2012 Winter OE: Volunteering on the JET Programme; Discussion Summary

This is the summary of the Winter 2012 Opinion Exchange Meeting between National AJET, the Council for Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR), the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC). The following is a summary of the discussion regarding the report, “Volunteering on the JET Programme.” To access the full report, click here.

Volunteering on the JET Programme
Written by Neetha Mony, Luke Happle, Ernesta Burke, Melania Jusuf, and Mark Noizumi
Presented and Interpreted by Luke Happle

In the discussion following the presentation of this report, the three ministries and CLAIR agreed that volunteering can be a successful and proactive way for participants to become more involved with their colleagues, communities, and local governments. In order to promote these activities as part of the grassroots internationalisation aim of the Programme, it was suggested that publicizing other volunteer opportunities through National AJET’s online mediums could be utilised when such opportunities with the ministries or CLAIR arise. If such requests do occur in the future, ministries may contact National AJET through the CLAIR liaison.

Additionally, according to the new course of study established by MEXT and implemented by individual contracting organisations, volunteering can be a part of special activities and integrated study designed to teach students about community and service. MEXT recommended that participants with volunteering experience or interest should confer with their contracting organisations for opportunities to use and share their experiences in the classroom and workplace in this context.

Finally, CLAIR stated that it has suggested that Host Prefectures encourage the use of similar  terms and conditions among participants in the same host prefecture or designated city. CLAIR requested more information from participants regarding the kinds of leave used for volunteering activities and the variations among the contracting organisations and their terms and conditions, which National AJET agreed to provide.