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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
    Mendip's Avatar
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    International School fees under Covid-19

    My nine year-old daughter goes to an international school in Korat.

    She is currently being home schooled via video classes by her teachers who appear to be in their apartments. I have no problem with that... it's obviously not as good as going to school but the teachers are doing their best under a situation not of their making. This has been going on now for some weeks and the main problem is maintaining any kind of routine outside of the lessons... we've all had enough to be honest. I expect home schooling to continue to the end of this term (late June) and who knows what next year will bring.

    Anyway, the school fees for next year are due and the school have offered a 2,700 Baht per term reduction next year (starting late August) as some incentive to stay aboard during this time. Needless to say this is a paltry amount when considering the cost per term. Just the school's savings on catering alone must be far in excess of this. Not to mention catering staff, security staff, nanny's etc, almost all of whom I'm sure will have been laid off. The savings on electricity must be huge.

    I was wondering if any other members here have children at international schools, and if so, what kind of reductions the schools are offering for future school fees. I want to put a case together for a reduction in my daughter's fees.

    I've hard that Sarasas is offering a 30% reduction, not that Sarasas is an international school (and I'd never send my daughter back there anyway), but it gives an idea of how other schools may be thinking.
    Last edited by Mendip; 18-05-2020 at 09:16 AM.

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    I was thinking similar but no word from our kids school as yet.

  3. #3
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    ^Ditto. Still awaiting notifications regarding discounted term fees.. My 8yo is also taking the online "virtual learning" classes, but doesn't appear to be all that motivated by them, tbh.

    We have appointed a tutor to come to our house to teach Maths and basic Science to the boy (500 THB / 2 hour session) who is very good. Also in our village there are native speakers giving Chinese and French language lessons to kids also, for nominal rates. Okay so far..

  4. #4
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    I just paid fees for another term and my wife didn't mention anything about discounts.

    My daughter is also doing online lessons.

  5. #5
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    I received the invoice for next year's school fees last week. They of course push for early payment... 3% 'administrative charges' for payment after next week's deadline...

    It just seems to me that the school is very reluctant to pass on the huge savings they must be making under the Covid regime.

  6. #6
    Southern Expat Dillinger's Avatar
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    A friend told me that Regents in Pattaya have refunded 20% ot his school fees.

    I need to go and re-read a message I got here last week but I'm sure it mentioned due to the cancelling of this years outdoor school activities that those fees will be omitted next year.

    To be fair, the school is doing a great job and I'm getting a real insight into my daughter's education now. Its like putting my bed in the classroom





  7. #7
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    I've hard that Sarasas is offering a 30% reduction, not that Sarasas is an international school (and I'd never send my daughter back there anyway), but it gives an idea of how other schools may be thinking.
    It shows, as your comment on the place suggests, that they have a different market. One which is far more sensitive to fee costs.

    Sadly the schools in the higher bracket will be very aware that parents tend to have a lot of 'brand loyalty' to the school their child attends. And if that loyalty is tested it will tend not to be tested by price but by the perception of the standards they maintain or fail to maintain.

    Good luck in your quest, anyway.
    Last edited by cyrille; 18-05-2020 at 09:31 AM.

  8. #8
    Southern Expat Dillinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille View Post
    Sadly the schools in the higher bracket will be very aware that parents tend to have a lot of 'brand loyalty' to the school their child attends
    They make sure you stay loyal with that big fuk off administration fee to stop you swapping schools.

    The invent of these zoom classroom lessons must be a right pain for your average dodgy sexpat tefler, like Ray.

    Every Wednesday night in Pattaya's dark side at the Loft, there was a Quiz night full of International school teachers. I could only fathom how they'd turn up to school the next day.

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    It just seems to me that the school is very reluctant to pass on the huge savings they must be making under the Covid regime.
    It does make you wonder.

    Salaries etc. would likely be staying the same (hopefully even, you don't want to be losing good teachers) but surely even just the operational and running costs would be significantly reduced for a start.

  10. #10
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    ^^^ I also think the school is doing a great job under the circumstances, but that doesn't alter the fact that they must be making huge savings on catering, staff wages and electricity bills, etc etc

    ^^ Sarasas... enough said.

    Another problem in Korat is that we aren't exactly spoilt for choice with international schools, and my daughter's school is obviously well aware of that. Once a kid is in the 'international' system it's extremely hard to get them out... my daughter's Thai is no-where near strong enough for her to enter main stream education, and her English would be better than any teacher's, which would cause it's own problems.

    I wonder if the Thai 'face' has anything to do with it. At pick-up time my daughter's school car park is full of red plate BMWs, Mercs, Porches, etc owned by parents doing very well for themselves (at least outwardly). It puts my 14 year old Hilux to shame, but at least I own it.

    Would it be loss of face for these people to be seen asking for a fee reduction?

    ^ Yes, it is difficult to swap schools, but I would given some choice in Korat.

  11. #11
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    I wonder if the Thai 'face' has anything to do with it. At pick-up time my daughter's school car park is full of red plate BMWs, Mercs, Porches, etc owned by parents doing very well for themselves (at least outwardly)
    Oh, most definitely!

    My wife used to be an HOD and she absolutely hated that 'meet and greet' when the parents show up at the end of the school day.

