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Thread: The Unbiased Truth About Nova

  1. #76
    Go to shopping PopCulturePooka's Avatar
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    40 NOVA teachers are unaccounted for in South East Asia following the Tsunami.
    Other NOVA teachers find out about this via a newspaper article.
    No internal messaging has been recieved, no show of comapssion from up above for people who may have lost friends and loved ones, no offering of grief councelling.

    The silence from NOVA in this matter is more than deafening. Think about it. 40 teachers. Thats a LOT of people. The other companies have one or two missing. NOVA has 40.

    Yet they show a HUGE lack of compassion in this.

    Do you want to work for a company like this?

    40 people.

  2. #77
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    Sorry, FirstHouse Pooka, but, may I ask where did you get this information that 40 teachers from NOVA are missing ??

  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by matteo72
    Sorry, FirstHouse Pooka, but, may I ask where did you get this information that 40 teachers from NOVA are missing ??

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/...20050109a2.htm

    Dozens of English teachers still missing
    40 employees of Nova chain unaccounted for in tsunami-hit region

    By KANAKO TAKAHARA
    Staff writer

    More than 40 English-language teachers working in Japan who may have been in areas hit by the Indian Ocean tsunamis on Dec. 26 were still unaccounted for as of Saturday.
    The tally by The Japan Times was based on information provided by major English-language school operators and people teaching under the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, through which foreigners work in local government organizations throughout the country.

    The whereabouts could not be confirmed of 40 non-Japanese teachers at Nova Co., the country's largest chain of private language schools, while officials at Geos Corp. and ECC Co. each said they had two teachers still unaccounted for.

    Meanwhile, an official at the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR), which oversees the JET program, said the organization was unable to contact one of its teachers as of Friday night. The official added, however, that this person was headed for Cambodia and was unlikely to have been affected by the temblor or the massive tsunamis that ensued.

    A spokesman for Nova said that of its roughly 6,300 non-Japanese employees nationwide, the whereabouts of 40 who may have been in the tsunami-hit region were still unknown.

    "But we have yet to receive information that any of our employees have died or have been injured," he added.


    After a holiday break, classes at Nova began Wednesday in eastern Japan and Thursday in western Japan.

    Meanwhile, a Geos spokeswoman said two of its non-Japanese teachers, who had said they were traveling to India, remained unaccounted for. The school was waiting to see if they will return to work Tuesday as scheduled.

    ECC said that as of Thursday it was unable to get in touch with two foreign staffers who may have been in the tsunami-ravaged region. The company said it has about 600 non-Japanese teachers working full time at its schools nationwide.

    Meanwhile, some other major language-school operators -- Aeon Corp., Berlitz, Gaba Corp. and International Education Center -- said that all of their non-Japanese employees have been accounted for.

    Trying to determine exactly how many non-Japanese residents of Japan may have been affected by the disaster has been difficult, mostly because tallies of the missing and dead are primarily based on passport information rather than place of domicile.

    Many Tokyo embassies of countries with a large number of nationals living in Japan said they do not have sufficient information on missing people. Relatives and acquaintances of those who may have been tsunami victims are being advised to contact their embassies directly in South Asia.

    The Foreign Ministry has also said it does not have information on non-Japanese who live in Japan.

    "When a person is involved in an accident or a natural disaster overseas, local authorities report the fact to the nation that issued that person's passport," a Foreign Ministry official said. "So if the person is not a Japanese national, we will not receive that information."

    The Japan Times: Jan. 9, 2005
    (C) All rights reserved
    Nova sounds oh so caring there.

    'we cannot confirm'... No messgae of condolence, that they are worried, that they hope the teachers are safe and fine.

  4. #79
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    And they ( NOVA ) did not issue any formal communication about this fact ??
    They passed this more or less under silence ??
    If this is the case they are really without a heart !!
    And I do not care if there is any teacher from NOVA taking down my name in this moment !!
    Drat !!
    I can not believe this ..

