David John raises crucial points in his July 13 letter “Teachers and students lose while companies rake in profit.”
The outsourcing of teaching jobs is a scourge on education. Known as the “washback effect” among educators trained in the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Language (TESOL), teaching methodologies in Japan are more often than not influenced by elements from previous entrance examinations — the goal being to prepare students for what may appear on future exams. The government should indeed invest directly in better teachers and pedagogy.
As alluded to in the article to which John’s letter refers, the crux of the matter rests in the belief that utilizing dispatch companies will reduce the range of burdensome issues between non-Japanese teachers and those administrators in local government offices.
While in my fourth one-year contract of a limited five years’ employment, I attempted to negotiate for a more permanent position with the prefecture in which I had attained permanent residency and for which I had served students from preschool through high school for most of the nearly 15 years I had lived in Japan at the time.
In early January, a teacher warned me of rumors and encouraged me to tread lightly. Only after failing to receive the routine inquiry as to whether I would like to renew my contract with the prefecture did I next contact my employer in February. I was told this was not a procedure for fourth- and fifth-year candidates — an outright lie told to others who were not getting their contracts renewed, I would learn later.
When I finally was able to corner a teacher consultant from the education office following a March meeting, I was told the education office was trying to get rid of veterans such as myself.
Internationalization has failed.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.