« Walkabout - Tôkyô | Main | La Palette »

Can't get no

   I often carry out impromtu surveys in my university classes to get a quick feel on what the students are thinking. Some of these surveys are admittedly silly, but some of them can be eye-opening. 

   In the final class of the semester at Seinan, I asked my second year students how satisfied they were with the semester that was about to come to an end. On a scale of ‎1 to 10, six of the students told me they had a satisfaction level of "7", ten had a satisfaction level of only "5".

   Although I considered the students' level of satisfaction to be low at first, my friend Adi, a student of engineering at the Kyûshû Institute of Technology (KIT) wrote, "Satisfaction of 7. . . Classes must be fun there . . . Surveys here in Iizuka for technical subjects range in 0.5-1.5 out of 5."

   When I asked the kids why they weren't satisfied, many replied that they hadn't studied or had skipped too many classes.

   That got me to thinking about tuition, which is about ¥800,000 a year. Not expensive by American schools, but not cheap. The average student has 480 classes a year (13 subjects x 15 weeks x 2 semesters). The average cost of one class comes to ¥1,667. I told the students that if they were to skip one day, say 3 classes, then it was the equivalent of taking a five-thousand yen note, wiping it on their arse, and flushing it down the toilet. I think it was the first time they ever thought about it in those terms and I could read it in their faces.

   I then asked them how many of their classes they considered worthwhile. The typical answer was 3 or 4, with the remaining 8 to 10 classes being a waste of time. Why? Invariably, the blame fell on the teacher.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.