    Couldn't wait to get out.

    Some Thai parents would leave if the fees were dropped, without doubt.

  12. #12
    Southern Expat Dillinger's Avatar
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    From what I see, the teachers are still working and doing a good job. Homework is frequent.
    I have no qualms at all paying for my daughter's education that I can virtually view every moment of.

    As for expecting a discount, how much would you pay an online tutor?
    Topper would charge 5 hamburgers an hour and teach your kid a shit load of Americanisms

  13. #13
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    ^ I take your point and I agree that the teacher's are doing a good job. I still don't think it's anywhere near as good as the kids actually being in a classroom, but that's another issue.

    The school is saving a small fortune and I think some of that should be passed on.

    And as for virtually viewing the education... it has it's plus sides, but the disruption to working parents is huge unless they're happy for their kids to be left alone at home. I can already see that my daughter needs constant supervision or she'll be straight on to Youtube while the lessons are ongoing, and Roblox on her pc in between lessons.

    I lost patience today and confiscated her Tablet for the school day!

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson View Post
    It does make you wonder.

    Salaries etc. would likely be staying the same (hopefully even, you don't want to be losing good teachers) but surely even just the operational and running costs would be significantly reduced for a start.
    I'm sure the school teachers are relatively unaffected. But how about catering staff, security staff, cleaning staff, nannies, electricity (lighting/cooking/aircon). I'd like to bet the vast majority of those have been laid off.

  15. #15
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    A friend went to our school a few days ago and all of the maids/cooks/maintenance workers were there hard at work*. We started online lessons this morning and I've found them to be almost as labor intensive as f2f classes.

    Online classes are scheduled to end on June 30 and f2f classes should start on July 1.

    With only a few rooms using AC and no meals being prepared, I'm sure that the owner is going to make a nice profit this year. It is nice to see that he is using that profit to keep everyone employed.

  16. #16
    Southern Expat Dillinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    I can already see that my daughter needs constant supervision
    You wouldn't have seen that without these online lessons. I've realised too that my daughter rarely pays attention and sits there daydreaming, like I used to do

    I also deleted Roblox from the nipper's tablet last week and about 50 stupid mind numbing games that she's re-installed.

    I think these online lessons are a good thing though, even if I am doing most of her homework

    Its 11.40 am here and school has now just finished for the day.
    Today we have learned about bridges and right angles

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat jabir's Avatar
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    No word of discounts from our school, kid does online lessons and some of these are a youtube video which pisses me off as I could just as easily have him watch them in his own time. While there's nothing to beat the social environment of a school, something's better than nowt.

    Timing was also perfect for the school, since we paid up front for the next semester just as the closures began, and though it's highly unlikely if this goes into November which is the beginning of the next semester, quite a few parents have said they will do home schooling rather than pay a wad for more of the same.

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat
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    ^^ Is that in Thailand? I ask because my daughter's school year finishes at the end of June, so those dates would suggest no proper lessons again until the next school year.

    And to be fair to the school, I've assumed that the majority of maintenance/security/catering/maids staff have been laid off... I could be wrong but knowing how hard-nosed this school is I'd be surprised if they're being paid.

  19. #19
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    ^^ Is there a legal issue with home schooling? Do kids not have to be enrolled in a school?

  20. #20
    Southern Expat Dillinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    The school is saving a small fortune and I think some of that should be passed on.
    Just thinking about this.

    Imagine employing online tutors and a decent wage for them would be probaby about a tenner an hour. If you have say 20 students, thats only 50p an hour and to equate that to the amount of online tuition my daughter receives a week that would only set me back about 10 pounds per week.

    I see your point now. These schools need fucking off. These teachers like Cyrille with their fucking teacher training days straight after a 6 week fucking holiday.

  21. #21
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    It's actually more work for the teachers at home. Planning, preparing, marking is all on the computer so we're stuck staring at a screen all day. Live lessons every day where you somehow have to control 20 children just by video on a platform you didn't even know existed a few months ago.

    And all that with my own 6 year old at home all day too.

    A few school around here have kept all their staff and got the kitchen to send out meals for a small price. School is open if teachers want to go in so security and maids still around.

    It'll be nearly 5 months since my daughter went to school if they go back in July...
    I'd like to see what morning looks like
    Don't wanna drink pint after pint
    I wanna wake up without feeling sick
    But I can't cuz I'm a drug-abusing alcoholic

  22. #22
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by armstrong View Post
    It's actually more work for the teachers at home
    True.

    Damn tedious work setting stuff up, too.

    Mercifully I haven't had to deal with kids for nigh on 15 years.


  23. #23
    Thailand Expat
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    ^ Point taken... but my daughter's school have no online lessons on Wednesdays, presumably to accommodate marking and stuff.

    To my mind, one day a week of not teaching should mean a 20% reduction right there!

  24. #24
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    Topper will probably add some insight as I believe he is going to tutor on-line.

    Watching my daughter do her lessons on-line was quite interesting and she could work all day long which she did regularly.

    I believe this method of teaching/ learning may be a thing to consider very seriously.

  25. #25
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    ^^Yeah, you have a fair point about savings on things like staff and power being passed on.

    Certainly any payments for outward-bound activities should be returned.

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