Posted by debito on December 9th, 2008
Hi Blog. Spent the afternoon asleep, feeling a bit better, thanks. Not used to being sick (only have gege illnesses once every few years or so), so it was a bit of a shock. Anyway, let me get to the article I meant to blog today:
I mentioned yesterday about how the NJ workers are the first to go in any wave of job cuts (no wonder — very few NJ ever get promotion beyond “temp”-style contract labor, despite working for years at full-time jobs). Now here’s an article in the Mainichi about how that’s having a negative impact on the NJ community, particularly the education of their children. Ethnic schools are starting to close as tuition dries up. What next for the NJ communities, always contributing yet kept as a mere appendage to the “real members” of this society? Courtesy of Silvio M.
Arudou Debito convalescing.
Japan’s economic woes force Brazilian school to drop out
Mainichi Daily News, December 5, 2008
HAMAMATSU, Shizuoka — A Brazilian school in Hamamatsu, a city with a large population of foreign laborers, will be closing its doors at the end of this month. Escola Prof Benedito fell into financial crisis as the sharp decline in the economy forced many of its students’ parents out of factory jobs, leaving them unable to pay tuition.
As of Thursday, Escola Prof Benedito had 30 students between the ages of four and 15. Like most Brazilian schools in Japan, it is unaccredited and receives no public funding from local and national governments, operating on a monthly tuition of approximately 26,000 yen that it collects from each student.
Unpaid tuition began to increase in September when a growing number of parents started experiencing layoffs, and by October, the school had fallen into a serious financial rut. At the end of that month, the school found that 15 of its students — or half the student population — were planning to move back to Brazil or transfer to a less costly public school next year.
Principal Benedito Vilela Garcia, 55, says about his decision to close the school, “I’ve determined that the situation will be worse next year. Closing the school at the end of December, the same time the Brazilian school year ends, will cause the least trouble for students under the circumstances.”
Garcia started the school in his apartment in Hamamatsu in 1996. At its peak in 2002, the school had around 180 students. In 2006, the school purchased and relocated to the five-story building it currently occupies.
“It makes me sad when the children ask me why we’re closing.” The principal himself is planning to sell the building and return to Brazil with his family next January.