Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Job announcement at Aichi Prefectural university

Here's another classic. Check it out! Go here for the Japanese version.

The Faculty of Letters within Aichi Prefectural University invites applications for one non-tenure track status English teaching position, beginning April 1, 2005.
This sounds normal until you learn that jobs for Japanese teachers are not advertised like this. "Tenure" and "non-tenure" are Western, American constructs, not covered in Japanese labor law. People in Japan are either employed, or they aren't. Here is the Japanese that they use for non-tenure track: 非終身雇用 (hishushin koyou, non-lifelong employment)

Contract period: One year, beginning April 1, 2005. Subject to yearly review, the initial contract may be renewed for up to five more years (until March 31, 2011)
Again, people in Japan are employed or they aren't and in most jobs if a person works for a company for five years, the employee would be let go if he/she quit on his/her own, broke the law, retired, or if the company went under.

Up to five years...Based on what? Yearly review? I've been through those kangaroo courts. A bogus department committee is hastily thrown together with no interest given to education or university rules and regulations. They make up some criteria by which the teachers will be evaluated, and they interview the person. They come back later with a decision based on who-knows-what. A totally fraudulent, corrupt system.

And by the way, these are only for foreign teachers that get this treatment. How could it be otherwise? No Japanese teacher would be qualified for the job unless they fit requirement number 2 below, no matter how good their English is.

Qualifications:A prospective candidate for this post must:   
  1. be a native speaker of English
      
  2. not have been resident in Japan for any purpose between September 14,2002 through the September 15, 2004 application deadline for this post
      
  3. be less than 50 years old at the commencement of employment
      
  4. have a Master's degree or its equivalent in an academic field closely associated with the educational, linguistic and cultural nature of the post (e.g. English or foreign language pedagogy, applied linguistics, TESOL, etc.)
      
  5. have received formal training in TESOL at the certificate and/or degree level and possess extensive experience in teaching English as a second or foreign language to multicultural populations of university undergraduates


...not have been resident in Japan for any purpose between September 14,2002 through the September 15, 2004 application deadline for this post

2002年9月14日から2004年9月15日の期間に、目的の如何にかかわらず、日本に居住した経験のないこと
Huh? What's this about? It is about having a person with no attachments to the country. No family. No mortgage. No network of friends and relations. No idea that they could unionize and fight for their jobs when the five years are up. Just like a spy novel. Get someone with no next of kin to start asking questions when they disappear.
...be less than 50 years old at the commencement of employment
Age discrimination, too. No it is not illegal to discriminate according to age here.

Note to applicants: The Aichi Prefectural Government has mandated condition number 2 above and therefore continued funding for this post is contingent upon this requirement being met fully.
Now what does this mean? That if a teacher lands the job and then teaches for two years, that the 5-year deal goes out the window because the two-year policy kicks in?

The rest is all pretty standard fare. Do all the work, and get none of the perks of working in a real community of learning. You may notice that the teachers' responsibilities do not include departmental or university wide committees other than entrance exam creation. Any decision making that happens during the period that this teacher is at Aichi U. will happen without him/her.

My prediction is that a teacher with an other-than-Japanese-nationality will take the job and either not know what is going on or will find out somewhere down the line and try to take action. Yeah, there are people who would like this job. Unfortunately, since there is no rule of law in Japan, whether they like it or not, the teacher will still lose his/her job in five years, and even if he/she takes it to court, it will be thrown out because public organizations like prefectures can act with impunity when they do so under the heading of "Public Interest."


5 comments:

EFL Geek said...

Dan,

that's pretty shitty but also standard over here in Korea. There are a few universities that will retain native speakers for more than 5 years but not many. I have in's at two of these schools and will be trying to get in at the end of my current contract.

There are rumors that one department of the government sent notices to all universities in Korea instructing them to not keep teachers longer than five years because by Korean law they would automatically be granted tenure. while this is possible I do not believe it to be true.

Job security in Korea (and I guess in Japan) us a pipe dream for the ESL professional. who knows it may change, but I am not crossing my fingers or anything like that.

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