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Thread: Did AJET ever get fixed?

  1. #1

    Default Did AJET ever get fixed?

    I finished JET last year and seem to remember a mini-revolution against AJET here on the ITIL when it was announced that CLAIR was essentially cutting AJET out. There were a lot of complaints about AJET and then I think I remember the head of AJET posting about promised changes, etc. Did those ever come about? When I was on JET it seemed like the national AJET people were just interesting in resume building (even though I don't think AJET really builds a resume that well).

  2. #2

    Default Re: Did AJET ever get fixed?

    No difference that I've seen.

    To be fair, I'm not sure what they could really do differently. They can't be a proper union with the turnover rate what it is. Maybe they shouldn't exist at all.
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  3. #3
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did AJET ever get fixed?

    Wasn't just here that shit was going down, but yeah... no.

    Nothing significant changed. AJET (worth noting: this is National AJET we're talking about) has been severely diminished in effectiveness and importance, which is pretty much what a lot of people (especially me) wanted to happen. This will no doubt result in both positive and negative effects, but I consider it a necessary and inevitable result.

    AJET is still not a legitimate or legally-defined organization. Any money donated to them can be funneled directly into the pet projects or even pockets of its high-ranking members without consequence. Their finances are still completely hidden from public view. There is no oversight of the "organization," such as it is. They apparently still enjoy corporate sponsorship in some form, as they regularly hawk commercial products and services. National AJET absolutely does not legally represent JETs in any legitimate form or fashion; their claim that "all current JET participants are members of [National] AJET" is--for all realistic intents and purposes--completely false and quite impossible as the "organization" is not legally capable of verifying whether or not an individual is a current JET participant.

    Thankfully, CLAIR seems to have woken up to the dubious, shady, and quite possibly criminal nature of National AJET and has effectively severed all ties with the "organization." National AJET still attempts to claim connections of various sorts to CLAIR and the JET Program, but these ties are figments of the high-ranking members' imaginations. National AJET is a meaningless and legally non-existent group of self-promoting buffoons.
    Last edited by word; January 28th, 2015 at 15:56.
    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

  4. #4
    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did AJET ever get fixed?

    Well, there isn't much to add to that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Teach them something new?? Are you mad? All you do in Japan is rehash the same stuff over and over for 15 years. Hello song, what do you like sports? and fruit basket. The holy trinity of English education.

  5. #5
    Banned
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    Default Re: Did AJET ever get fixed?

    Don't let that stop you

  6. #6

    Default Re: Did AJET ever get fixed?

    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    Thankfully, CLAIR seems to have woken up to the dubious, shady, and quite possibly criminal nature of National AJET and has effectively severed all ties with the "organization." National AJET still attempts to claim connections of various sorts to CLAIR and the JET Program, but these ties are figments of the high-ranking members' imaginations. National AJET is a meaningless and legally non-existent group of self-promoting buffoons.
    I'm curious-- what is the drama with AJET about? In every context I see it mentioned, there is nothing but derision. Aside from behaving like a non-profit, what did they do?

    The official JET website still references AJET as well and makes it sound like a good thing: The JET Programme--Official Homepage of The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme
    I've been here, I've been there, I've been every f...where

  7. #7
    The Sun's Bird God..what? Zolrak 22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did AJET ever get fixed?

    Look at Word's post for a clue....?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Did AJET ever get fixed?

    All I'm seeing is that their marketing is a bit misleading and they have questionable financial practices. I'm not seeing the difference between AJET and any other given NPO. Did they pocket disaster relief money or something? Extort money from new JETs who don't know better?

    Not trying to be snarky, I genuinely do not understand what they did to deserve the hate.
    I've been here, I've been there, I've been every f...where

  9. #9
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did AJET ever get fixed?

    Quote Originally Posted by starfish View Post
    The official JET website still references AJET as well and makes it sound like a good thing: The JET Programme--Official Homepage of The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme
    Hmm, that probably ought to be updated.

    Quote Originally Posted by starfish View Post
    All I'm seeing is that their marketing is a bit misleading and they have questionable financial practices. I'm not seeing the difference between AJET and any other given NPO.
    Most other NPOs, among other things, are legally-defined organizations, have a charter and democratically elect officials, and have a legal means by which to quantify membership.

    Quote Originally Posted by starfish View Post
    Did they pocket disaster relief money or something?
    Probably.