  5. #80
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    P.S.

    I'd like to add that I kind of regret the title I gave to the article (mainly the use of the word "unbiased"). I think it may tend to make people suspicious about my intent in writing the article (the opposite result I was hoping to get by choosing that title). The reason I chose that title was that I wanted to convey that I'm not advocating on Nova's behalf. It seems a lot of people were interested in information about Nova and I had some info to share. After my time at Nova, I don't feel I owe any loyalty to Nova, but I also don't harbor any negative feelings towards Nova. If the article sounds positive about Nova that's just because I'm generally a pretty positive person. My main point was that Nova might not be great, but for people with certain goals, you can USE Nova to get what you want (like I did).
    For information on the pros and cons of teaching at Nova English schools in Japan, check out

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    i don't know, nova kind of sounds like working in america before labor laws existed.

  7. #82
    Regular Member TheKansaiKid's Avatar
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    I really enjoyed Booker's article, I found myself agreeing with almost all of it. I myself spent 2 years at Nova, and while I did my share of grumbling about various aspects of "Nova life" I found the company to be generally fair. I wouldn't say Nova was compassionate, they are a large corporation trying to make money, most companies are. I knew the rules before I signed on, I carefully read the contract and understood the reasoning behind most of their policies. At contract renewal I was given what I thought was a fair raise, and was offered another raise at the end of my 2nd contract. I had better prospects elsewhere, but I enjoyed my time there. Welcome to capitalism.

  8. #83
    Wrinkle Meister bungleman's Avatar
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    Thumbs down

    I don't really see myself as a NOVA apologist, but the "40 people missing" story is an obvious example of twisting the statistical import of information to make an irresponsible statement.

    To claim that NOVA behaved in a callous manner because they did not issue a bulletin about the 40 people who may have been in the area shows an inability to process simple information.

    When people fill in Holiday requests they mention where they are going to, and Thailand is a hugely popular trip amongst NOVA employees. It is extremely rare for these employees to use mobile phones in Thailand, and somewhat unlikely that they would check-in after the disaster.

    Out of over 6,000 employers it is extremely likely that at any time of year 40 or more are taking paid leave, stating Thailand as the destination. People on vacation at the time of the disaster could have returned to japan before the Tsunami, decided to cancel the trip when news spread, or (most likely) been in a completely different area of the country.

    Had the article claimed that 40 NOVA employees had failed to come back from their planned vacation this would be news. The fact that NOVA cannot contact 40 employees on a vacation to a given destination is not.

    Many NOVA employees were in Thailand when the Tsunami struck, but I have not heard of any casualties...

  9. #84
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    I work for Telstra, the largest telco in Australia that has over 10,000 employees and operates in a number of foreign countries. Within days of the disaster we were given memos that all employees who were in the area at the time were OK, and a few reletives and friends were unaccounted for etc.

    There were various company wide charity events (nominate a certain amount of your salary, say $50, to go to the releif fund and the company will match it, they'll pay $50 as well), etc, including Telstra hosting and provinding the manpower and equipment for a televised concert to raise money where people phoned in and gave money - which raised over AU$20million in around 3 hours. Not bad!

    Its not hard to just go "we feel sorry for the people affected by the tsunami" at the very least.

  10. #85
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    ""May 16, 2005

    To All Instructors

    Regarding: Work time and the interval between lessons


    From April 2005 lesson times were adjusted so that all lessons in
    the branches and the Multimedia Center had the same start and finish
    times. With this change, all lessons in the branches are now 40
    minutes in length, and a small clarification of work hours as well
    as an adjustment to operating procedures is outlined below.

    Following this change to all 40-minute lessons, the total work time
    for a lesson period will be defined as 40 minutes of lesson time
    plus two minutes each for lesson selection and file comments before
    and after the lesson, for a total lesson period time of 44 minutes.
    A new, faster sheet for completing student files after lessons will
    be introduced from June 1st 2005.

