Two years after the demise of Nova, by far the biggest chain of Eikaiwa (English conversation) schools in Japan, rumours are that one of the remaining big three, Geos, is also showing signs of strain with late payment of wages, pressure on students to pay further and further ahead and massive branch closures planned- all a virtual repeat of the collapse of Nova. Of course, the reason why the gossip on this one is remarkably similar to the last one could just as well simply be lack of imagination in the rumour mongerers, as online reports of pretty much the same at Shane six months ago seem to have been entirely made up by a disgruntled teacher trying to cause the TEFL equivalent of a rush on the bank (rush on the whiteboard?? Sounds more like a new TEFL game…)
More details (meaning idle speculation) at the home of Eikaiwa bile, Let’s Japan. If my generally much more discerning and informed commenters have any actual facts on the matter, would love to hear it by comment here or email via the Contact Me button (top right on this page).
PS, if you are wondering why I even care what happens to the much maligned world of Eikaiwa, it is that in the increasingly flooded market place that is a Japan that is very liveable how ever little they pay you, I might one day find myself back in it just for the sake of free schooling for my kid. Had the usual conversation of ex-Japan teachers about it recently:
A “Surely there must be someway of staying out of Eikaiwa”
B “You would think. But you need connections to get in at the universities and if you’re freelance you spend as much time chasing business as teaching them”
A “Good points. I guess you have no choice then”
B “But, surely there must be some way of staying out of Eikaiwa”