    Quote Originally Posted by starfish View Post
    Extort money from new JETs who don't know better?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by starfish View Post
    Not trying to be snarky, I genuinely do not understand what they did to deserve the hate.
    Most people don't, which is why they're still around.

    They are a group of randoms who claim to be an official organization, even though they are not legally organized in any way. They claim to represent all JETs, when in fact fewer than 20% (I think it's now more like 10-15%) respond to their surveys (and there is no way for them to know whether or not the responses actually come from JETs or are legitimate--anyone can take the survey (worse, anyone can take the survey and claim the identity of other JETs--we have know way of knowing if ANY of the survey responses were actually made by JETs)). They claim to influence CLAIR--they do not, and if they did, it would be extremely inappropriate and probably illegal. They make money from preferential treatment by CLAIR, exploiting an inappropriate business relationship that should not exist to deprive clueless new JETs of money upon their arrival in Japan. They maintain membership through a nepotistic system that is about as "democratic" as China's planned elections for Hong Kong. They claim the ability to charge membership fees or request personal information about their members--which now, apparently, include all JETs.

    Hate is a strong word, but I stand by it. They absolutely deserve it.
    Last edited by word; January 29th, 2015 at 09:41.
    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Did AJET ever get fixed?

    Quote Originally Posted by starfish View Post
    All I'm seeing is that their marketing is a bit misleading and they have questionable financial practices. I'm not seeing the difference between AJET and any other given NPO. Did they pocket disaster relief money or something? Extort money from new JETs who don't know better?

    Not trying to be snarky, I genuinely do not understand what they did to deserve the hate.
    They've cast themselves as the saviors of ALTs everywhere, from getting smoking in staff-rooms banned to getting CLAIR to clarify issues about the national labor regulations, and they're constantly raising money for something or other. Or try to guilt ALTs into volunteering for (essentially) full-time positions during holidays. And they put out a shit magazine occasionally too. The biggest impact AJET had was organizing the 'business fair' thing at TO up until last year - companies would sent representatives to give out stuff and information at Tokyo Orientation, after which various local AJET chapters would sell crap like Foxy Fonics or T-shirts to fresh off the plane ALTs.

    Local (prefectural) AJET chapters are much more... low key. Generally. Usually there are a few that do things that are pretty cool (like Hokkaido AJET organizes hotel space for JETs that want to go to the Yuki Matsuri in Feb. Fukushima AJET organizes a camping outing at Mt. Bandai etc.) And then they organize various parties - Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, 4th of July. Generally they're OK. Some have money they give out through grant programs (I think Miyagi's AJET chapter has a grant from the ALT that died on 3/11.) But they are completely opaque - there is no accountability outside of the 3-4 people who run each AJET chapter (and its the same for National AJET too.) And there are horror stories of retiring chapter presidents or treasurers emptying the chapter's bank account or not giving that information to the next year's officers etc.

    Mostly, AJET is an organization for pretty pretentious posturing and painfully pointless resume padding. With a side helping of extra drama, bureaucracy, and incompetence. And maybe a dash of fraud. Think middle-school or high-school levels of student government - with the knock on effect that 'we represent everybody' actually meaning 'we act in our own interests, but damage every JET's reputation.' The most that most of AJET does is post slacktivist stuff on Facebook.

    JETAA is kinda similar. They get money from consulates (or used to) to put on info fairs. Usually by the same sort of people who were active in AJET too. But at least there they have some kind of obligation to actually be... helpful​.

  11. #11
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did AJET ever get fixed?

    Quote Originally Posted by webstaa View Post
    AJET is an organization for pretty pretentious posturing and painfully pointless resume padding.
    So people like apollo87 then?
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  12. #12
    The Sun's Bird God..what? Zolrak 22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did AJET ever get fixed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    So people like apollo87 then?
    Oh come on, don't say that.

    You know he's just trying to be helpful.

    It's why he didn't even mention having a website till everyone in the Threads begged him for more info.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Did AJET ever get fixed?

    Cool, thanks for the clarification. It really is shocking "organizations" like that exist.

    I was mainly curious because I know foreigners in any country are most likely to be preyed upon by their own kind. Guess that holds true in Japan as well.
    I've been here, I've been there, I've been every f...where

  14. #14
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did AJET ever get fixed?

    ALL THE LOLS!

