In recent weeks, we have covered the fact that 2015 was the year when Mariam Kartikatresni’s disastrous reign at TBI finally came to an end. After years of disappointing customers, running illegal visa scams, firing people as scapegoats for her own comic incompetence and fighting off attempts from frustrated stakeholders to oust her, her many crimes have finally caught up with her and she has been turfed out of the company.
So what does the Brave New World of a post-Mariam TBI look like? Will the company finally shirk of its slough of despondency and start to improve its dated, increasingly unpopular schools? Will it finally start publishing its own books rather than using textbooks bought from a bookstore, for example? Will it finally upgrade its tired, circa 2002 classrooms with streaky whiteboards and stains on the carpet? Sadly, the signs are not at all good. Because since Mariam was shown the door, the company has been run by an 82 year old woman with a well-known disdain for TBI and a Finance Manager who Luke Preece often intimated was robbing the company blind. This does not bode well for any attempts to boost the fortunes of the ailing company.
Let’s take them one at a time: first, to the octogenarian. Ning Anhar is now in her 80s but she was an extremely aloof and hands-off presence even when she was in her 70s. The former manager of TBI Kuningan, their flagship school, reported that she never once contacted him to check how the school was going. She considered it far beneath her to speak to the managers let alone teachers. She had no idea what was going on in the schools but expected everyone to recognize her if she occasionally entered a school. If people didn’t immediately greet her, she would fly into a rage and demand that the manager be reprimanded. Furthermore, she refused to speak English and probably couldn’t very well, hence her embarrassment. She is hardly the figure to drag TBI into the 21st century.
The other person in charge now is Reza Suriansha, who the former Head of Operations accused of financial impropriety. Luke Preece, the con artist behind the illegal visa scam, once admitted that he used to deliver the student payments to Reza personally from time to time rather than banking it in the TBI account. This was also the man who lost TBI $50,000 through a ‘misunderstanding’ when TBI Kuningan changed premises in 2007. This con man and grifter is now running the company with an 82 year old woman who rarely wants to enter a TBI school. This is a development which bodes very ill for TBI’s future. Nothing is going to change for the better with this pair in charge. TBI is being guided by people who can’t even speak English fluently and have literally zero knowledge of TEFL. They are also of dubious or even criminal moral character. TBI is doomed to stagnation.