1 year on, Nova’s failure leaves scars

Even though it has been a year since Nova applied for court protection under the Corporate Rehabilitation Law, the central government has done little to ensure the private language school industry improves its operations.

The failure of Nova, which was the largest language school in the nation, has sowed public distrust in the industry.

Moreover, many former Nova students have not been compensated for tuition fees paid in advance, even though the school’s operations have been taken over by Nagoya-based G.communication Co.

On Thursday, a group set up by former Nova students submitted a petition to Seiko Noda, state minister in charge of consumer affairs, requesting stronger measures to protect language school students.

“I’d like the authorities to investigate [the matter] in depth so similar problems don’t happen,” a 35-year-old female former Nova student said.

Although there are no regulations on the establishment of language schools, the law that covers such businesses was revised in 1999 to regulate them to some extent, allowing students to cancel contracts with the schools, for example.

Although Nova had many contract issues before it failed, the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry supervising the law was slow to take punitive measures against Nova, such as banning it from entering into contracts with new students.