    The remaining time in the interval between lessons, outside of the
    work time defined above, is considered free time, in addition to the
    lunch break.

    For instructors enrolled in the Japanese Employees' Health Insurance
    and Employees' Pension Insurance programs (Shakai Hoken), however,
    only the lunch break is considered free time. All of the interval
    between lessons is considered work time in this case and, as before
    these instructors may be asked to complete duties other than lesson
    selection and completing file comments during the lesson interval.

    Instructors who wish to apply for a change in Shakai Hoken and work
    time status, should submit a General Request form to the Payroll
    Administration Section by May 31st 2005. Information regarding
    Shakai Hoken can be found in the Overview of Social Insurance in
    Japan booklet available in each branch and on Education Online. Any
    specific questions about Shakai Hoken not covered by this booklet
    should be submitted on a General Request form to the Payroll
    Administration Section.

    Please contact your Assistant Area Manager if you have any questions
    regarding this clarification of work time and the lesson interval.


    Anders Lundqvist
    Director, Education Quality Control Center"
    Dear Teachers.

    If you exercise your right to Shakai Hoken then you will be given extra work and less breaks.
    If you decide to be ripped of and use JMA you will work lower hours and have less money, and may in the future be no longer regarded as full time.

  11. #86
    soon to be in Isesaki! jhough37's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FirstHousePooka
    Dear Teachers.

    If you exercise your right to Shakai Hoken then you will be given extra work and less breaks.
    If you decide to be ripped of and use JMA you will work lower hours and have less money, and may in the future be no longer regarded as full time.
    Well, while what you are saying is correct, I would wonder what else they would be asking you to do for the extra six minutes you "may" be asked to work as someone enrolled in Shakai Hoken. Is NOVA really going to give every employee not enrolled in JMA an extra half hour of work a day? Are they going to get a cleaning shedule to do while ther coworkers sit around for 6 extra minutes?

    I am curious to know how this works, this memo says lesson times changed in April, and the memo is dated May 16th, so from April-May was everyone getting extra break time? Since May 16th have all Shakai Hoken workers been asked to do extra work during JMA workers breaks? Please share.
    -John

    Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible ~Escher

  12. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhough37
    Well, while what you are saying is correct, I would wonder what else they would be asking you to do for the extra six minutes you "may" be asked to work as someone enrolled in Shakai Hoken. Is NOVA really going to give every employee not enrolled in JMA an extra half hour of work a day? Are they going to get a cleaning shedule to do while ther coworkers sit around for 6 extra minutes?
    Actually apparantly the time between the breaks is closer to 10 minutes, and the popular rumour is those who must work between it will be doing demo lessons, kids demos, CAT tests etc. Sound unreasonable?
    I was once given a kids demo to do in the 10 minute break. And then expected to be able to have a lesson planned, give feedback about the kid and bolt into the next class on time.

    I am curious to know how this works, this memo says lesson times changed in April, and the memo is dated May 16th, so from April-May was everyone getting extra break time? Since May 16th have all Shakai Hoken workers been asked to do extra work during JMA workers breaks? Please share.
    I am unsure about that part of it.

    So far though it reads like punisihing those on Shakai Hoken.

  13. #88
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    I always found the ten minute "breaks" to be inadequate. I drank a lot of water during the course of the day because my throat got dry from talking all day. Thus I had to make many trips to the bathroom - almost every break. To do that and write file comments and plan your next lesson is a lot to do in ten minutes. I always got hammered at my reviews for writting such brief file comments. And if you have to do a movement there's no chance at all of finding time to do that during a break. To call this time a "break" isn't very accurate because you spend most of that time doing work.

    This is my biggest criticism of Nova - the fact that you feel like you're rushing all day. I've heard of other schools where the teachers have plenty of down time (in some cases TOO much).

