We have a simple rule – one free 试听课 (trial class) for everyone then if they want to stay they can pay. This has been strictly adhered to for all students by all of us except by T. T has a friend whose not only so far avoided paying his children’s fees but doesn’t even bring his children to the school or pick them up! T has so far since we first opened been picking these two children up and taking them home. Seeing as T can fetch 100RMB for an hour of teaching we’ve started counting this 20 minutes absconding from work to take children home after class as a double loss – they’re getting free classes AND free lifts home – a service we don’t offer to ANYONE else.
H and I have been quite concerned about this for quite some time and eventually had to come down quite hard on T telling him that if the children’s fees weren’t received by the start of the second week we’d not allow them into class. T’s compromise was to pay the two children’s fees himself! Further to this one of the girls friends sat in on three of our classes before her mother declared she didn’t want her child to study at our school! So that’s a further loss!
The free lifts have proven to be quite a problem and today it came to a head when packed between a busy teaching schedule H rushed the two girls – not home – but to a supermarket because they decided they wanted to go shopping! Call me old fashioned but in this circumstance I’m quite Victorian and would not be listening to the whims of 11 year old girls. Pushed for time T left the girls at a bus stop because they said they could make their own way home…
Now the first H or I heard of this was at lunch over an hour later when T received an irate call from the girls mother demanding to know “我的女儿怎么还没回家？” (Why’s my girl not home yet?) and T then tells us “Well I left them at the bus stop…”
Luckily the girls got home without any trouble but the issue could have been much much bigger. Two missing school girls would be tragic for their families and would sound the death knell for our fledgling school. With a sufficient amount of pressure T has agreed to stop taking them home as this is not a responsibility we should be taking and the potential dangers (whose responsible if they’re injured or lost on his watch?) are too great! We’re a school, but our business is being a school – children’s safety is far far too important. We simply can’t run risks like that anymore.