The “Career Guide Seminar”, a seminar on how parents can help their children choose their academic and career paths, was held on Saturday, December 1, 2012 in Yokkaichi.
The seminar was organized by the Mie Prefectural Government, and was held at the YokkaichiCity Yogo District Community Center.
During the first half of the seminar, Ms. Sakamoto, the director of the NPO Aidensha, used the “Career Guide DVD”—an educational DVD created by the Mie Prefecture Multicultural Affairs Division—to present examples of young college students and workers who have successfully achieved their academic and vocational goals.
The Career Guide DVD also contains interviews with principals from various senior high schools in Mie Prefecture. The DVD aims to impress upon students of non-Japanese descent the importance of preparing for their future careers.
There are some people who are forced to abandon their goal of attending university due to the cost of a university education. To prevent this, it is crucial that parents and guardians save for their children’s education. It is also possible to take out loans to help pay for your child’s education. These loans must be paid back after the student graduates from university.
Organizers of the seminar invited 3 guest speakers—two parents and a student—to talk about a variety of topics. The topics they covered included: the effort necessary for achieving one’s goals, challenges that they have encountered, and how they overcame those challenges.
Ms. Janet Hayashi spoke about raising her two children. In addition, she discussed the importance of encouraging children to achieve academically, and other parental responsibilities. She also stressed that learning Japanese would allow non-Japanese parents participate in parent-teacher meetings and school-sponsored information sessions, enabling them to better fulfill their roles as parents in Japan.
Mr. Eduardo Kakiuchi talked about the importance of holding onto hope for the future, and continuing to perservere in the face of hardship. He overcame various challenges by making a firm decision to help his children succeed in Japan. He tackled the issue of high education costs by discussing the matter with schools and thinking about the situation together with his children.
Ms. Hara Cassia discussed the option of attending a vocational school after high school. Vocational schools differ from traditional 4 year colleges, and aim to teach students a trade or impart field-specific knowledge in a shorter period of time.
“The second half of the seminar was devoted to answering questions from people who attended the seminar. The speakers answered questions based on their own individual experiences, but one common theme among all of their responses was the importance of parents taking an active role in their child’s education through guidance and motivation. Strong familial support helps combat feelings of isolation in children, and, as a result, children feel empowered to pursue their goals alongside their family.”