With the possibility of the coronavirus outbreak growing worse and the difficulty many workers face, foreign teachers such as myself also have concerns.
While participants in the JET Programme are given paid leave, there are a number of dispatch teachers and adjunct instructors in colleges and universities who are only paid if they have classes. When classes are canceled or not in session, we do not receive paychecks. While some of employers have shifted to online lessons, many do not have such plans.
Japan’s educational institutions should consider the implementation of online lessons as many schools in other countries have done or providing instructors with bonus pay during this time.
Failing that, the Japanese government should consider some form of stimulus or universal basic income payment not only to Japanese citizens but to foreign residents as well.
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.