Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Teaching License Renewal: More fun for the bureaucrats

It appears that the Center Council for Education is considering instituting a licensing program for teachers. The council will submit a report to the Education Ministry, suggesting the licensing system.(This article is in Japanese. This one is a little older, but in English.)

Now teachers are certified after completing a tertiary degree and passing an exam. Their certification does not expire during their tenure, but under the plan outlined in the report, their licenses would expire every ten years, and they would have to renew them in order to remain certified. This system is just another haphazard scheme, organized by bureacrats to appear to be working in the interests of the country.

They could have chosen any group of professionals, doctors, lawyers, architects, but instead they have chosen teachers. The reason is obvious. They are the poorest with the weakest link to power politics.

My prediction is that instead of improving public confidence in the system, they will undermine it because of shabily defined goals like, " Teachers would be able to renew their licenses if they receive good evaluations."

There are plenty of continuing education programs around the world for professionals of all sorts, but instead of researching those options and instituting a developmental approach to teacher development, plans are afoot to impose another top-down, bureacracy-laden inquisition. Typical.


Anonymous said...

Hi. Thanks for the interesting blogsite. As a long-time teacher here in Japan I enjoy reading your posts.

I have a question more than a comment. I recently had an interview with a fairly prestigious private high school about coming on board as a full-time teacherand they were insistent that I look into getting licensed in japan as a high school English teacher. They told me there is a push to have foreign teachers of English go through a japanese education ministry approved training program (here in Japan and in Japanese) to get a teaching license that will be recognized by the japanese government. This doesn't make sense to me with the JET program, Interac-type companies etc. I haven't heard anything about this and haven't been able to find any information as yet. Do you know if such a program exists? If so, who offers the program? I was told Waseda University in Tokyo may have this type of program but I haven't found anything on their website as yet...

Daniel said...

The only licensing that I know of in Japan is for Japanese nationals. I'm not sure what the people you spoke to were on about, but the only licenced teachers that I know of are those who take the national exam and who are certified by the Education Ministry, and those teachers are required to be Japanese citizens, because they would then be public servants. The national government allows prefectures to hire non-Japanese public servants, but most choose not to, opting instead to hire them on inferior contracts.

The education ministry does approve people, Japanese and non, for universities when new school is starting up or when a new department is added to an existing school. I just went through the vetting process for a position at the nursing school that will open up here soon, but I am not aware of any other accredidation that the ministry has for teachers.

I also googled some of the terms you sent and found nothing.

CEJ said...

Foreign nationals can get licensed. This really depends on what the particular board of education requires. I know of a foreign national in Hamamatsu who was advised to take so many classes at a local university in order to attain the required licensing.

It would be nice if Japan actually had a national licensing procedure. Instead, it has an ineffective national education system co-opted by the locals.

As for the recent push for license renewal. It is just a naked ploy to give the floundering education colleges and faculties something new to do to justify their existence.