Posts Tagged ‘Khartoum International Community School’

Selecting an international school: Tip #8 – Are the teachers fully qualified?

What reasons do parents think about when selecting a school for their children when they move abroad? Are they similar reasons for why teachers choose to work at a school abroad as well?  There are many different kinds of international schools and they are all in different situations.  How important is finding out about if the international school’s teachers are fully qualified or not?  It could be beneficial to ask these types of questions at your interview, before you make any big decisions to move or choose a school at which to work.  So, how do you choose the right international school for your children to attend or for you to work at?  In this blog series, we will discuss the Tips for Selecting an International School.

Tip #8 – Are the teachers fully qualified?

This is not typically a concern with mainstream international schools, but it can be a concern with some newer schools and in certain regions of the world.

pic1104Some might say having qualified teachers from early years all the way to secondary school are essential for an international school to thrive.  Why then do some international schools hire non-certified teachers?  Of course there are many reasons why schools make such choices for their staff.

One reason is that qualified teachers are sometimes hard to come by in some (if not all) countries. Additionally, the more experienced teachers may not be considering positions at less established international schools.  In some parts of the world, the pay is low.  Being that certified teachers seek out positions that value their teaching degrees (that they have worked hard for), they might not even consider working at some schools where the pay and benefits are less than desirable.

Another factor that comes into play is timing.  Some international schools get into “binds” every once and awhile, and sometimes the best choice is to hire a less qualified (or not qualified) teacher to fill the position. That non-qualified teacher is just waiting and waiting for the right moment, when the stars align for them, to finally get that job at the nearby international school versus staying at the “language” school down the road.  Also, when international schools are trying to fill vacancies for the coming school year during not ideal times of the year (e.g. the summer months or even May), they might not have the same pick of qualified teachers as they would have had back in January and February.

Even another reason that international school hire non-qualified teachers could be related to money.  International schools (especially for-profit ones) are always on the look-out on how to save money. Hiring non-qualified teachers can potentially save the school money as they can sometimes pay them less.  If there is a pay scale at the school, they would most likely be on the bottom of it.Mr-Boli-and-Primary-186

Many educators without university teaching certificates are the ones that are already living abroad.  They maybe moved abroad when they got a job at an English-language school or had an interest in “teaching English” in a foreign country.  We are sure that there are some great English-language schools around the world, but most of the teachers at those schools would prefer to work at an international school; mainly because of the better pay and benefits.  More established international schools though won’t consider them because they might not have the exact teaching qualifications that they require. The less established international schools might consider these less-qualified teachers though, especially if they are scrounging to find quality candidates to fill their positions.

It is true that you can be a good teacher, even an excellent one, without a teaching certificate from a university. Experience in the field can definitely equal quality teaching, and parents and other qualified teachers shouldn’t be so turned off to working with them.  If you agree to that statement, maybe we shouldn’t be so caught up in whether an international school has an all-qualified staff.  We all work hard to do the same job, it isn’t as if qualified teachers would work any harder at the school.  On the other hand, it is important to honor the time spent when teachers do go an get diplomas in education.  Many people with university teaching certificates have worked very hard to make teaching their career choice and not just a “job”.  It can be a bit of an “unfortunate circumstance” and a downer when a qualified teacher shows up at their new international school to find out that their colleagues are all “English teachers”!

On our website we have a specific topic in the School Information section of each school profile page that discusses the issue of which international schools have qualified teachers or not.  It is called “Describe what kinds of teachers work here (local vs. expat, nationality, qualifications [or lack there of], etc.) and staff turnover rate.”  Our members have submitted 100s of comments and information in this topic on a number of different international schools listed on our website.  Here are just a few of the comments and information submitted in this topic:

“About 65% North American, 20% European and 15% local and other. All teachers are certified and have at least 4 years’ experience…”MEF International School Istanbul (27 total comments)

“The school has both Colombian and expat teachers. All of the expat teachers are North American and all are qualified teachers. The Colombian teachers are also well certified. There is not a high turnover rate at the school. Many expat teachers, though young, stay three or four years and some have been at the school much longer…”Colegio Granadino Manizales (43 total comments)

“High Staff turnover. Probably 1/3 local hires vs. expats. The qualifications can be low. Many first year teachers with no teaching degree. Most expats are Americans and Canadians. People do not stay here because the taxes are high, the frustration level with the administration is high, and the level of academic rigor is low…”American School Foundation of Mexico City (35 total comments)

“You will find a range of teachers from New Zealand to Canada, via UK, Egypt, Palestine, South Africa, Australia, France and more. Most teachers are expat hire. Local hire teachers are well qualified. The school is still only 7 years old so turnover rate is hard to reflect on. It ranges from 1-7 years at current time…”Khartoum International Community School (37 total comments)

“Turn over rate last year was very low. This year is different with several teachers in the Secondary school being pushed out. The school pays on time and there are good benefits. Many teachers in the Secondary school do not have formal teaching qualifications but they have good subject knowledge…”Western International School of Shanghai (57 total comments)

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Comments and information about salaries on ISCommunity #7: Khartoum Int’l Community School, Int’l School of KL & Vietnam American Int’l School

Comments and information about salaries at international schools on International School Community.

Every week members are leaving information and comments on the salaries that teachers are making at international schools around the world.  Which ones pay more?  Which ones do you have to pay very high taxes?  Which ones offer tax-free salaries?  All important questions to think about when job searching, but where to find the answers to those questions?

