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Feature on Financial Education

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Committed to Practical Real–World Financial Education

For the Sound Growth Children

Mizuho believes that it is vital for the sound growth of children who will create our future society to learn about the basic financial system from an early stage of school education. Based on this recognition, Mizuho started a joint research project on financial education in fiscal 2006 with Tokyo Gakugei University, a specialized university to foster teachers.

The initial, basic research period ended in fiscal 2008 and led to the development and improvement of education tools. Based on this, 2009 marks the start of a new three–year practical research phase to further strengthen the classroom. Also in fiscal 2009, we developed innovative video materials that are easy to use at the educational site and actively promoted their use for workplace experience and practical lessons in classrooms. Fiscal 2010 was a year for moving ahead with the development of new teaching materials for practical instruction by synthesizing the results of research to date, holding open lectures on the positioning and treatment of financial education within the new course of study, and proceeding with PR and promotion activities. In addition to the initiatives for financial education to make it easier for elementary and secondary school students to learn the role of finance, we endeavored to offer useful lectures and educational programs for higher education. To this end, Mizuho set practical themes in view of the latest difficulties facing the financial industry as part of the contributed lectures and courses that it established in six academic departments at five universities to provide university students with truly useful information.

Elementary and Secondary Education Fields

Promoting Initiatives to Enhance the Quality of Worksite Experience

Mizuho cooperates in offering elementary and secondary school students with workplace experience so that they may gain firsthand knowledge of what it means to work. This workplace experience is highly anticipated by teachers at the educational site as part of career education, and Mizuho has tried to increase the number of days it is offered every year. To enhance the quality of the workplace experience while responding to schools' requests to the extent possible, Mizuho has developed financial education textbooks for elementary and secondary school students. These textbooks explain deposits, loans, remittances, currency exchange and the social role of banks, as well as customer reception manners relative to the lobbies and cashier windows of Mizuho branches. The visual teaching materials are available on–demand at all Mizuho branches. In addition, video materials for employees summarize the key points for educating students on the spot at the branches. These became available in April 2009. In fiscal 2010, these video materials and support tools were posted on MHBK's internal website for the purpose of winning employee support for workplace experience activities for students.

By effectively drawing on these educational tools, the workplace experience was offered at 150 Mizuho branches nationwide during fiscal 2010, an increase of 40 from the previous fiscal year. Furthermore, Mizuho Group employees offer financial education in classrooms as guest teachers on finance, and more than 10,000 persons have participated in these dispatch lessons since the program started in 2006. Similar events to educate students at worksites and provide financial education in classrooms using our materials have been positively implemented at overseas Mizuho branches, extending the educational activity worldwide.

Tsujido Branch Assistance with Four Days of Work Experience Activities for Local Middle School Students

In November 2010, MHBK's Tsujido Branch hosted second–year Chigasaki city middle school students for four days of work experience activities. Participating students learned about the work performed by banks and structure of the financial system through a talk given by the General Manager and video materials, and observed lobby and other branch operations. Afterward, they used mock bills to practice counting, tried their hands at operating totalizator ordinarily used by bank employees, and observed the carrying of cash bags and wrapping of coins. Beginning with the second day, students wore "Work Experience Participant" tags and engaged in activities like greeting customers.

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Observing the counting of bills

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Greeting customers in the lobby

Promoting financial education for special education schools

Financial Education Lesson Implemented at Special Education Schools in Collaboration with Teachers

In November 2008, Mizuho prepared Life and Money, a textbook for special education schools, as part of a joint research project with Tokyo Gakugei University to support an initiative to increase the social participation of disabled children. Financial education in classrooms using this textbook has been conducted since fiscal 2009.

Mizuho emphasizes the policy of "Creating lessons with homeroom teachers" through the joint preparation of guidelines with teachers while discussing such subjects as "What to communicate to children?" and "How should we lead the lesson?" Thus, teachers endeavor to offer lessons tailored to the degree of understanding of the respective students to help them understand the textbook and apply the lessons to practical use in their daily lives.

In fiscal 2010, Tokyo's Katsushika School for Hearing Impaired, Itabashi Special Education School, and other campuses conducted classes, bringing the cumulative number of schools participating since 2007 to 12.

Mizuho will continue to improve the textbook and lessons through a continuing exchange with the teachers who understand best how to reach disabled students.

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Life and Money, a textbook for special education schools

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Education lesson implemented at special education schools

Hachioji Branch helps to conduct classes

In March 2011, MHBK's Hachioji Branch cooperated in the conducting of a class forming a part of career education instruction at Tokyo's Hachioji Higashi Special Education School for children with physical disabilities. The purpose of the class was to have students, who had some understanding of banks based on their studies of what banks do and how their own money is handled, develop their understanding of actual bank operations through classes conducted by bank employees and hands–on experience with an ATM, under the theme of "How to use a bank ATM." The nine fifth–year primary school through second–year middle school students (six of whom used wheelchairs) participated first of all in a class held at the branch. There, they learned about deposits, loans, remittances, currency exchanges, and what is required to open a bank account and withdraw money. Also covered were matters like points to be careful about in handling cash cards and passbooks. Later, after listening to an explanation of ATMs by a representative from Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd., an ATM manufacturer, the students experienced how to operate an actual ATM and discussed what they learned.

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Classroom scene

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Learning how to operate and ATM

Manager's Comments

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Kazuhisa Tanaka
Joint General Manager, Hachioji Branch, Mizuho Bank

Hearing students say, for example, that they now clearly understand how an ATM works and that they had finally developed an understanding of what banks do in detail, I was reminded of how important hands–on experience in a real–world setting can be for education. Looking ahead, I will be very happy if, by continuing with these efforts, we can help local children in even a small way to develop the desire and confidence to live independently. We also want to apply what we learned through this experience to our initiatives at our branch.

Higher Educational Field

To Develop Talented People Who Can Lead the New Paradigm Shift

In the wake of the subprime crisis, the global economy has undergone a paradigm shift. With attention focused on the expanding markets of newly developing countries and fiscal problems in developed countries, there is now a great deal of interest in the role financial institutions will play in the changed global economic structure.

Against that background, Mizuho adopted new themes, including "Recent Developments among major European and U.S. financial institutions," "PFIs (Private Finance Initiatives)*," and "New Ways to Support Business Through Finance," for its fiscal 2010 donated lectures and courses. Through these lectures and courses incorporating coverage of the recent global and economic situation, we aim to help develop the financially sophisticated human resources that will lead the next generation.

  • *The Private Finance Initiative approach was developed in the U.K. as a way to provide social capital. Its purpose is to use private–sector capital, management know–how, and technical expertise to perform public–sector services (Construction, maintenance and management, operation, etc. of public facilities) more efficiently and effectively than national or local governments could on their own.

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Classroom scene

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