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Shabaka Training has a bad reputation

Posted: 02 Apr 2020, 22:17
by tenneray
Teachers who are considering working for this third-rate outfit ought to check out reviews at and elsewhere. This company has a long and dubious history. Its main problem is inept and unprofessional management at the top. Its practices, such as weekly tests, are unheard of elsewhere.


Posted: 02 May 2020, 12:36
by Toddixon
Do not waste your time, the negative feedback online is 100% accurate. The only positive postings that appear are by the IT department and always show up shortly after a realistic review. A real negative experience for $3000 (US) and you will be working 60+hours a week + 8 hours grading at home (less money than Costco). The contract says 14-16 hours of teaching...You are teaching 22 hours (including an English lounge) but you are constantly given tasks by the pathetic IT team during your office hours and lunch time. You are required to do lesson planning even though you teach directly from a book. The academic co-coordinator (always lower case when you refer to this guy) likes to regularly reinvent the wheel (ex-Thailand Teacher with no training). They use PGCE criteria when observing your class and unless you score above 70% you are given a warning. There are regular presentations to prepare for the toxic staff (under the guise of CPD requirements) that give their pathetic feedback “Monkeys assessing the Zookeepers”.

30 students in a class that get paid by the Saudi government to attend.... so very few are motivated. You are on your feet from 7.30 am to 4 pm and if you sit down in class or when proctoring the weekly tests then another little talking to by a little chubby 5ft zero. The IT guy was an entry level policeman in Australia and was fired (in Australia) for not "Meeting the physical Requirements''. He is a toxic nothing. He likes to play “Dungeons and Dragons” and dress up like “Harry Potter” at any given chance, an absolute Mollusc.

The head guy is also a pathetic invertebrate and lies to prospective candidates during interviews while constantly mentioning the swimming pool as a perk. Do not trust this Clown, he disappears every weekend to Bahrain to sleep with the (low hanging) street life. You will come in on a business visa via Bahrain and you will have no rights (Saudi law) as a worker. You will be working illegally. The business visa will have to be renewed every month if you are a Brit and every 3 months from the U. S etc... You cover the costs of the visa every month after you arrive, and you travel on your own time. You are also given class C health cover…the lowest level.

The compound is about 500 metres square of tarmac that is not legally a compound. This "compound" is "guarded" by the company bus drivers that are not armed. They are poorly paid (and not paid during C19 outbreak) immigrant Bangladeshi workers. These guys could not stop a 14 year old from NYC let alone a potential terrorist threat (always an issue in of Saudi and in this province ..see Aramco bombings 2019) .The apartments are terrible and although they have just built (by unskilled Bangladeshi's) a new block....the wiring is constantly catching fire and pipes couldn't write this stuff if you tried.

Your internet is not free and has to be installed as soon as you arrive because of the online tasks / work you are given every weekend (your coin). The internet fees are extortionate ($75 a month with a basic $400 installation fee on top, more if you want just normal speed) and is installed by a "Lifer" that has a scam going.

On this tiny “compound” you will live with over 100 other teachers...90% are the residue and spineless individuals that have accumulated there over the past 10 years . They are 100% damaged and toxic and you cannot avoid them. Every day you will travel by bus (30 foreign teachers per bus perfect target!) and the journey which should take 30 minutes is halved by the insane drivers that put your life at risk daily. A lot of the new (young) candidates are coerced into a state of fear and have no options or are too worried to leave…these are the poor people that get bullied. Those that do not put up with the bullying either leave right away or are fired for confronting one of the "spineless lifers". A female member of staff was bullied this year 2020, did a midnight run to the Philippines and committed suicide.

This will be the biggest mistake on your resume without a shadow of a doubt. I have worked in the UK, Europe and China as a qualified teacher and worked in Asia as an ESL instructor. My advice is to choose China as an ESL instructor...the salary is the same for half the hours and no “Spineless Residue” to deal with.

Female teachers should seriously avoid this place, you will be constantly hounded by "lifer" male teachers on compound (frustrated, overweight and salacious) and Saudi men off compound. These male teachers will not be fired or disciplined they will be invited into the coordinators office to joke about how sensitive western women are and the rising price of the Bahrain street life. If you are interviewed by the female side coordinator, BEWARE, she will lie about everything and absolutely avoid answering questions on workload and why so many staff leave every month. This little ‘Chubster’ does not have your back, she is married to the local Pharmacy worker that supplies cheap meds to the ailing staff.

Avoid this place at all costs, female professionals do not put yourself at risk and male professionals don't even contemplate this as a challenge or your first step into Saudi Arabia. All of the negative ‘Glassdoor’ reviews are tempered down as realistic ones do not get published. Shabaka also pay for their vacancies to be advertised on ‘Glassdoor’. More than 18 teachers cut their contracts in the first 2 months in 2019 and then 2-3 did a runner every month thereafter.

SHABAKA TRAINING is by far the worst ESL company globally in the teaching arena that I have worked for and heard of. SHABAKA pay an unskilled salary in comparison to your 6 day a week labour. $3000 U.S divided by 240-280 hours a month = $11-13 an hour....Costco pay $14.....STAY AWAY!!! THIS IS NOT ABOUT AN INABILITY TO ADJUST TO SAUDI CULTURE!!
Finally. Because you have no employment rights on your business / multiple entry visa they will do as they please at the end of your contract. Including, not paying a number of staff their last two months pay for arbitrary reasons including “low performance”, being “negative towards the (invertebrate) IT staff” and being disrespectful towards the Western (invertebrate) DOS. SERIOUSLY AVOID!!!


Posted: 10 Feb 2021, 09:00
by donnyboy50
SHABAKA TRAINING BASED IN AL HOFUF SAUDI ARABIA UPDATE. They are currently hiring Saudi Nationals (see Dave's ESL) to deal with the lack of staff. Current teachers are having to deal with an even larger workload (if that is possible) and have received a pay cut. Teachers continue to leave, even during the pandemic and there is further doubt about Shabaka being able to continue with their university contract. The Dave's ESL posting on February 1st, 2021 was a desperate attempt to cover the loss of 3 new teachers that where hired/arrived in December 2020 and walked a month later in January 2021 due to the massive workload and poor conditions. Companies like Shabaka that are run by foreign management continually lower the work conditions and treatment of overseas professionals, avoid this place at all costs.

Re: Shabaka Training has a bad reputation

Posted: 10 Feb 2021, 18:07
by Cricket

This Shabaka company slipped under the radar in China for a long time until the CTA spotted them and blacklisted them in 2019 after Shabaka refused to give release letters, proof they were not SAFEA registered and that they did not have a SAIC business license, two items that every LEGITIMATE school or training center will have in China. Their office in China has since been shut down by SAFEA and Ministry of Education. Thanks for warning everyone here at In the future, also be sure to warn TEFL teachers world-wide about similar cheaters at these links so the word gets out quicker and warns as many people as possible...



Posted: 10 Feb 2021, 20:45
by Toddixon
SHABAKA TRAINING IN AL HOFUF SAUDI is a Mickey Mouse ESL outfit. Nothing has changed since I was there and it continues to be one of those companies that lower the standards each year. Teachers leave on a monthly basis and now they have resorted to hiring non native English teachers that have little or no teaching experience. I heard that in 2020 they were investigated for drug use on their scratchy little compound. There are a few old ESL teachers there that are in their 70's and should have give up the ghost long ago. I think most of them married the worn out scrubbers from Bahrain and rest are being fleeced by their Thai street girls. The company was holding on by it's fingernails before the pandemic, 2021 will see it swept away by the new companies that are bidding for the same contract at KFU.