    So I was reading about AJET blocks for shits and giggles (some pompous crap came through my facebook feed) and I found this gem in group 2 https://www.facebook.com/groups/ajetblock2

    ★★★URGENT AJET ELECTION NEWS★★★
    ★BLOCK 2 NEEDS AT LEAST ONE MORE BLOCK REPRESENTATIVE APPLICANT!★
    ELECTIONS: POSTPONED FOR A WEEK! PLATFORMS STILL BEING ACCEPTED UNTIL SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 21ST, 11:59PM!
    WANTED: Applicants for EVERY elected role!
    CHECK OUT: http://ajet.net/national-council/ajet-elections/ for rules to apply!
    16 people managed to get their applications in on time. But we were left with a difficult decision to make when it transpired that only 7 of the 11 blocks had a candidate running in the election. Furthermore, there is only ONE candidate for Block 1, Block 2, Block 6, Chair, and NONE for CIR Representative, or Treasurer. These numbers hardly make for a challenging and democratic election contest.
    We have been discussing how to move forward with this situation. Nothing like this has been done before. We want to respect the 16 candidates who have already submitted platforms on time, but we also want to give the next AJET National Council a chance to have a full, elected team.


    So in 4 blocks, people didn't give enough of a shit to even start, and in 3 of the remaining 7 blocks only 1 person gave enough of a shit to apply.

    My favourite comedy is the bolded part, that somehow in the past it was more democratic? More challenging? More people gave a shit?

    And the piece de resistance is that only one person wanted to run the whole show. LOL.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  15. #15
    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did AJET ever get fixed?

    Gizmo. Do it! Run with the promise to bring it crashing down. Or lie. Say you'll work hard as the AJET head, and bring it down from the inside once you win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Teach them something new?? Are you mad? All you do in Japan is rehash the same stuff over and over for 15 years. Hello song, what do you like sports? and fruit basket. The holy trinity of English education.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Did AJET ever get fixed?

    Run, get elected, write an article or two in their shitty newsletter about how cool a hipster you are... then take their money and run.

  17. #17
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did AJET ever get fixed?

    Okay, more fun.


    http://ajet.net/downloads/reports/20...ourism_ENG.pdf

    Quote Originally Posted by page 24
    Interestingly, there is a strong negative correlation between the number of years as a JET and the willingness tovolunteer. The data shows that first-year JET participants who have not yet volunteered are eager to be involved,with only 9% stating they were not willing to volunteer, but this number rises with each successive year. Ofrespondents who had previously indicated that they had not been involved in tourism or economic activities,17% of second-year participants, 24% of third-year participants, 29% of fourth-year participants, and 56% offifth-year participants also stated they would not be willing to volunteer. This implies that with prolonged lackof involvement, JET Programme participants feel less inclined to volunteer.

    This is an alarming observation, suggesting that in order for JET Programme participants to stay motivated topursue volunteer activities, the first two years represent a window that is dangerous to miss, and that allowingparticipants to remain uninvolved during their JET Programme experience damages their potential to benefitJapan across a spectrum of community relations and business endeavours.
    WTF.

    This implication assumes that ALTs want to volunteer their time constantly, and that it is an expected part of the job.

    Now for my next bit of reading:
    Winter 2014 Opinon Exchange Meeting | AJET

    In the third segment, its focus was on progress in the English education reform plan, and was presented by Mr. Tsuyoshi Enomoto of MEXT. During the past year, MEXT has been working alongside English education experts and teachers from all levels to develop a successful strategy for the reformation of the English curriculum. The following are being discussed as tentative plans.
    From 2020, foreign language activity will begin in elementary school Years 3 and 4, while English will be taught as a core subject for Years 5 and 6.
    MEXT is seeking to change the evaluation of English from “How much grammar and vocabulary have you studied?” to “What can you do using English?” This assessment method seeks to decrease the need for rote memorization and encourage active use of language. Textbooks will also change: 5th and 6th year elementary school classes will receive official textbooks (rather than the current Hi, friends! foreign language activity assistance manual).
    Okay, but if the teachers can't do anything with English, and the ALTs aren't being trained to evaluate and/or teach the content... it's never gonna fly.

    Junior high and senior high school textbooks will be expanded and revised to include more emphasis on cultivating various abilities through training in debate, presentation, and discussion. The implementation of digital textbooks is also being considered.
    Specifically designed to run on old school flip phones or highly proprietary environments which no school can afford

    Special focus is also being given to training and teaching Japanese members of staff to teach English better, as well as how to successfully implement ALTs in the classroom. New training courses that focus on the English teaching skills of teachers, as well as development of their training skills to pass the abilities on and to support other teachers, are also being offered. For aspiring teachers still in university, qualifications are also under reform. Finally, admission to universities from senior high school is being revised. It was indicated in the presentation that across university admissions in Japan, there are almost no tests measuring the four essential English skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening) as part of their admissions testing. MEXT is seeking to include an English proficiency test requirement into the admissions system for universities.

