MANILA - Major Japanese English-language school operator ECC Co. will launch a Japanese-language course in the Philippines in June in partnership with a local college amid growing interest in learning the language among Filipinos.
The Osaka-based firm and the University of Perpetual Help plan to provide a half-year e-learning program, including a weekly supplementary lecture, for 35,000 pesos ($670), targeting employees of Japanese affiliates and those planning to study and work in Japan, the company said.
ECC's first Japanese-language course overseas aims to cater to an increasing number of Filipinos taking the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, a widely used exam to evaluate and certify the language proficiency of non-native speakers, it said.
In 2017, a record 14,062 Filipinos took the exam, up 21 percent from the previous year, while the number of all examinees topped 1 million for the first time, according to the Japan Foundation, the test administrator.
The private university, founded in 1975, has three campuses in the south of Manila, with about 2,000 employees and some 18,000 students, according to ECC.
The company picked the Philippines also because "many people come to work in Japan," an ECC spokesman told NNA. It provided a trial course there through last December and attracted more than 30 students.
The Southeast Asian nation ranked third on the list of countries sending foreign trainees to Japan as of the end of 2016 after Vietnam and China, accounting for 9.9 percent of the total of 228,589 trainees, according to the Japan International Training Cooperation Organization, which supports the training scheme for foreigners.
The language school operator positions Japanese-language instruction in the Philippines as a long-term business, and is considering launching a Japanese-language teacher training program for locals in the country in the future, the spokesman said.
In 2016, ECC opened its first overseas English-language school in the Philippines as a growing number of Japanese are opting to travel to the country to study English at affordable costs. (NNA/Kyodo)