Well, even for jaded, cynical TBI observers such as ourselves, we are surprised by just how low their fortunes have sunk. In recent weeks they have started once again advertising or teachers on online jobs websites, notably Dave’s ESL Cafe. There are now two successive teachers who have come onto the discussion forum and revealed that TBI is now openly admitting that they can’t get teachers KITASes (work visas) for up to six months!
Getting Paid Peanuts
In the latest laughable revelations from May 7th, 2015, TBI (PT. Titian Buana Ilmu), an Indonesian school which pretends to be ‘British’, has offered a fully qualified teacher with an English degree a miserable $1000 a month to work at one of their group schools! This pitiful wage was the type of thing formerly dished up by the likes of TBI Bogor and other tightfisted franchise schools. Now it is not only the full wage at group schools (those managed by Head Office), it is even the wage for those who possess the ‘proper’ degree. This means TBI Is now only paying much less than Wall Street and have stopped even competing on wages with the leading schools. It is an admission that they have given up even trying to be ‘top drawer’ and are now resigned to second-rate status.
TBI Defames Its Competitors
In addition, it was revealed that TBI is now so unprofessional that they are even attacking and defaming other schools during the recruitment process. Showing a complete disregard for all standards of professionalism, they have insisted that other schools are abusing VKU visas too. This reveals just how hypocritical this organization is. For the past three years they have been complaining that anyone who speaks out against their illegal practices is engaged in ‘defamation’. They have even threatened to sue us under the ITE law, which criminalizes wide swathes of free speech in Indonesia. However, we now learn that they are doing the same thing themselves! In a desperate attempt to making themselves look better, they have started maligning other schools to interviewees, accusing them of breaking the law too! They are just incredibly inconsistent and unethical.
The ‘Leading School’ with Illegal Teachers?
Finally, the latest teacher posts on Dave’s ESL Cafe find TBI freely admitting that TBI has no pull with the Indonesian government. They simply can’t get work visas in a timely manner for their teachers. You will have to wait around 6 months before you are a fully legal temporary resident. In 2015, TBI is still one of the rogue operators of the teaching industry, claiming to be ‘premium’ and ‘a leading school’ while routinely employing teachers illegally on VKU visas and telling them that it is ‘completely normal’, ‘a grey area’ and so on.
Offering low pay and not even a proper work visa, TBI is kidding itself that it is anything like a respectable school. If TBI is a respectable school, then the $2 Shop is a luxury retailer.