When I was living in Japan, it was virtually impossible to avoid Nova advertising; they were all over the subway, in my newspaper and on TV. For the last few months, the company, the largest of the eikaiwa schools in Japan, has been in free-fall, ever since they got into trouble over their refund policies. The company now seems to be in its death throes.
Teachers working there have had plenty of notice to get out and should have done so, but the implications of such a large company going down the tube are still alarming. Large numbers of teachers may well end up unemployed, and possibly short of money if salaries are unpaid. Larger numbers of students will have lost their paces. There are clearly opportunities for those schools that can pick up these students, but the damage to the industry may well be very serious, combined with the knock-on effect of driving down salaries, which is likely to reduce the quality of teachers available. If salaries fall considerably as a result, then good teachers will start to give Japan a wider berth. From a distance of a few thousand miles, things look ugly for ESL in Japan at the moment.
Categories: Asian Blog