  14. #89
    soon to be in Isesaki! jhough37's Avatar
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    hehe

    Brooker, that is why you take your files with you to the bathroom, combine everything into one break. heheh

  15. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhough37
    Brooker, that is why you take your files with you to the bathroom, combine everything into one break. heheh
    Also good when theres no loo paper!

  16. #91
    Anjin Brooker's Avatar
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    That's what I always wanted to do with them. I hated filling out those comments. It's so pointless.

  17. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brooker
    That's what I always wanted to do with them. I hated filling out those comments. It's so pointless.
    Did most people even read them?
    I saw a scan once of like two full pages of comments for one student. All straight 3's or obviously randomly assigned numbers and EVERY comment was generic like 'good work' or 'did ok'.

  18. #93
    Anjin Brooker's Avatar
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    -- Good effort.

    -- Come to voice class.

    These were my standard notes. I also really liked...

    -- 3PS

    ...which just means that the student dropped the third person "s" a lot, like "He drive(S)"

    The staff would look at the file comments when they were reviewing the student's progress. But some of the staff members had pretty limited understanding of English, so they didn't really know what the comments meant anyways.

  19. #94
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    do you have to have a bachlors degree to teach with nova? I know you do with the jet program. I only have an associates degree. Can I teach in japan under any program with just that?

  20. #95
    Junior Member el_toro's Avatar
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    can you break a contract?

    Hello guys - this is my first post on these boards.

    I've discovered some excellent info so many thanks first off.

    I'm keen on getting involved in the Nova program, but want to enquire how difficult would it be for me to break my contract?

    I want to experience life and culture in Japan and working with Nova seems a great way of getting a visa, accomodation and work. Due to personal reasons, i don't wish to stay much longer than 4/5 months so would it be an issue for me to resign at this stage?

    Thanks for your help.

  21. #96
    soon to be in Isesaki! jhough37's Avatar
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    Good question El Toro, from what I understand, NOVA of course does not want you to break your contract; but you can. Be aware of some things though. I know here in the states, unless I work a certain amount of time in Japan, my income made over there becomes taxable. Are you looking at breaking your contract and returning to Scotland, or just finding different employment in Japan?

  22. #97
    Junior Member el_toro's Avatar
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    I'm hoping to go travelling - i'd like to spend some proper time in Japan but with the cost of living over there it seems a necessity to have a job to be able to afford to live in Japan.

    Ideally, I'd like to spend 4/5 months with Nova, then spend a month or so going round Japan sightseeing before heading down to Australia to meet friends.

    Obviously i will not be saying that if/when i have my interview with Nova!

    I'm just curious over how much notice would be required, if they withhold your earnings etc. If the money is liable for taxation (either in UK or Japan) then i don't mind too much.

    Alternatively if anyone else knows an alternative company i could work for in Japan that will provide equal ease of sourcing visa/accomodation then let me know!

    I know it seems a bit underhand but i'm sure a big company like Nova could handle the inconvenience of an early departure!

  23. #98
    Go to shopping PopCulturePooka's Avatar
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    Given that the average length of stay for a NOVA teacher is apprantly 8-10 months I don't see breaking contract is particularly bad.
    Technically I broke my contract after 6 months. The most I was told is that I wouldn't get a reference letter from them (not that the so called reference was all that useful anyway).

    I actually reapplied for my job back as I found a massive need to stay in Japan but thats a different story.

    Bottom line is you can break the contract quite easily, with no repurcussions.


    Unless NOVA has suddenly rediddled their rulebook.

    PS I'd stay a month or two long than you're planning. You won't really get a decent full pay packet until the third or fourth month, especially if you take the cash advance. You need to be there at least 6 months to make some decent $$$.

  24. #99
    soon to be in Isesaki! jhough37's Avatar
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    a lot of people leave NOVA early. Our esteemed Brooker did himself...

  25. #100
    Junior Member el_toro's Avatar
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    How does the pay system work with Nova? Do you get paid upfront/on the month or the month later?

    Is accomodation costs deducted from pay?

    Thanks guys

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