    Now this is something I would actually like to hear more about. Like extensively.

    Further enquiries were made by AJET about the lack of fluidity in the current system, as there is a lack of communication between the different school levels concerning English. MEXT stated that the issue of abilities and study at each level (and the constant repetition of the same material) is something they are hoping to fix with the reform. The new national curriculum will seek to standardize the flow from elementary to senior high school, and hopes to establish a more equal ability level, regardless of the school.
    See now this makes me angry. NAJET, rather than offer to help using it's vast network of ALTS all over the country, merely asks "so what are you gonna do about it". What a pointless question to ask in an exchange not designed around that topic. Offer to help, offer to get us more involved, over to use us effectively in our job.

    The complete lack of understanding in how ALTs (or JETs) could be useful in our every day jobs to the government is just lost on them.

    also, big lols. the meeting lasted three hours. Meaning it was typical Japanese meeting. Read the slides for an hour, nod your head, and then toss it in the rubbish on the way out.
    Last edited by Gizmotech; February 17th, 2015 at 10:20.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Did AJET ever get fixed?

    The shocking thing is that a lot of localities (including local BoEs and prefectural BoEs) are outpacing MEXT on these changes. One of my JTEs is in a conference group to help formulate and propagate Can-do and 小中連携 (ES/JHS level linking) for English - as the BoEs are looking to do anything to raise schools' abysmal test scores.

    A bunch of ES in the area are going to be adding ES 'English' tutors/specialists to aid in increasing English in ES, so ALTs based at JHS can concentrate on single schools week in/week out instead of going to visit ES 1/2 days a week. Digital textbooks are probably going to be along the same lines as Hi Friends now - on a projector or TV linked to a DVD player or PC. The Hi Friends ones aren't bad - and are better than a shitty CD (hey visual examples instead of just listening? You might actually keep a student's attention that way.)

    The 2020 Reform is supposed to be a deadline according to prefectural authorities in my area - they want to adopt a new ES curriculum in the next 2 years, have full English-only JHS 2nd and 3rd year classes and push SHS levels up towards Eiken 2's Can-do goals. Pretty crazy, but they aren't really pushing any other subjects the same way.

    I mean English did increase from 105 to 140 hours/year in 2011 - and now they're upping it again before the Olympics too. And shock of all shocks NAJET is useless - they don't have any authority over ALTs so they don't even try to help improve things, only complain. No wonder MEXT and CLAIR dislike NAJET.
    Last edited by webstaa; February 17th, 2015 at 10:30.

  19. #19
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did AJET ever get fixed?

    Sounds like you're in a prefecture with a bit of money.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Did AJET ever get fixed?

    Interestingly, there is a strong negative correlation between the number of years as a JET and the willingness tovolunteer. The data shows that first-year JET participants who have not yet volunteered are eager to be involved,with only 9% stating they were not willing to volunteer, but this number rises with each successive year. Ofrespondents who had previously indicated that they had not been involved in tourism or economic activities,17% of second-year participants, 24% of third-year participants, 29% of fourth-year participants, and 56% offifth-year participants also stated they would not be willing to volunteer. This implies that with prolonged lackof involvement, JET Programme participants feel less inclined to volunteer.

    This is an alarming observation, suggesting that in order for JET Programme participants to stay motivated topursue volunteer activities, the first two years represent a window that is dangerous to miss, and that allowingparticipants to remain uninvolved during their JET Programme experience damages their potential to benefitJapan across a spectrum of community relations and business endeavours.
    What I find interesting here is the conclusion drawn. They didn't track whether those curmudgeonly 5th years EVER volunteered. Did they volunteer at first and peter out? Did they never opt to volunteer? What was classified as a volunteer activity?

    It is equally possible, and more likely to me, that the ones that stay are the ones that don't burn themselves out or have a Japan Bucket List
    With all the assumptions here, it's like all of the worst psychological studies I've ever read rolled into two paragraphs of stupidity.
    Last edited by uthinkimlost?; February 17th, 2015 at 12:43.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    But what if we reverse the polarity of the quantum string theory? According to uncertainty principle there are infinite worlds out there, so it stands to reason schrodinger's cat is alive in one of them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo87;
    U da real mvp.

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