Udon Christian School

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daithic
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Udon Christian School

Post by daithic » June 12, 2018, 6:43 pm

Hi,
Does anyone have kids in this school? I recently paid for extra after-school classes for this term, Mon-Thurs every week.
We were originally told that the four classes per week would be with a foreign English-speaking teacher.

During week 1, they changed their tune. Four classes per week with a foreign English-speaking teacher was reduced down to two + one class of Chinese and one class of Thai. I went in to complain and was told that was the best they could do with the resources they have. By the end of week 1, and possibly due to my complaint, it turned out to be 3 English classes + one Chinese class.

Great news, I thought. No. Of the 3 English classes, two of them were taught by Thai teachers and only one with a foreign English-speaking teacher, who, I might add, the school try to pass off as an American but she has a strong Spanish speaker's accent so there is no way she is a NES teacher.

When I asked what my kid learned in the English classes taught by Thai teachers, I was told writing and grammar etc. The usual Thai English teachers' lazy approach to teaching English. Was there any English spoken in the class? No. All Thai.

I went to UCS again today and the direct seemed disinterested at best. I spoke to a very helpful teacher who speaks excellent English and she said she would try to find out what is happening.

I will give them this week to sort it out or I will be seriously pissed off. At best, they are incompetent and they couldn't plan this properly. At worst, they blatantly lied to parents in the knowledge that they did not and would not have enough foreign teachers to provide what they advertised and tricked parents to pay for.

Any other parents out there who are concerned about this?

Regards,
D

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stattointhailand
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Re: Udon Christian School

Post by stattointhailand » June 12, 2018, 9:15 pm

Which of the "Udon Christian Schools" are you referring to daithic?

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jimjay
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Re: Udon Christian School

Post by jimjay » June 12, 2018, 10:19 pm

The "Director" etc seem disinterested because yes, everything falls apart no matter how hard they try with regard to retaining foreign language teachers.

And, they have parents "come at them" in every imaginable way. Frustrating yes. Solvable by any means, no.

My oldest daughter went to Udon Christian for a few years when they had the foreign teachers, but as of late we've seen that group of foreign teachers dwindle down to nothing. They were connected to a specific organization, and all lived in the same building someplace near Udon Hospital. Luke, etc., I forget the lasses' names. Maybe Thailand or Udon Immigration shafted them once more. Someone here will have the scoop.

So, not sure your approach in anger / frustration is going to get any results. Usually making issues at the school just backfires on the kid. Udon just doesn't cut the mustard when it comes to keeping talent around.

I'd ask for a refund and / or just pull out of the after school situation, and get your kid into an outside vendor that your wife can research in Thai among Thais in the multiple Facebook Groups parents frequent as they exchange info and network, regarding where they can or are getting positive results.

I'll try to get links from my wife for these to send you. Try to keep the kid there otherwise, -ours had an OK run all things considered.

daithic
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Re: Udon Christian School

Post by daithic » June 18, 2018, 6:27 pm

stattointhailand wrote:
June 12, 2018, 9:15 pm
Which of the "Udon Christian Schools" are you referring to daithic?
Hi,
I'm referring to the primary school. The one on Udon Dutsadi road. Have you any experience with them?
Thanks.
D

daithic
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Re: Udon Christian School

Post by daithic » June 18, 2018, 6:49 pm

jimjay wrote:
June 12, 2018, 10:19 pm
The "Director" etc seem disinterested because yes, everything falls apart no matter how hard they try with regard to retaining foreign language teachers.

And, they have parents "come at them" in every imaginable way. Frustrating yes. Solvable by any means, no.

My oldest daughter went to Udon Christian for a few years when they had the foreign teachers, but as of late we've seen that group of foreign teachers dwindle down to nothing. They were connected to a specific organization, and all lived in the same building someplace near Udon Hospital. Luke, etc., I forget the lasses' names. Maybe Thailand or Udon Immigration shafted them once more. Someone here will have the scoop.

So, not sure your approach in anger / frustration is going to get any results. Usually making issues at the school just backfires on the kid. Udon just doesn't cut the mustard when it comes to keeping talent around.

I'd ask for a refund and / or just pull out of the after school situation, and get your kid into an outside vendor that your wife can research in Thai among Thais in the multiple Facebook Groups parents frequent as they exchange info and network, regarding where they can or are getting positive results.

