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Part2 Educational Reform Q&A
Q2O: In order to secure employment for the unemployed,I hear that people are being taken on as English and computer teachers.How far has this progressed?

A:Depending on the decision of local govern-ments,people who are highly skilled in usingcomputers and those with an excellent com-mand of a foreign language,having had ex-perience overseas,can be employed as atemporary teacher in public schools.

Amidst the severe economic circumstances,the number of involuntarily unemployed who have fallen victim to restructuring and are looking for work is rising,and securing employment for such people has become an important social issue.In view of this situation,the Government produced its Emergency Employment Package in June1999.In this Package,each local gov-ernment has implemented emergency activities to increase employment and job-seeking oppor-tunities in accordance with regional circum-stances,and the central government has funded necessary expenses to this end in the Special Fund for Emergency Regional Employment.In these Emergency Employment Package,specific measures implemented in the education sector are as follows.Local governments have been allowed discretion in their implementation.

Activities to improve Internet and computer education through taking on people who are highly proficient in computing as part-time teachers in elementary,lower secondary and upper secondary schools
Activities to improve foreign language educa-tion through taking on people with experience of working abroad and proficiency in a for-eign language as part-time teachers in ele-mentary,lower secondary and upper secon-dary schools
Activities to take on middle aged and elderly people who have a rich social experience in resolving issues of student guidance which face elementary and lower secondary school as counselors to pupils and students

There may be unease from some quarters that people who have been restructured out of their companies should not be able to teach children.However,such measures are undertaken not merely to boost employment.It is also the best chance to change schools.To date it has been said that schools tend to be rather closed to soci-ety,but with the current rneasures,if many peo-ple who have had a variety of experiences in society were to enter schools in an active role,this would encourage not only the par-ents/guardians of children,but also people in the local community to further promote"open schools."Is it not prejudicial to assume that a person who has lost their job to restructuring is not use-ful?This is based on the biased idea that those who have entered a good university,followed by a good company and have risen to a high posi-tion are somehow more respectable.There are many talented people at the director level in companies,but even those who no longer have jobs are still respectable people,with a wealth of accumulated experience.For these people to teach children about their experiences would also serve as an invaluable learning experience for the children themselves.

Trends in the Total Unemployment Rate(Seasonally-adjusted Rate)

Trends in the Total Unemployment Rate by Reasons for Job Hunting(Year-on-year comparison)

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