There was a seminar for educators featuring the Career Guide DVD held by the Mie Prefectural Government in January 2013. The chairperson of the non-profit group (NPO) Aidensha Ms. Sakamoto led the seminar speaking on children’s education.
Sakamoto explained that a large volume of research has estimated that by 2030 the population of Japan aged 14 and below will have shrunk while the proportion of over 65s will have increased. Furthermore, the number of non-Japanese residents has been decreasing year on year. While this continues, Sakamoto emphasized that it is vital that students are encouraged to be passionate about their education.
Mie Prefecture produced the Career Guide DVD in order to be of use to educators, starting with teachers in the classroom, helping them to encourage students to take an interest in their studies, and the DVD is currently being given out to schools and teachers within the prefecture. It features how non-Japanese families living in Japan are coping with their childrens studies and shows interviews with parents and children about their dreams for the future and how they overcame problems. The DVD is produced in Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Tagalog and Chinese with subtitles
It is hoped that the DVD will both provide parents and children with information and also help encourage their educational achievement.
A Brazilian student spoke about school life as a guest speaker at the seminar. She explained how, even when she was able to obtain some understanding of the Japanese language while attending school in Japan, she still found it difficult to follow lessons held in academic language and so had problems. For foreign students who are stuck in a similar pattern, it helps when teachers make sure that these students understand a point before moving the class on.
While individual effort is important, if the homeroom teacher is supportive it is possible for a student to overcome difficulties and aim for a bright future. The guest speaker asked the seminar participants not to give up on students who face similar difficulties but to support them.
Some students who are struggling give up on education and start working, but really they are not giving up on education but on their dreams.
A child’s growth is dependant on the support their school offers, especially when it is a student who can’t understand academic Japanese easily or whose parents don’t completely understand the education system. The system must take extra care of these students.