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Highlight 2007: Financial Education

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Financial Education

Wanting Students to Learn about the Mechanisms of Society through the Way Money Works

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Mitsutaka Mori Umeda Corporate Department No. 2 Corporate Team Mizuho Bank

Encouraging Interest in Money

I don't want them simply to learn about the role of money and how finance works, but to discover something new, such as the importance of studying and working.
In summer 2007, we received a request from Kansai University Daiichi Junior High School to provide financial education for 9th graders as part of their integrated study course. We were a bit nervous to begin with because it was our first experience of such things. However, we were soon persuaded by the enthusiasm of the teachers, who said they would like their students to gain an interest in the workings of society through the medium of money, an essential part of our daily lives. In the end, we mobilized the entire MHBK Umeda Branch.
We gave three two–hour lessons, six hours in total. Starting with an explanation of the mechanisms of deposits, lending, remittances, changing money and other core operations of any bank, including Mizuho, we went on to teach the students about the way money moves in society, centered on banks. At the end of the course, the students and young Mizuho employees were able to spend time together exchanging views. We used various ideas for giving the students easy to understand explanations and awaken their interest, including creating a replica of JPY 100 million in notes, and giving them a chance to experience the traditional Japanese form of manual banknote counting. To emphasize the importance of "trust" or "credit" when lending money, we asked our students to consider the kind of people they would lend money to if they were in the lender's position.

We Wanted Them to Understand That There are More Important Things than Money

Touching on the "debit" aspect of money, we strove to teach them that although money is very important, it also carries risks, while there are some things that are more important than money. After the lessons were over, the students were asked to write down their impressions, which included "I feel very familiar with banks" and "money is important but a bit scary, too." Reading these, we believe our message got across and that they understood very well. The experience also gave us the opportunity to reflect on what makes work worthwhile, and on how well we are doing as members of society, among other things.

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Exchanging Views with Young Bankers

Real–life Financial Education Gives Students a Real Sense of What Society is Like

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Takashi Ohnishi Head of the Instruction Department Kansai University 1st Junior High School

We started from the idea of giving our students a chance to listen to working adults who are currently at the front line in society about workings of the society today.
Mizuho Bank response was perfect. It gave our students a great opportunity to consider how the news they see on TV ties into the real society in which they live, and how society operates. I also believe the chance to interact with bank employees was an invaluable experience for our students because they normally don't have many opportunities to meet ordinary working people. I very much hope we can win Mizuho's continuing cooperation in taking this project further forward.

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