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Dispatch strikes again!
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rxk22



Joined: 19 May 2010
Posts: 1627

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree with the comments.
Amazing, basically a few govt BOE people benefit from this(not Interact as they are providing the services.) at the expense of basically everyone else involved.
Love of bureaucracy and faxes made this happen? Of is the resistance to MEXT and it's English push the cause of this?
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taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 800
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rxk22 wrote:
Agree with the comments.
Amazing, basically a few govt BOE people benefit from this (not Interact as they are providing the services.) at the expense of basically everyone else involved.
Love of bureaucracy and faxes made this happen? Of is the resistance to MEXT and it's English push the cause of this?


Interact and OWL both benefit quite a bit from this. They're getting about ¥4500 per class for doing absolutely nothing. The bottom line is that there was absolutely no need for either them or the dispatch teachers they represent: the program was apparently quite successful without them.

MEXT is not the cause either. Back on February 17, 2005, MEXT sent out a letter--I have a copy saved on my computer--to the BOEs in all prefectures asking them to lessen their reliance on dispatch companies. This letter expressly stated that BOEs should hire the best ALTs as direct hire, permanent employees. Furthermore, MEXT also changed the licensing laws to make it easier to get teaching permits for people who hadn't graduated from education programs in Japan...you know, like foreign ALTs.

The fault for this continuing situation lies with the lazy and racist BOEs who refuse to see/deal with foreigners as human beings, aided and abetted by the dispatch companies. I've posted here about other examples, including the disaster last summer when Interact bid so low for a Hokkaido contract that they couldn't find enough ALTs to take all the crappy positions they needed to fill...and had the contract pulled out from under them at the last moment as a result. Both sides blamed each other...and (bizarrely) blamed the ALTs (many of whom were blindsided by the news and stranded without jobs in Hokkaido).
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rxk22



Joined: 19 May 2010
Posts: 1627

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I meant on the customer and non dispatch side. Of course Interac and OWL benefit from this. No question about that. I was wondering about the actual benefits to the non-customers

As for MEXT, yes I remember the letter and their push, but it seems despite it being many years later, dispatch companies till hold large swathes of areas.

But yes it's lazy and disrespectful to primarily rely on dispatch. They don't hire real teachers, nor do they provide any real training. At Interac we had one actual training session, which was like 2 hours long. Everything else was "don't or do this while in Japan".

EDIT, I still, at least in my area haven't seen that many Direct Hires DHs if you will. Usually Heart or someone drops the ball, and another company elbows their way into a new area.
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taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 800
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I agree with you 100%. There has been a very limited increase in the number of direct hires. I just want to make sure the blame for this is put in the right place: the BOEs, with shouts out to the dispatchers (for greed) and MEXT (for cowardice).
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TokyoLiz



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1547
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taikibansei wrote

Quote:
Back on February 17, 2005, MEXT sent out a letter--I have a copy saved on my computer--to the BOEs in all prefectures asking them to lessen their reliance on dispatch companies. This letter expressly stated that BOEs should hire the best ALTs as direct hire, permanent employees. Furthermore, MEXT also changed the licensing laws to make it easier to get teaching permits for people who hadn't graduated from education programs in Japan...you know, like foreign ALTs.


Here is a letter sent out across Japan by MEXT in August of 2009.

http://fukuoka.generalunion.org/alt/images/alt1.pdf

It states that lesson planning, instruction and program development cannot be implemented by dispatch contracted ALTs. BoEs are urged to utilize the JET Program, direct hire, or contract directly to employ ALTs.

Tokubetsu menkyo can be issued at the request of school principals by prefectural BoEs for teachers who are not qualified in the Japanese teacher training system but otherwise satisfy requirements - BA, plus TESOL or K-12 qualifications, teaching experience, etc. I've held tokubetsu menkyo in two prefectures in the last 15 years.
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taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 800
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can find the 2005 letter at this link here:

http://www.mext.go.jp/a_menu/kokusai/gaikokugo/1304118.htm

It's the attached PDF file titled "(別紙) 労働者派遣事業の概要等."

In addition to covering the contents of the 2009 letter, it contains this phrase here:

"② 例えば、単独で授業を執り行う能力のある人物については「特別非常勤講師制度」の活用や外国人正規教員への採用等を行う等別の方法を検討する等適切な対応をとるようにしてください。"

"2. For example, with regards to those ALTs with demonstrated ability to run classes by themselves, we strongly recommend that you hire them using either tokubetsu hijoukin koushi seido (a program which provides a renewable temporary permit for people without a teaching license) or as permanent teaching faculty."

