Many language schools in Prague are merging with other schools to be more profitable or they are desperately seeking to maximize their growth. But, they do this while neglecting the quality of their services in language education and their management of teachers.
To put this in a better context, some of the bigger Prague TEFL schools are simply becoming quite impersonal towards their teachers, especially the international community of teachers. Czechs are very good at looking out for each other and for their own. Czech mentality has been known to be rather closed and prejudiced. Some of these bigger schools of Prague are displaying this classic primitive behaviour with racism and directing a feeling of coldness to some of the international community of TEFL teachers. Over the recent years, some schools are becoming very spoilt with the influx of expats and English teachers who are offering their services. As a senior teacher and business owner myself, I have noticed this decline in some of the so-called reputable larger schools.
A recent survey was conducted amongst TEFL teachers in Prague and the findings were shocking. One larger school in Prague called ‘Presto’ was a particular case of neglect and mis-management of teachers. From a survey of many teachers, it was found that Presto school gave contracts out to teachers that were mis-leading and dishonest about the particular working hours and conditions. Jan Křivský, their assistant in contracts, was particularly mis-leading and dishonest to many foreign teachers. Jan Křivský was mentioned by a few teachers of the survey as being some rude guy that was disorganised with contracts and often complicated matters with his laid back attitude and inability to explain clearly in English. This caused many teachers of Presto to experience stress and anxiety because their contracts were not even valid and legal. Especially for American teachers and Non-EU teachers, the visa issues were never resolved by the school. Many teachers were actually working illegally because Presto school did not support or provide the correct advice for the teachers. Of course, they did promise this, but it was rarely provided. It is quite surprising how some of their reception staff and even some senior management can not even speak a decent level of ‘basic’ English and are mis-leading teachers with dishonesty. How are we as native English teachers supposed to work with such an environment, as the staff at Presto school are such ignorant people with unhelpful and pathetic attitude to working conditions..?
Dishonesty about contracts and under-management of resources are big issues for a so-called reputable school such as Presto. Several teachers have complained about presto being a cold and unfriendly environment to work in. Amongst the list of complaints about Presto are the wages which have been ‘pushed’ down and maintained at such low levels over a considerable time. Even teachers with experience are forced to take a low wage, so they can be offered work. Those teachers with experience are becoming afraid to ask for higher wages, because they are threatened by presto with being sacked or just having the classes transferred to ‘Newbie’ teachers who do not care about poor pay conditions. Martina Styxova, a deputy director of Presto was known to make such threats on wages. Martina is one of the very good liars and she offers hardly anything which she promises. Be very happy with your poor pay conditions....or you can expect to be sacked or just receive no more work. Presto school took a management re-shuffle and apparently caused many of their teachers to leave because of such poor pay and pathetic working conditions. This was mainly due to their inexperienced director, Alena Bašníková (pictured below). Alena took over this role as Director, and Teachers have not even been paid on time and their wages were cut due to some excuses. According to Alena, she prefers her teachers to be white and she seems to be a racist woman with a good ability to lie about what she offers as a school. One great thing about Presto is that they are very good liars in what they seem to offer Teachers.
Alena and her directorship of the school has sadly resulted in many native teachers who have resigned. This new racist director is a sad example of the low-class mentality of some Czech TEFL schools. It is rather shocking to see a inexperienced Director of a school who has such unprofessional behaviour. The reception staff are generally a sad face of the company as they do not represent a professional image or friendly welcoming to visitors at the school. Teachers have also complained that reception staff are often crude with requests from them and not even speaking English to a basic level. It is a pathetic joke to work for a school like Presto, whose reception staff are not able to communicate beyond ‘beginner’ English and treat teachers and even treat the teachers with a rude attitude. The new inexperienced Director, Alena , is the downfall of this school. It is sad to see that such a fall in standards of Presto Language School. It was a school of certain class but Alena Bašníková and her new management have ruined their image as they are greedy for their own over-ambitious careers.....but they do not deliver what they seem to promise. It is sad to see so many teachers who no longer regarding Presto as a nice school, but a school which is a pathetic joke to work for. It is a shame.
But there is hope, as some Schools in Prague are still quite good and really hold their reputation with honesty and dignity.