Photo from JF Daily
UPDATE: Some relief for victims of KaiEn English fiasco as ChinesePod CEO downplays Ken Carroll’s role
More people have come forth to try and clarify the situation with KaiEn English… well, more teachers at least. The partners responsible for this now failed instutition are still MIA and nobody has figured out exactly what to do with all the missing money – already paid tuition fees and lost wages. If this email is any indication, the teachers are now banding together and hoping that more media attention will finally get them what they want.
On that point, we admit our outlook is more pessimistic – as depressing as getting shafted on your wages is, we’re not sure the desperate plight of English teachers is as juicy a story for the mainstream Chinese media as it is for us. But hey, we’ll try to do our part anyhow and the email does do a good job of outlining what’s going on:
Hello To Whom It May Concern:
I’m reaching out to the media, as one of the foreign teachers affected by the scandal at Kai En. Perhaps you have heard about them in the news lately. Many stories are circulating, some of them are unfounded. The teachers have met together to clarify the situation. This news story will affect your readers – as potential employers of this school and as students of English. Also this story affects us, and at this point media pressure/exposure seems to be one of the few entities that can help.
WHO is affected: The 25 plus teachers of Kai En both foreign and local English teachers. Foreign teachers include British, American, and South African. Students from all five branches of schools in Shanghai who have paid for tuition ie 7,000 -10,000 rmb and have not finished or even received any education yet.
WHAT: The current situation is that all the branches were spontaneously shut down without explanation. Offices locked with no management present. Students received a message from an invalid number canceling the classes. Teachers are owed at least 2 months of salary ranging from 12,000-40,000 RMB, possibly even higher.
Along with tens of thousands of RMB in bonuses, airfare, visa etc. Teachers’ personal documents are currently locked in the main office in Xujiahui… Some teachers are facing eviction and losing their deposit money from rent. Some of these teachers are also parents themselves. The media reports discuss aid, but no entity has stepped up to offer tangible emergency assistance as of yet.
The top management, including the founder Brian McCloskey (British/Irish), cannot be located or have recently resigned. Brian McCloskey left China on a flight to France on 3 December, and nobody has heard from him since.
Without Kai En’s management, the teachers turned to the Chinese Partner, the Shanghai Construction Group. The teachers met with representatives of SCG today who reported that they were unaware of this situation until they saw it in the news. According to the SCG representatives that showed up today at the meeting, SCG has organized a team to settle the issues. They are investigating all of the branches of KaiEn before taking action.
When: The last 2 months have been the most difficult. However, salary delays have been occurring for at least 12 months.
Where: Kai En currently has 5 branch schools – Pudong, Xujiahui, Gubei , Yangpu, and People’s Square, with headquarters in Xujiahui. All branches have been affected.
The teachers are having another meeting with SCG today, which should start about now at the Headquarters: 75 Wanping Nan Lu near Zhaojiabang Lu on the 17th floor. We wish them luck.