I'll try to get links from my wife for these to send you. Try to keep the kid there otherwise, -ours had an OK run all things considered.
Thanks for your reply. My point is that they offered the after-school program as 4 classes per week of English with a foreign teacher. They must have known this was impossible to deliver yet they went ahead and advertised it. No mention of them being unable to provide what they promised at the recent parent-teacher meetings. When I first visited them, they said they would send out a letter of apology to all parents explaining why they couldn't provide what they had advertised. Still no letter. Maybe a lot of parents don't even know/care that they have been lied to. I do.

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Brian Davis
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Re: Udon Christian School

Post by Brian Davis » June 19, 2018, 11:05 am

My son is in the Prathom 1 Intensive English Programme.
My wife and I agreed immediately (wow, that’s rare) that we wouldn’t put him forward for the extra hour’s daily (or was it 4 days only?). Really thought the day was long enough and we have to travel say 40 minutes to home. An hour later would mean more traffic. My son’s quite capable in English already too. We appreciate that many parents are still at work and their children have to hang about until they’re collected. Better they are occupied than just sitting on the steps! But, having seen some pupils arrive hot and sticky after some kind of sports activity, I did wonder how attentive, what they would gain in that extra hour.
My understanding is that one can opt for the extra tuition in general subjects or just English, but I’m not sure if that’s available in all years. I’m guessing your child is Prathom 1, Daithic? Perhaps, I’m wrong?
So, I’m always collecting my son outside the ground floor IEP room where the extra hour’s tuition occurs. It’s news to me that anything other than English was being taught, but I say that only because I can’t recall anyone other than “farang” Daniel turning up. I could be mistaken. Daniel is, I understand American, seems enthusiastic, fun and a good rapport with the students. Incidentally, can I suggest that you MAY be mistaking the “Spanish accent” person for Mars – a short, chubby(sorry!), charming, bubbly lady from the Philippines, who’s been at the school for many years. My son loves her and I can’t imagine it’s any different with other children.
Reference is made to the school being unable to retain foreign teachers. I’ve no idea what salary is on offer, but certainly think that offered by adult language schools would be a lot more. I’ll intentionally be a bit vague here, but I’m aware that a previous teacher seemed to disappear at short notice. Interestingly, told me he/she had no teaching experience in EFL and, perhaps, no specific teaching qualifications, although had been a long-term trainer in, I think, a military role. But this is really frightening!  I pointed out a few errors on an example English test paper posted on a wall and had some questions about the papers my son had to complete to “get in” to IEP. I ended talking to several teachers who were more capable in English. Queries answered, it concluded with an apparently genuine, if casual at that point, offer to be a teacher at the school! There didn’t seem an issue of not having a teaching qualification, just being a native speaker was the attraction. Well, I enjoy interacting with the children, playing the fool and having a joke. So, I think the students would have fun, but I’m very doubtful of my ability to actually teach.
And, just on the communication issue. I like to think I’m a caring, interested parent. Yes, a tendency to open my mouth too easily, moan and point out something I think is wrong, so I guess I qualify for a “come at them” parent. I knew of the recent parent/teacher meetings. Obviously, aware I wouldn’t understand much and having witnessed several school meetings(NOT at Udon Christian) where nobody has the courtesy to listen, ask questions, often asleep (rather like the driving test training), more interested in the food etc., I wasn’t going. (My wife went, but didn’t come back with any exciting news). Anyway, beforehand, in a genuine attempt to give ideas, be helpful and constructive, I drafted a list of what I believed to be issues at the school. Without too much detail, this included hygiene(Liquid soap), toilet improvements, children swearing, rats!, waste disposal, health(shop allowed to sell ice creams BEFORE school) and waste water?drainage. I went straight to the Director (believe his name translates as Gold Medal – honest) and was surprised his English was very limited. He called a helpful lady from the office to listen and translate and she was kind enough to make it sound like my comments were helpful, rather than a pain in the backside. Whether it will be a case of ‘saving face’, not willing to listen, whatever, we’ll see if anything happens.
I must add my son is very happy at the school and it’s a vast improvement over the government school he was attending in Phen.

daithic
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Re: Udon Christian School

Post by daithic » June 19, 2018, 11:50 am

Brian Davis wrote:
June 19, 2018, 11:05 am
My son is in the Prathom 1 Intensive English Programme.