The version I have includes the cover page (the link above) as well as the letter (the PDF file attached to that link)--both apparently went out together. On the cover page is this also:

"あわせて、優れたALTについては、正規教員としての採用を図るなど外国語の指導体制の充実に努めるようお願いします。"

"Above all, we strongly encourage you to work towards improving our ability to provide quality foreign language education by hiring excellent ALTs as permanent faculty."
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rxk22



Joined: 19 May 2010
Posts: 1627

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

taikibansei wrote:
Oh, I agree with you 100%. There has been a very limited increase in the number of direct hires. I just want to make sure the blame for this is put in the right place: the BOEs, with shouts out to the dispatchers (for greed) and MEXT (for cowardice).
MEXT has been pushing this for years yet there's been almost no progress. They're toothless, or as you said cowards.

Anyways amazing where you can charge more for an equal or inferior service.
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The Transformer



Joined: 03 Mar 2017
Posts: 69

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The MEXT letter is a deception. Behind the scenes, the government works in cahoots with the dispatch agencies. They want the bulk of foreign labor to be dispensable. They don't want too many foreign workers getting settled and comfortable in Japan.

Actions speak louder than words in some flimsy letter.

Having said that, Japanese workers have to put up with the same treatment.

https://tokyogeneralunion.org/japanese-firms-have-much-to-lose-in-battles-over-bogus-outsourcing/#more-3783
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taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 800
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Transformer wrote:
The MEXT letter is a deception. Behind the scenes, the government works in cahoots with the dispatch agencies. They want the bulk of foreign labor to be dispensable. They don't want too many foreign workers getting settled and comfortable in Japan.



Really?

What about the 「外国人教員任用法」 of 1982 (allowing foreigners to be hired as permanent faculty with tenure)?

What about the「特別非常勤講師制度」of 1988 (allowing the direct hire of foreigners without Japanese teaching licenses by K-12 schools)?

What about the eighteen new programs MEXT has enacted since 2000, most directed at ‘internationalizing’ Japan’s universities? Among other things, MEXT forced through the hiring (with tenure) of an additional 1,500 foreign faculty between 2014-2016. Was this also part of their plot?

Until these laws, foreigners could not be direct-hired with tenure anywhere in Japan. Now, there are roughly 8,000 foreign faculty working in direct-hire positions either in k-12 or at one of Japan's 780+ universities. A little over half (4,500) have tenure.

All of this was made possible by MEXT--and despite heavy resistance from university administrations, BOEs, dispatchers and even Japanese faculty members.

What I called "cowardice" is perhaps best described as "changing priorities." MEXT says the right things, focuses on making the right things happen for a very short period...and then drops everything completely and moves on to something else. They are a like a well-meaning child with severe ADD.
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marley'sghost



Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 255

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

taikibansei wrote:
The Transformer wrote:
The MEXT letter is a deception. Behind the scenes, the government works in cahoots with the dispatch agencies. They want the bulk of foreign labor to be dispensable. They don't want too many foreign workers getting settled and comfortable in Japan.



Really?

What about the 「外国人教員任用法」 of 1982 (allowing foreigners to be hired as permanent faculty with tenure)?

What about the「特別非常勤講師制度」of 1988 (allowing the direct hire of foreigners without Japanese teaching licenses by K-12 schools)?

What about the eighteen new programs MEXT has enacted since 2000, most directed at ‘internationalizing’ Japan’s universities? Among other things, MEXT forced through the hiring (with tenure) of an additional 1,500 foreign faculty between 2014-2016. Was this also part of their plot?

Until these laws, foreigners could not be direct-hired with tenure anywhere in Japan. Now, there are roughly 8,000 foreign faculty working in direct-hire positions either in k-12 or at one of Japan's 780+ universities. A little over half (4,500) have tenure.

All of this was made possible by MEXT--and despite heavy resistance from university administrations, BOEs, dispatchers and even Japanese faculty members.

What I called "cowardice" is perhaps best described as "changing priorities." MEXT says the right things, focuses on making the right things happen for a very short period...and then drops everything completely and moves on to something else. They are a like a well-meaning child with severe ADD.


