An open letter to the KEC and School Education Division

By デビッド, 6 November, 2018

I would like to express my extreme personal disappointment in the KEC and the School Education Division for the obvious, complete lack of understanding, let alone support, for an online educational resource for language and culture education in Kobe. To not understand the value of encouraging modern, technology-focused educational initiatives is unacceptable in 2018 in a country widely regarded as a world leader in technology development.

To date, the only proactive action taken by these bureaucratic entities has been to recently block the KobeJET resource on school networks. No notices were sent out ahead of this action to inform the teaching community. No requests or contact of any kind was attempted with the site managers to rectify any issues with maintaining compliance with guidelines, rules or regulations.

The KEC and School Education Division are failing in their duties to improve the quality of education for the students of Kobe. The use of technology, and encouraging and facilitating the creation of cooperative, engaging content are not backburner agenda items. They are priorities. And currently the only contributions to this effort have been several meetings that resulted in no tangible progress, and the blocking of the only Kobe, volunteer-made, digital resource available.

If this is the best the KEC and School Education Division have to offer - students will suffer.

If the individuals that comprise these bureaucratic entities, in possession of self-will, are unable to battle the entrenched bureaucratic mindset that "if I don't change anything or try to introduce anything new, I can't be blamed" - the next generation will suffer.

If the only recognizable impact of their actions continues to showcase gross negligence of their primary responsibilities - to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence - to the point of actually hindering external efforts to advance and improve education... at best, Kobe will continue to slip in position as a respected international leader in innovation, and at worst become a well-known example of "what not to do".

With the sincere hope these words encourage critical thinking,

David L. Dowell, Webmaster for KobeJET


Anonymous (not verified)

5 years 7 months ago

I use the kobejet platform to supplement a large percentage of my lessons and it has been an extremely useful resource for me since my arrival. I still haven't been able to process it's sudden inaccessibility during work hours when I would undoubtedly need it most. Again, I cannot stress how much of an asset it has been to me and in turn my OTEs and students. It blows my mind that this move was one made without any warning and without room for compromise. This serves to undermine the progressive approach to English education and, to some extent, our ability to do our jobs efficiently. My only option now it would seem would be accessing the platform through my phone (which is impractical) or working to plan lessons from home with time I could have instead used while in office. I really hope that this isn't permanent and that more consideration will be had. Fingers crossed.

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