I am aware that on my personal site I have written about the courses that I have taught at
TBI Bekasi. I do stand by my testimonial there as it relates to courses taught. The standard
of teaching at TBI Bekasi is quite high. The local Indonesian teachers are well-qualified
and experienced and dedicated, spending a lot of time preparing their classes. Recently
Binsar has urged us to start doing internal staff training workshops. He doesn’t pay staff for
this. Even for my contract he refused to count me organising a workshop as part of my
non-teaching hours. So teachers do this voluntarily with no gain and no support offered
from TBI. I think that the teachers at TBI Bekasi are doing the best job they can do under
the circumstances and that if the ship is sinking the captain should take some
In April 2012 Jodie Sheik from TBI Bandung came to do an ‘audit’ of TBI Bekasi where she
observed several of the teachers and gave feedback and she also gave some training
workshops. She said that TBI were preparing training workshop kits where materials would
be available for teachers to use to give their workshops. These have not been made
available to us so far and there’s no sign of them being made available.
I enquired about doing the CELTA Young Learners extension and TBI Head Office refused
to give any discount for TBI employees. TBI Bekasi also refused to give any financial
assistance so I would have had to pay the course in full and lose two weeks pay. The only
offer Binsar made was that he would loan me the money if I signed a new contract and
then would have the money deducted sequentially in the new contract. I declined his
generous offer. Overall during my time at TBI, TBI Head office has provided very little in
support, they washed their hands of the contract negotiations and so I have nothing really
positive to say about them as an organisation.
I don’t necessarily regret my time at TBI, as I have gained valuable teaching experience.
This experience has allowed me to get a much better job teaching at a company in
Jakarta. However, for those looking to work at TBI there surely are better ways of gaining
experience. For qualified and experienced teachers I wouldn’t recommend TBI as the
standards are falling, TBI Bekasi has lower standards than EF in native-speaker
requirements and student attendance. TBI seems to be descending to the same level as
EF, but EF is a much better managed company. I think there are better quality jobs out
there even in Indonesia offering better pay, hours, conditions and resources. TBI is at most
a stop-gap employment and I don’t see the organisation has much of a future.