Thanks for that. I did not know about those laws. Interesting.
I can't swallow the letter is a "deception", I mean intentional, muhahaha, conspiracy smokescreen, deception to keep those pesky foreigners in their proper place. BOEs just don't want to deal with, and more importantly take responsibility for their ALT programs. Easier just to contract a "pro" to do it.
Remember Japan is not a nation of immigrants. Furthermore, this whole "teach English in Japan" thing has not been treated seriously as a career by either the bulk of it's practitioners or by the bulk of the clientele in the past. Go to Japan for a few years, make some bucks, have a unique experience go home, was the typical pattern for everyone excepting the occasional Lafcadio Hearn, madman. That's the expectation I think that there is for all foreign workers in all fields from service industries to medicine. The idea that some of us are staying and some of us take this education thing seriously has not occurred to society as a whole, maybe?
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taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 800
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marley'sghost, that's a good summary of my overall feelings as well--thanks.

I guess the final point I want to make is that I'm not posting about all these laws/policies to make MEXT seem the good guy. Their lack of mid-term (let alone long-term) follow-up/follow-through makes such an argument impossible. That said, over the 20 years I've assisted with labor/union issues in this country, one reoccurring theme from "the bad guys" (the BOEs, dispatch companies and the small number of Japanese colleagues who just plain don't want us) is that "MEXT is the problem." Time and again, I've been told variations of "We'd love to hire so-and-so directly/full-time with tenure...only MEXT's backward policies are tying our hands...." Rolling Eyes I'm sure many of the long-termers reading this post have heard variations of this as well.

Basically, I just wanted to make sure everyone here fully understands that that is, um, "not true." (Feel free to insert stronger language on your own.) The bottom line is that MEXT policies are specifically designed to allow for the direct hire/full-time/with tenure employment of foreigners. It's the bad guys that are choosing not to do this.

Peace.
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kzjohn



Joined: 30 Apr 2014
Posts: 277

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think posted this pic before, let's see if it's visible. (go full screen at the bottom)
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The Transformer



Joined: 03 Mar 2017
Posts: 69

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

taikibansei wrote:
Really?


Yes, really. Japan Times reported in January there are now 1.28m foreign workers in Japan, up from 1m a year previously. According to you, MEXT'S policies have resulted in 4,500 tenured foreign staff at uni. That's about 0.3% of the foreign workforce in Japan. I know that's only one profession out of many, but with that as a rough guide, I would still say that the government wants foreign workers to be largely dispensable (unless you've got any stats that prove otherwise).

That MEXT letter is deceiving in that people may get the impression that the govt is trying to do something about this when in fact, by and large, and as you've admitted, they're not (save for a few historical and recent examples which, in the big scheme of things, don't amount to an awful lot).

I worked as an ALT for a dodgy dispatch agency and didn't find the BoE to be racist. Exploitative yes, but not racist. Alright, that was only one BoE, but the word racism is bandied around so much these days as a pejorative, rather than a description of a proven phenomenon, that I'd seriously question anyone who makes that accusation to at least provide hard evidence to back it up, and actually define what they mean by racism. Don't forget, as I said above, some Japanese workers are treated even worse than some of the foreigners. A comparison of the two might help decide to what extent racism is a factor, if at all.


Last edited by The Transformer on Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 800
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kzjohn wrote:
I think posted this pic before, let's see if it's visible. (go full screen at the bottom)


Kzjohn, if that's you in that photo, it looks like congratulations are again in order. Well done! Very Happy
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taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 800
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Transformer wrote:
taikibansei wrote:
Really?


Yes, really. Japan Times reported in January there are now 1.28m foreign workers in Japan, up from 1m a year previously. According to you, MEXT'S policies have resulted in 4,500 tenured foreign staff at uni. That's about 0.3% of the foreign workforce in Japan. I know that's only one profession out of many, but with that as a rough guide, I would still say that the government wants foreign workers to be largely dispensable (unless you've got any stats that prove otherwise).


Laughing

There are currently 2.56 million foreigners living in Japan right now. The current stats are here:

http://www.moj.go.jp/housei/toukei/toukei_ichiran_touroku.html

Only about 2% of this foreign population is employed in teaching. By the way, MEXT deals only with education, and my comments have been solely about the education sector. I do believe you'll find that the stats I shared are a much more significant percentage of the population of teachers here...yes?

I'm glad, though, that you were treated nicely by that BOE. Did they offer to hire you as 正規教員? They could have, you know. Very easily. Oh well.
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