Sapix, Daiichi Seminar and Trygroup tutors despatched to help Osaka schools

OSAKA–The Osaka Prefectural Board of Education will dispatch cram school tutors and other instructors to public primary and middle schools in the prefecture for after-school lessons in cooperation with three private firms, including cram school operators, it has been learned.

In response to Gov. Toru Hashimoto’s stated aim to improve the basic academic achievement of local students, the prefectural board of education will begin dispatching the tutors to several schools from mid-January, and it plans to increase the number of those schools in the future.

According to the Education, Science and Technology Ministry, boards of education or schools in some municipalities have concluded tie-ups with cram schools. However, it is extremely unusual for a prefectural board of education to cooperate with cram schools.

The three firms are two cram chain operators–Sapix in Tokyo and Daiichi Seminar in Osaka–and an Osaka-based private tutor provider, Trygroup Inc.

For after-school lessons that began in September in the prefecture, former teachers or university students are dispatched to schools, where they provide academic support to students for two hours twice a week free of charge.

Additionally, two tutors will be dispatched to a classroom and provide individual tutoring to students according to their level.

Tutors will be paid 1,500 yen for two hours, equivalent to the fee given to former teachers and university students in the existing program. If their normal hourly tutoring wages exceed the 1,500 yen, the firms will make up the difference.

Makoto Kamata, assistant manager of Daiichi Seminar’s planning and information department, said the firm would contribute to society through the nonprofit project.

The prefectural board of education hopes to help students improve academically in cooperation with the private firms in addition to the support from former teachers and university students.

(Jan. 8, 2009) Daily Yomiuri

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