Fukui Prefecture, Regarding 30 Expected ALTs in September
On September 23rd, regarding Assistant Language Teachers (ALT) who are stationed across junior and senior high schools across Fukui Prefecture, Superintendent of Education Kinichi Toyokita disclosed, in a prefectural assembly for the general education standing committee, that 30 new ALTs expected to arrive in September were unable to come to Japan due to the effects of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
According to the Fukui Prefectural Board of Education (BoE), there were 106 ALTs across 74 public municipal junior high schools and 26 prefectural schools, within the prefecture. From August, ALTs work on a yearly contract, which can be extend to up to 5 years. This year, in relation to the anticipated Tokyo Olympic Games, the ALT contract start period was changed to the end of August.
Due to the restrictions on emigration and immigration, in response to the continuous spread of COVID-19 across the world, the 30 new ALTs expected to arrive this year were unable to come to Japan. During the end of July, the Prefectural BoE sent a notification to every school expressing “We are currently in a difficult state of affairs”, requesting to take on a flexible stance.
In a normal year, 1st and 2nd year junior high school students receive 1.5 hours of class time with an ALT per week, while 3rd year students receive 1 hour per week. Among the 76 ALTs whose contracts were renewed under the Prefectural BoE, schools have been managing with various measures, including having ALTs visit additional schools.
Superintendent Toyokita emphasized, “We will strive to secure education opportunities through measures including the use of those registered within the English Resource Bank (a registry of prefectural residents who are proficient in English).”