When GEOS went under, I suggested that the event to the die-off of the dinosaurs where the large schools would give way to the small, furry schools. Richard Smart has an uplifting and positive piece in The Japan Times on some thriving, smaller schools.(Pay no attention to the jaded guy he quotes throughout the article, though.)
The General Union says it has established a Gaba Branch and is accusing Gaba of lying when it stated in a financial report that there was no union and that labor relations were good. By all accounts in the article, this should be a slam dunk for the union, until you read this part:
The Japanese and U.S. governments are considering the establishment of a program that would send young Japanese teachers of English to the United States to improve their English ability, it has been learned.
CBS News is all gaga over how awesome Japanese education is given how it stresses the importance of respect and how much they accomplish with so little is spent on it.
How do they do so much with so little? By investing in top-notch teachers.
"Teachers are given a good deal of respect; they're expected to devote their life," said Catherine Lewis, distinguished research scholar at Mills College. "The whole system is set up to emphasize the development of teachers."
When I saw this story in the Japan Times for a webisode series called "English Teachers" about the antics of teaching at Be Yes! School of English, I thought it would be a live version of Charisma Man.
Given all the talk of the JET Programme on the chopping block, I've been thinking about the discussion it has generated. The consensus seems to be that the program should be saved since it's a great soft power tool and exchange program for Japan.
While some of its schools will close, a number of its teachers will go independent and take over existing contracts and keep other schools open. For the most part, it sounds it will be business as usual for its students.