Reader Mail

English reform an exercise in nothingness

Regarding the editorial “Don’t freeze English education reform” in the Nov. 9 edition, how can you freeze English educational reform if it was never or intended to be anything but its appearance from the outset?

Without sincere and properly informed intent, the whole process is meaningless.

For decades Japan has not only dragged its feet over meaningful English educational improvement, it has sabotaged the entire process by passive submission.

How many “English” teachers are there in Japan? Maybe several hundred thousand?

How well can they, or are they required to, teach English? Judging by Japan’s English proficiency ranking of 53rd out of 100 non-English speaking countries by EF Education First, the only answer to both these questions must be “not at all.”

Ultimately, the responsibility is the government’s, which has always squeezed enormous sums from taxpayers, and the taxpayers for letting them get away with it.

But where do most of those ill-gotten gains go?

The military buildup and paying for all the decades of incompetent, self-profiteering and ineffective policies that are forced on taxpayers without accountability.

So what can be done about English education?

Clearly, Japanese bureaucrats and academics are the least competent to handle the complete failure that they themselves are solely guilty of creating, despite the billions poured into greedy pockets.

A complete overhaul is the only solution.

When will Japanese voters wake up and smell the coffee?

Not until they all go to the polling stations and give the incumbent incompetents a resounding rejection instead of entrenching them with embarrassingly low voter turnout.

DAVID JOHN
DAZAIFU, FUKUOKA PREFECTURE

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.