SalaryTeachers

ASK Still Has Unfilled Vacancies (Updated)

(Update below original post.)

The current openings, as of August 6, are as follows:

Openings Aug 6

Two positions being left open in one department is not a good sign. Perhaps for math they’ll just have 45 or 50 kids in each class. If The American School of Kuwait continues to incur difficulty finding teachers willing to work there, then maybe they will have to consider increasing either pay or quality of life (or both) for their faculty.


 

UPDATE: Some people have sent us screen shots of current postings on Search Associates. ASK also has a vacancy for a chorus teacher. We are told that there was a chorus teacher but they have backed out of their contract (Official “Summer Runner” Count: 1). In addition, it seems there are not two, but three math vacancies. We haven’t been able to confirm when the third vacancy occurred so we do not know if a math teacher from last year was fired or if they quit, but its looking like 60-70 kids per math class may be closer to reality. We are sure that the math teachers that ASK hires in August will be top notch professionals (sarcasm). The odds are that they will be employed illegally and paid cash under the table with no health benefits. Let’s hope that they like making tourist visa runs every few months.

Reviews

Updates as of July 10

Ahhhhh… vacation. Readership is averaging about 40-60 views per day.

In other news, it seems that the American School of Kuwait is receiving generally good news regarding Advanced Placement (AP) test results, which are now out. Congratulations to the students and teachers who worked so hard.

Finally, a friendly reminder that it is free to submit a review of a school on International Schools Review. You do not have to have an account and all submissions are anonymous. Doing so is a professional courtesy to other teachers to let them know both the positive and negatives of a school in which you have experience. You can post reviews for your administrators separately from a school review, as well. We have at least one more review posted recently which we are preparing to summarize in the coming weeks. Keep enjoying summer and we’ll try to have some updates every once in a while for you.

Reviews

Minister of Education on Private Tutoring

An excerpt from the Kuwait Times:

Minister of Education and Minister Higher Education Dr Hamed Al-Azmi said that private tuition was phenomenally spreading amongst student in all stages. Responding to a parliamentary inquiry made by MP Essa Al-Kandari, Azmi admitted that some teachers do not exert enough efforts in teaching their students and instead promote private tuitions…

Read the full article here.

Reviews

New ISR Review

Checking ISR reviews for the American School of Kuwait reveals that a few new ISR reviews have posted for Michael Murphy. Michael was previously the High School Principal, though he is scheduled to move into a new role next year. We have one of the reviews below:

Screen Shot 2018-06-30 at 14.05.42

Some additional comments were left:

Mike is a good ‘ol average guy that, at an expedient pace, has found himself in assistant principal, principal, and apparently soon, superintendent positions. Rather than distinguished professional performance, I believe the uncanny situation is an indication of American School of Kuwait’s desperation to stay alive. Mike’s leadership does improves with each passing year of experience. He seems most comfortable fraternizing with students and I find is awkwardly cold with his faculty. In my opinion, engaging authentically with faculty with authenticity and genuinely nurturing staff morale is his kryptonite. But I think, for ASK to stay afloat, the school will need a proper credentialed, experienced superintendent to intervene and save the day.

We find it interesting that the reviewer only gave one “Good” check, and that was for strong ability to relate to kids. The reviewer then went on to describe this as a weakness in their comments. We’ll post some other administrator reviews, both old and new, over the course of the next few weeks.

Teachers

Update on Job Vacancies

It looks like the American School of Kuwait has filled a few of the previously open positions. It seems they still have two high school math jobs open and one IT job. It looks like the IT and Math job were added quite recently, so it seems that more people may have resigned or been fired.

Screen Shot 2018-06-23 at 10.20.29

Keep enjoying your summer.

 

EthicsWael

How many schools does Wael operate?

A few years ago, Wael addressed the faculty in the ASK auditorium in order to dispel rumors that he was affiliated with what is now known as AUS (The American United School of Kuwait). At the time of its founding, it was initially called the American University School of Kuwait. This is because of its affiliation with the American University of Kuwait. The name was rejected because it is not a university, and so it was renamed The American United School of Kuwait (keeping similar initials). Here is a photograph showing the original signage.