Why do some international schools keep their specific salary information so secret?  Even at international school job fairs, you don’t really get to see the exact amount of your yearly and monthly salary until you see the contract paperwork.  Even then sometimes you don’t know what will be your exact take-home pay each month.  At International School Community, we want to make the search for salaries easier for international school teachers. In the benefits section of the school profile page, there is a section specifically for salaries.  The topic is: “Explain how salaries are decided (e.g. is there a pay schedule? extra step for masters degree? Annual pay raises? Bonuses?)

Here are 3 out of the many comments and information related to salaries that have been posted on our website:

Khartoum International Community School (36 total comments)
“The school has a structured pay scale. Entry depends on qualifications or experience. Advanced degrees attract more money as does extensive experience. There are responsibility steps, particularly in Seniors. Every teacher receives a step each year and there are inflationary/cost of living adjustments annually. The school pays 1 year (2500 GBP pounds) and 2 year (6000 GBP pounds) resigning bonuses (very appealing to couples!).”

International School of Kuala Lumpur (28 total comments)
“There is a clear and structured pay scale. You enter it according to experience and qualifications, up to a maximum experience level. Within the school you receive an annual \’step\’ for every year of experience, plus there are usually small inflationary raises to the salary scale. Additionally stipends are paid for team leader responsibility. There are resigning bonuses after 4 years of employment.”

Vietnam American International School (26 total comments)

“I don’t know about all salaries. However, I don’t believe there salary increased with increased education, experience, or years of service. For example, there were no increases in salary between the first year of teaching at VAIS and the second year. Another example, one teacher with ten years of experience received the same salary as another teacher with only 2 years experience.”

Check out the other comments and information about these schools (and 1000s of others) on our website:

International Teaching Predictions for 2012 #3: Africa

#3: International Schools in Africa

“With the Egyptian elections over, I predict a huge requirement for teachers in Egypt as the country pulls itself up by its bootstraps and with the help of international investment will try to change the face of the country -starting now. Most Egyptian international schools are attended by Egyptian children and this means we can expect lots of expansion in 2012. We see signs of it already.

Other North African countries such as Sudan and even Libya will see steady development next year.  Libya in particular is a place to watch because the international investment will be massive. It was already on the cusp of some interesting school reform and advisory projects before the revolution and it appears to be picking up the pieces and starting anew albeit cautiously.
For the rest of Africa, oil-rich Nigeria will always be a bright spot internationally but like the Middle East, there are quite a few dodgy schools there which need to be avoided.  There are a good number of truly good and well run international schools and the trick is to know the difference.   Any schools on our books are well known to us based on years of experience but again, other agencies will not have this background and ethos.”

Taken from the “Teach the World with Teachanywhere” blog written by General Manager by Diane Jacoutot.

Currently (as of 1 April, 2012), on, we have 146 international schools listed in this region of the world (both Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa).  That makes the Sub-Saharan Africa region rank #5 (out of 13) in terms of the regions of the world with the highest number of international schools (99) listed on our website; with the North Africa region ranking #10 (out fo 13) with 41 international schools listed.  According to the article and to what we see happening in our community, there are many new international schools being founded each year in both regions.  For example out of the 41 international schools listed in North Africa, 23 of them are less than 15 years old. The expat communities there seem to be growing and thus the need for more international schools is also growing.

Out of the 53 countries that we have listed in the Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa, the top five countries with the highest number of international schools listed on International School Community are the following:
1. Egypt (25)
2. Nigeria (11)
3. Kenya (9)
4. Tanzania (8)
5. Morocco (8)

Some more facts about these Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa international schools:
• 56 teach the American Curriculum, 58 teach the U.K. curriculum and 4 teach the IPC curriculum.
• 52 are less than 15 years old, 68 are between 16 and 50 years old and 20 are more than 51 years old.
• 46 are For-profit schools and 94 are Non-profit schools.

The following schools in Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa have had comments and information submitted on them:
Luanda International school (13 Comments)
International School of Ouagadougou (17 Comments)
American School of Douala (11 Comments)
International Community School Addis Ababa (15 Comments)
Lincoln Community School (12 Comments)
American International School of Conakry (7 Comments)
American School of Antananarivo (9 Comments)
Bishop Mackenzie International School (9 Comments)
American International School Bamako (11 Comments)
The American International School of Nouakchott (9 Comments)
American International School of Mozambique (11 Comments)
American International School Lagos (11 Comments)
Surefoot American International School (9 Comments)
International School of IITA (12 Comments)
International School of Kigali (13 Comments)
International School of Seychelles (18 Comments)
Khartoum International Community School (10 Comments)
The School of St. Jude (11 Comments)
Harare International School (8 Comments)
New Cairo British International School (10 Comments)
Cairo British School (30 Comments)
Cairo English School (17 Comments)
Casablanca American School (11 Comments)
American School of Tangier (10 Comments)

There are many more!  Check out the rest of them here.

Many of our members currently work at international schools in the Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa:
Claire Gaul (American Cooperative School of Tunis in Tunis)
Megan Graff (The School of St. Jude in Arusha)
Tasha Fletcher (Egyptian British International School in Cairo)
Shehz Carrim (Sandford (British) International School in Addis Ababa)

There are many more! Check out the rest of them here. If you are interested in working at an international school in the Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa regions that one of our members currently works at, feel free to send these members a private message with the questions and concerns you would like first-hand account answers too.

So, we will just have to wait and see then how the “International School Community” in Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa actually pans out for the year 2012.