Cash-strapped NOVA fails to honor contracts to public schools after teacher exodus

OSAKA — Scandal-hit major English school operator NOVA failed to dispatch English teachers to local public schools after many teachers quit or took leave because they didn’t get paid, officials said.

By Monday, NOVA had cancelled its planned dispatch of English teachers to five municipal elementary schools and five municipal junior high schools at least once.

The education board is now considering canceling its contract with NOVA.

In the 2007 academic year, the municipal education board commissioned three English conversation school operators, including NOVA, to dispatch teachers to junior high schools and elementary schools under its jurisdiction, officials said.

NOVA is supposed to dispatch teachers to 79 junior high schools once or twice a week and to 286 elementary schools on several occasions a year.

However, NOVA, which has been in financial difficulty since some of its business activities were suspended in June by the government regulator over its illegal business practices, has failed to promptly pay wages to many of its teachers.

In response, a large number of NOVA teachers have quit their jobs or taken days off without prior notice. A shortage of teachers has forced NOVA to cancel the dispatch of some teachers to Osaka public schools, education board officials said.