In an Opening Ceremony held last November 7, 2019, NCF welcomed its 12th batch of students for the Preparatory Nihongo Training Program for Filipino Nurse and Certified Care Worker Candidates under the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The 12th batch has accepted 329 candidates, 139 are training at the NCF Manila branch and 190 are attending lessons at the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in Taguig City.
Mr. Hiroaki Uesugi, Director, The Japan Foundation, Manila, led the opening remarks followed by messages from Honorable Guests including Mr. Manabu Yasukawa, First Secretary, Labour Attaché, Embassy of Japan; Mr. Virgilio Carreon, OIC-Director IV, Welfare and Employment Office, POEA; and Mr. Kenjiro Ogata, Academic Advisor, Nihongo Center Foundation.
“Many people can go and work in Japan, but not all will have the same privileges as what you will be availing through this program under the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement or JPEPA. I hope that you are all prepared and excited on this new challenge. Learning a new language is certainly not an easy task, but it may reward you with more possibilities ahead,” explained Mr. Yasukawa.
Ogata-sensei also reminded the students how important being able to speak Japanese is when it comes to their success in Japan. He explained, “Here in the Philippines English is being used as a tool of communication together with Filipino languages. However, in Japan we do not use English as a tool of daily communication. Although we study English in school, we use Japanese in everyday life. So, if you cannot communicate in Japanese, you would have a very hard time working in Japan as nurse or care worker because you have to communicate with your Japanese patients and colleagues in their language: Japanese. The Japanese language or Nihongo will make or break your life in Japan.”
Representing her batchmates, Ms. Edith Inay also gave a message during the Opening Ceremony. She cheered on every one by saying, “let us help one another, let us motivate and inspire each other, let’s be kind, humble and smart. Let’s have faith and pray. Let’s obey and respect the rules. Let’s be patient and hardworking. Let us strengthen each other. And never forget to take care of ourselves.”
The candidates will go through a 6-month, intensive preparatory program that not only focuses on Japanese language but also educates them on Japanese culture, society, customs and manners, and general life in Japan. After their training, they will continue for another 6 months in a school in Japan before being deployed to their respective hospitals and healthcare institutions.
Opening Remarks by Mr. Hiroaki Uesugi