My understanding is that one can opt for the extra tuition in general subjects or just English, but I’m not sure if that’s available in all years. I’m guessing your child is Prathom 1, Daithic? Perhaps, I’m wrong?

So, I’m always collecting my son outside the ground floor IEP room where the extra hour’s tuition occurs. It’s news to me that anything other than English was being taught, but I say that only because I can’t recall anyone other than “farang” Daniel turning up. I could be mistaken. Daniel is, I understand American, seems enthusiastic, fun and a good rapport with the students.

Incidentally, can I suggest that you MAY be mistaking the “Spanish accent” person for Mars – a short, chubby(sorry!), charming, bubbly lady from the Philippines, who’s been at the school for many years. My son loves her and I can’t imagine it’s any different with other children.

Reference is made to the school being unable to retain foreign teachers.

And, just on the communication issue. I like to think I’m a caring, interested parent. Yes, a tendency to open my mouth too easily, moan and point out something I think is wrong, so I guess I qualify for a “come at them” parent. I knew of the recent parent/teacher meetings. Obviously, aware I wouldn’t understand much and having witnessed several school meetings(NOT at Udon Christian) where nobody has the courtesy to listen, ask questions, often asleep (rather like the driving test training), more interested in the food etc., I wasn’t going. (My wife went, but didn’t come back with any exciting news). Anyway, beforehand, in a genuine attempt to give ideas, be helpful and constructive, I drafted a list of what I believed to be issues at the school. Without too much detail, this included hygiene(Liquid soap), toilet improvements, children swearing, rats!, waste disposal, health(shop allowed to sell ice creams BEFORE school) and waste water?drainage. I went straight to the Director (believe his name translates as Gold Medal – honest) and was surprised his English was very limited. He called a helpful lady from the office to listen and translate and she was kind enough to make it sound like my comments were helpful, rather than a pain in the backside. Whether it will be a case of ‘saving face’, not willing to listen, whatever, we’ll see if anything happens.
Thanks for the reply, Brian. To respond to your points above:

My daughter is in P5, regular program, not IEP.

Yes, we opted for the after-school extra classes with 4 English classes per week because we were told these would be 4 English classes with a foreign English teacher.

Perhaps only IEP students get 4 English after-school classes with a foreign teacher, but this was not what was advertised by the school.

Yes, Daniel is American, from Texas, and he does appear to have a good rapport with students. As to his qualifications and whether or not Udon Christian have done a Police Background Check on him before allowing him to teach kids, is another question.

I am not mistaking the "Spanish accent person" for Mars. I am talking about the older foreign lady whose name is Lucy. She is not Filipina, but she does have a Spanish accent.

The school admitted that they have problems getting foreign teachers. Udon is not really fashionable like, say, Chiang Mai where there is an over-supply of young foreign teachers. My point is why advertise something when they knew they could not deliver the foreign teachers to teach those classes.

Finally, thanks for letting me know about those issues and for taking them to the Director. No soap and rats!!! I wasn't aware of these. Absolutely disgusting. Let's see if anything gets done. I won't hold my breath. Maybe if a few of the "farang" Dads get together and go to see him, things will get done. If not, we can try to contact whatever Christian Church they are affiliated to in the US because these schools receive generous donations from Church groups over there. Maybe those people might be able to force the director into action through the power of the purse. And the power of prayer, too. :roll: :roll: :roll:

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Brian Davis
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Re: Udon Christian School

Post by Brian Davis » June 19, 2018, 1:16 pm

Thanks for your response. I was obviously barking up the wrong tree, as far as the year/class your daughter is in.
Maybe I've seen Lucy, although I can't place her, or mistook her for Thai.
But one way or another, I can't see the school has enough farang teachers to cover the extra lesson at the same time for all the levels.
Not long before I set off yet again to pick up my boy. By the way it's just poured down here, I best come by boat. :lol:

daithic
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Re: Udon Christian School

Post by daithic » June 19, 2018, 6:00 pm

My daughter had Lucy again today. It was supposed to be English class with the teacher actually teaching for the time in the classroom. Instead, the students were told to do their homework. [-( [-( [-( [-(

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