Study English with the Unqualified (Updated)

Go to TBI’s website, and you will find a ”Jobs” section there. Click it on and you will go through to a screen which has four different job positions featured: TBI staff, School Manager, Non-Native Teacher and Native Speaker Teacher. The picture for the Native Speaker one is revealing in several ways, which we discuss below. But first let’s look at the picture which TBI chooses to represent its Native Speaker recruitment program.

Native Speaker teacher?

Native Speaker teacher?

This image is an odd choice for several reasons. Let’s go through the main ones below:

1) He Left the Company Four Years Ago

First of all, this “teacher” hasn’t worked for the company since 2011. It is typical of this lazy company that they are using four-year-old photographs on their website. There are photographs from as long ago as 2010 on the TBI Kelapa Gading website, for example. And the TBI Medan website still has ”latest notices” from 2012 on their webpage, with no updates since!

2) This Man Wasn’t a Qualified Teacher

This ”teacher” was working in Indonesia on a youth exchange visa, which he managed to get because of his father’s military connections. At the time TBI was unclear on the legality of his working as a teacher on the youth exchange visa, so after these photographs the former manager of TBI Kuningan was instructed not to use them on the TBI website. They didn’t want to use the photograph of someone of dubious legality on their website.

But since this ”teacher” left the country four years ago, they decided, oh well, might as use 4 year old photos now. It isn’t as if Immigration can stop by and question him. Of course, most companies would get new photos of existing teachers taken, but that would require some effort and organization. So let’s just drag out old photos and use them!

Furthermore, this guy didn’t have an English-related degree or a TEFL certificate. So this guy had literally ZERO training as an English teacher. TBI were happy to pass him off as a professional, however. In fact, they still are. This is the fraudulent, scam-ridden type of company they are.

3) Study English on a Streaky Old Whiteboard

Finally, take a close look at the picture and you will see that the unqualified ”teacher” is writing the stale, old TBI logo, Study English with the Best. Stay focused and you will see that he is writing in a streaky, old marker on a cheap, plastic whiteboard. A picture tells a thousand words. The reason that TBI is happy to show this in 2015 is because they are still using the same, crap old facilities that were already looking dated when this photo was taken in 2011. No whiteboards. No internet in classrooms. No touch-screen anything. Just tired, old facilities that are typical of company in which a corrupt clique are stealing all the money and never reinvesting in the business.

A guy on a youth exchange program, without an English/Education degree, or even a TEFL certificate, stands in front of an old whiteboard in a four-year-old photo, pretending to be a teacher. This flimsy sham is exactly what TBI is all about.


We have received an incredible number of views of this page in the last 24 hours (something approaching 500 views now). Most of them have been fed from Facebook pages, so someone has provided a link to this on their Facebook page it has “gone viral” to some extent. The slow-off-the-mark set have accused us of having a grudge against this ”teacher”. Absolutely not. Read the article again.

All of our criticism is reserved for TBI, an organization recycling 4 year old photos of a teacher who was of dubious legality, all because TBI are too cheap and lazy to get some new shots taken. Is the problem perhaps that none of their existing teachers are legal either? Or do they just not want to be associated so publicly with TBI?

Nevertheless, out of respect for this ”teacher’s” sensibilities, I have removed all reference to his name. Furthermore, if TBI remove his photo from the website and replace it with a paid model or one of their own teachers, we will remove the photo from this blog too. If TBI are truly concerned about this ”teacher’s”  reputation, they are free to remove him from their misleading website.


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