there had once been a lot more students in Bodmin but most of them had left because TBI had become a slack school where no one was expected to do any work. The teacher asked these last five students why they had remained in that case. The students replied they had not dropped out of TBI Kelapa Gading because they liked doing no work and were scared that they would be made to study more at EF or other schools.
Platts and Preece recommended that the owners appoint Nunu as School Manager on the tired old rationale that Indonesians are cheap, even though Nunu had no academic qualifications as a teacher let alone a manager- not even a TESL certificate or CELTA. You can see what the results of their shameless cheapness and power politics are. TBI Kelapa Gading sank back to the low standards of 2008 and students left en masse again. Pity poor Bodmin- TBI betrayed their best interests. This company doesn’t deserve to succeed clearly.