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NOVA in the News

Mandylion

Omnipotence personified
Contributor
15 Mar 2003
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From the Japan Times

Nova, let teachers date students: bar
OSAKA (Kyodo) The Osaka Bar Association has called on the Osaka-based Nova Co. chain of foreign-language schools to lift its ban on foreign teachers dating students and to nullify past dismissals of teachers for breaking the rule.
Nova's management, however, said it "does not plan to remove the ban, as it has been set in order to protect both the teachers and students from trouble, as they do not know each other's cultures and customs."

According to the bar association's letter, issued Tuesday, Nova applies the ban only to its non-Japanese teachers. Teachers who violate the ban are fired.

The Japan Times: Feb. 26, 2004
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I just caught the end of the news report on the TV last night, and did a little searching this morning. There is more to the story. Mind you this is hearsay from someone who saw the report. I might be getting bits wrong - A NOVA employee (foreign) started dating a Japanese lady. She told NOVA, or somehow NOVA found out, and fired him. He sued NOVA, NOVA sued him, he also sued her and she counter filed to round it all off!

I wonder if NOVA would have a stronger case if it extended the ban to all employees and got rid of this silly "not understanding cultures" nonsense. I think they should lift the ban, but I undenstand why NOVA feels it needs one (this ban has been in place for a long time).

Good gossipy stuff!
 
I might have it wrong about the exact legal process. I thought it was kind of odd too, since Japan doesn't do the whole punative damages thing, there is not any money to be made here. Sounds like the guy is sueing for his job/compensation and sueing the woman because of potential lost wages. That is all he could recoup really.

This will be in the courts for years. Hope all parties have deep pockets...
 
Frank D. White said:
the only country where everyone sues everyone over anything!

Actually, this is a rare enough case to make the news in Japan. Then as a huge proportion of English-speakers in Japan teach English (especially with schools like Nova), that is likely to interest Japan Times readers.
 
Thing is NOVA teachers have as close to a union as you can come in Japan. They actually seem to be getting things done. I would join if I had to work for NOVA. You can check out their website at www.novaunion.com

They have what looks to be something about this situation under "the latest news" section.
 
NOVA = NO VAcation, or possibly NO VAlue. I'm not sure which.

Their whole non-socialization policy is just bizarre. Every other big Eikaiwa chain (and most of the small ones too) not only allows but encourages their teachers to socialize (as distinct from 'date') with students. They don't have problems with teachers and students 'not understanding each others cultures'; at least none serious enough to offset the many benefits of allowing student/teacher interaction outside of the class.

The argument NOVA makes in defending the policy is just plain idiotic. "Not understanding each others cultures"???? NOVA advertises itself as a frigging cultural exchange centre for crying out loud, so isn't the whole point of going to NOVA for students to overcome those cultural differences? How are they going to do that if they aren't allowed to even say hello to teachers outside the little glass cubicles?
 
senseiman said:
NOVA = NO VAcation, or possibly NO VAlue. I'm not sure which.

Their whole non-socialization policy is just bizarre. Every other big Eikaiwa chain (and most of the small ones too) not only allows but encourages their teachers to socialize (as distinct from 'date') with students. They don't have problems with teachers and students 'not understanding each others cultures'; at least none serious enough to offset the many benefits of allowing student/teacher interaction outside of the class.

The argument NOVA makes in defending the policy is just plain idiotic. "Not understanding each others cultures"???? NOVA advertises itself as a frigging cultural exchange centre for crying out loud, so isn't the whole point of going to NOVA for students to overcome those cultural differences? How are they going to do that if they aren't allowed to even say hello to teachers outside the little glass cubicles?

Can you say...hypocriticism? 😲
 
I thought it was pretty stupid. So like I'm riding a train and I meet an interesting person. I have to ask them "Are you a nova student because if you are we can't be friends."

I went to the fee community classes to learn japanese, and guess what? my teacher was one of my nova students. What am I supposed to do, Not learn Japanese? It is a stupid policy. I don't want to date anybody, I just don't want to fear for my job because I try to be sociable in my host country. Now I understand why so many teacher only hang out together in bars and never learn the language. fear. Well my students knew about the policy and the funniest thing is They all got together and threw me a party at an izakaya, one of my evil coworker was jealous and tried to make me "nervous' saying " I know about your party" but I din't care cause I was leaving anyway. Once a student would not leave me alone after work, saying he wanted to talk. I just wanted to eat so I went to McDonalds. He tagged along. So we sat together and he wanted to know about American Politics. After I ate I left. I found out soon after that he was bragging about having a date with me ( :) ha ha I guess he was desparate) but the Japanese in my office were so worried and upset about it. I understood the culture well enough. and I think the policy fosters misunderstanding between Japanese and Foreigners and keeps the Foreigners under the Thumb of Nova. Because if you can communicate you might find a better job and leave. or you might find out they are overcharging you for your rent , I found out from my japanese neighbors over a cup of ocha. They wanted to know about me as much as I about them. Luckily they weren't nova students but they wanted to become students. I told them that if they became nova students we would not be able to visit anymore. they were appalled. Some became students anyway but kept their gaijin visits secret or spoke in riddles. Sometimes you could guess what gaijin they were friends with and it was funny being in on the secret
 
NO VA

"no go" in Spanish.

That was the reason why the Chevy Nova never sold well in Puerto Rico. :D
 
metqa said:
I thought it was pretty stupid. So like I'm riding a train and I meet an interesting person. I have to ask them "Are you a nova student because if you are we can't be friends."

I went to the fee community classes to learn japanese, and guess what? my teacher was one of my nova students. What am I supposed to do, Not learn Japanese? It is a stupid policy.

I know someone I worked with who was in the same situation. He called his Assistant Area Manager about it. The AAM said that the policy was about protecting the teachers and students from stalkers and other psychos. Many teachers tend to misinterpret the policy.

I've heard about stories from Osaka transfer teachers where the teachers in one of the schools would meet the students at the love hotel behind the branch after class was over. That guy should have worked as a Host. I also heard about several female teachers being stalked by students to their apartments. From these, it seems that Nova didn't want to bother with highly detailed guidelines opting for the simple "no socialization" card. I really think that the Powers-that-be in Nova should be more transparent about the policy. I've been working for them for 3 years and I haven't bothered asking about details regarding the policy. I guess I don't want them to think that I'm dating one of the students. That's a good point.

Why should I live in fear? :?

That's it I'm convinced. I will ask my supervisors about this. I wanna know!!
 
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