Screen Shot 2018-05-28 at 08.51.12.png

A digital mockup from the KIPCO newsletter. (Source)

2014-02-22 17.04.19

So we did some research. Wael is a founding member of the American University School of Kuwait:

“AUK is governed by a 15-member Board of Trustees. The Executive Committee is composed of the three AUK co-founders: Sheikha Dana Nasser Sabah Al-Sabah, Mr. Meshal Ali, and Mr. Wael Abdul-Ghafoor and is particularly active and interacts with the President on a regular basis. It is an impressive Board strongly dedicated to the mission of the institution and well positioned to advance the university’s objectives including the financing of a larger campus. Consistent with Kuwaiti law, which does not have U.S.- styled “nonprofit” corporations, AUK is operated by the United Education Company, a privately held concern owned by the co-founders.”

Source.

Wael’s name also comes up in WikiLeaks.

We said WikiLeaks. Here is the source.

This is from a meeting he attended with Shaykha Dana Nasser Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah. She is also mentioned in the above quote as a founder of AUK.

“Classified By: Ambassador Richard LeBaron for reasons 1.4 (b), (d).

1. (C) President of the American University of Kuwait (AUK) Dr. Shafiq Al-Ghabra recently invited the Ambassador to meet the chair of the university’s board of trustees Shaykha Dana Nasser Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, granddaughter of the Prime Minister. Accompanying her at the June 13 meeting were Dr. Al-Ghabra and two other investors/board members/founders of AUK — Wael Abdul Ghafoor (well-known to the Embassy as head of the American School of Kuwait) and Mishaal Al-Ali (a businessman/major AUK investor). Shaykha Dana turned out to be a relaxed, informal interlocutor. She met the Ambassador in her office at the University, dressed informally in western-style slacks and blouse. Now in her mid-thirties, she said that she had spent a year as a student at the University of Indiana, a year she characterized as equivalent to or better than the three years she spent at Kuwait University. She was dismissive of the quality of education provided currently at Kuwait University and clearly delighted to be leading a private effort to supply a U.S.-style liberal arts education. She and her associates commented on the difference in student behavior at AUK when compared to public institutions. For example, students are much more likely to stay around the campus and socialize after hours. They are more open to discussion, and gender barriers are greatly reduced. During the discussion with the Ambassador, Shaykha Dana and her partners talked about plans for a military academy (for troubled students) that they were considering placing on Failaka Island and indicated an interest in pursuing private options for a special needs school. Dr. Al-Ghabra told the Ambassador later that Shaykha Dana does not get involved in the day-to-day operations of AUK. He meets with her for about an hour a week and briefs her on major financial issues. She also takes an interest in building projects and campus expansion plans.”

We know that both AUK and AUS are owned by the United Education Company (UEC). We can find proof of this in the following photographs (Source 1 | Source 2):

Screen Shot 2018-05-24 at 20.57.05

Screen Shot 2018-05-24 at 20.56.56

Given that ASK has transitioned from referring to Wael Abdul Ghafoor as the “owner” to “Chairman and CEO,” we wonder if ASK is owned by United Education Company, as well?

Well, it turns out that Wael is a board member of Al Rayan Holding Company. Al Rayan Holding Company owns the following schools in Kuwait (Source):

  1. International British School
  2. Kuwait International English School
  3. New Pakistan International School
  4. Fahaheel Al Watanieh Indian Private School

Screen Shot 2018-05-24 at 21.22.38.png

Al Rayan Holding Company is 82% owned by, United Education Company. So Wael Abdul Ghafoor is on the Board of Trustees of a company that owns 4 competitors to school. That company, is in turn, owned by another school that owns a direct competitor – the American United School of Kuwait.

This is important. This shows that Wael is actively invested in direct competitors with ASK. This is a gigantic conflict of interest, and it leads to a lot of speculation about the current state of affairs at the school. We have previously encouraged transparency from the school. We would like to reiterate this encouragement – transparency is the key to increased morale and the improvement of outcomes at the American School of Kuwait.

Kuwait

Freedom

Well… it’s the last day. Only a few more hours (as of posting) until you can go home, (pack) and go to the airport. For some of you, this will be your last time at the Kuwait airport (the worst airport in the world). We here at American School of Kuwait Reviews are hoping that all of you make it to international airspace as quickly as possible. We particularly hope that you enjoy the traditional beer and bacon breakfast shared by many staff members upon reaching the airport in Frankfurt.

media_884712687

Oh… wait.. we meant to post this instead. We’re sure you’ll also enjoy the airport in Doha just as much.

Qatar--01

Safe travels, everybody.