Good news to Filipinos who intend to visit Japan and learn the language before going there. The Embassy of Japan in the Philippines has launched an e-learning Japanese language program. This initiative will surely benefit future scholars, health workers, and other professionals intending to stay in Japan. Read on:
June 14, 2010, 2:06pm
An e-Learning facility pegged at US$43,764 (approximately P2,013,764) will be launched Tuesday by the Japanese Embassy to enhance the capability of Filipinos wanting to learn the Japanese language.
Japanese Ambassador Makoto Katsura and Nihongo Center Foundation Inc. (NCFI) President, Ambassador Benjamin F. Sanvictores will lead the inauguration of the e-Learning facility in Makati City.
The funding for the completion of the NCFI’s Nihongo e-Learning facility project was sourced from a grant assistance under the Grant Assistance for Cultural Grassroots Projects by the Japanese government.
The enhancement of the facility is expected to upgrade the teaching capability of NCFI and make Japanese language learning more accessible to students with various needs.
“The facility will take advantage of advances in technology to reach out to a greater number of Filipinos who wish to learn Nihongo,” the Japanese Embassy said.
“The grant assistance is a testament of Japan’s commitment to promote Japanese language education in the Philippines to foster better understanding and cooperation between the two countries,” it added.
It will be recalled that a similar facility in Mindanao had been launched by the Japanese Embassy in September 2009 – the Nihongo e-Learning Studio at the Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku or the Mindanao International College in Davao City.
Learning Nihongo is a requirement among Filipino caregivers and nurses wishing to work in Japan under the Japan–Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) on the Movement of Natural Persons Employment Scheme.
The role of professional caregivers has increased in significance due to the increasing aging population, including in Japan.
Japan is the Philippines’ second largest trading partner as well as the second largest foreign investor in the Philippines. It also remains the largest donor of official development assistance (ODA) for the Philippines.
The NCFI’s history started in 1969, when the Japan Information and Cultural Center (JICC) supervised the Nihongo Gakko (Japanese language school). However, due to the relocation of the Japanese Embassy from Makati City to Roxas Boulevard in 1997, the JICC-Nihongo Gakko had to move as well. At that time, they had taught over 16,000 students.
The move became a cause for concern, and JICC-Nihongo Gakko decided to pass on the torch to the Philippine-Japanese Friendship Foundation Inc. (PJFF), which spearheaded the NCFI that continues the work of the JICC-Nihongo Gakko. (with a report by Czarina Nicole O. Ong)
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