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November 16, 2004

We Can Get Teachers Cheaper!

The asahi.com site yesterday reported on a development in Hokkaido that will see more eikaiwa schools providing ALTs to schools in the area. The impetus behind the move is local municipalities' lack of budget to cover the cost of bringing in teachers on the JET Program, which incurs costs by going through the central government. Tatsuya Sekitou, who runs a conversation school in Takikawa city, heard in spring of last year from a colleague at the municipal office that they were faced with having to stop hiring ALTs due to budget restraints. Sekitou teamed up with 10 other schools in 7 cities throughout Hokkaido to form a limited company this summer.

The cost of hiring a JET comes to about ¥6 million a year, including airfare, salary, accommodation and insurance. the new company has secured cheaper air tickets and can provide an ALT for about ¥4.5-4.8 million a year. Some 123 municipalities in Hokkaido make use of the JET Program, and so far 10 or so have expressed an interest in the new service. The number of JETs is already slightly on the decline, after peaking in 2002.
Story in Japanese

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