10.09.2013

Kids College - Geoge

This post isn't for fun but is to inform anyone who is inquiring information regarding  Kids College, on Geoje Island.The facts stated are to protect the teachers and to inform of business practices conducted at the school. I don't hold any hard feelings towards the owners, I actually like them, but their business practices need to be exposed. 

Upon arrival the school seemed normal. They gave us an apartment, we shadowed the teachers for one day and had one day of orientation before beginning teaching. On the first day of teaching our Vice Principal asked us if we wanted to sign up for pension. She told us that iwas a big hassle, that the money was for retirement and that it wasn't worth it. Ignorantly, all three of us teachers declined pension. Three months after school began we discovered how great pension was for Americans and asked our school to enroll us. They were very hostile about it and told us that "money doesn't grow on trees". They did sign us up for pension but were not professional about it.   

A week or two after arrival our Vice Principal informed us that it was customary to release our passport to the school owners. All three of us teachers refused to do so. Releasing of a passport was not customary like the owners said. They were attempting to keep our passports to manipulate us. 
The contract with kids college stated that any over time would be paid a rate of W17,000($17.00) per hour. After working overtime and inquiring of our pay, we were told if the owners were to be asked to pay the due overtime that they would " make our lives miserable." No over time was ever paid. If we stayed late, the school would sometimes buy us dinner and that was very much appreciated.

Another difficult and for me the worst part of it all is the following. The contract stated that if someone died or if there was an emergency back home we were released for 10 days. If someone added on an 'emergency' to a holiday vacation 50% of their bonus was forfeited. My fiancées mother, in October of 2012, was diagnosed with cancer. I informed the school of this as I thought it was important for them to know in case something were to happen. In December, when the school was buying our flights home for our end of year contracts that ended in February, I asked if I could add insurance to my flight (insurance paid by me) in case something were to happen to my mother in law. The school owners denied my request and became very hostile. They told me to write and sign on paper that I would leave immediately or stay no matter what happened to my mother in law. I refused to do that and informed them that according to my contract, if someone died, I had 10 days of leave as well as 2 sick days. I was screamed at, was told how irresponsible I was and was asked why they couldn't just 'cut the cancer out of her?'. They also looked for my replacement without telling me, or without me signing a contract to leave. I discovered this by reading a blog from the teacher that was to be coming in February. She posted that they wanted her to come in December. After a month or two of heated discussions they eventually purchased my tickets home and allowed me to purchase insurance. My mother in law did pass away on February 5th. I had 10 teaching days left and 12 days of leave. Her death happened during a holiday which forfeited 50% of my bonus pay. The school, after I purchased my ticket home with my own money, asked me to stay. They informed me that the school could close down with out me. According to the contract the school was to pay me for days worked, 50% of my severance pay, and they were to return the W600,000 ($600.00)apartment deposit that they withheld from my paycheck. The school did not pay me anything. They threatened to call my bank and take my money.They shorted me of around $3,000. They told me they would not reimburse me for money from my apartment because that money was to be used for hiring a substitute teacher. The school hired a sub for 2-3 days but my co-teachers took the full brunt of teaching their kids plus my own. Not only did they do all that but after I told them I purchased my ticket home to attend the funeral the school owner called immigration requesting that I be stopped on my way out of Korea. Thankfully, immigration denied their request. I attempted to negotiate with the owners reasonable solutions but it was of no effect. They only asked me to stay and not go home. 


Again, I don't post this to be vindictive or mean, however I don't want anyone to experience what I went through as it was extremely difficult and traumatic. However, as hard as it was I wouldn't trade that year. The teacher before us told us that the kids are the best part of the job and you better believe 100% I agree with that. Teaching in Korea is great but there are many other jobs out there. 

There is also a facebook page for Geoeje Teachers. Before basing everything on what have I written I'd encourage you to go there and consult other teachers from Kids College as well. If you would like that page the link is the following: https://www.facebook.com/groups/23316238780/

If you have any questions regarding Kids College please contact me at sunshine2thesquareinch@gmail.com

3 comments:

  1. Wow. I'm glad you're posting about this for anyone who's looking into working there. Sorry you had to deal with that.

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  2. Just in the interest of balance I worked at this school for a year and had a wonderful time. I was treated like one of the family and never experienced any of the negativity that this post outlines. I would highly recommend the school to any teachers seeking a job in Korea.

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  3. Hi Gerard, Thanks for sharing your experience with others. I appreciate you letting people know that your experience was a good one. I'm glad you had a great year there.

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