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Career Education to Open Up the Future for Children

Tokio Marine Group has selected “Supporting People” as a core CSR theme. Accordingly, we have continued to carry out local community and social contribution activities that include the growth of young people and support of the elderly, persons with disabilities and athletes. For children who will take the lead in the next generation, we have been proactively undertaking such initiatives as holding lessons at schools to provide an opportunity for them to think about the global environment as well as safety and security.

QWhat lessons are Tokio Marine Group holding at schools?

Saori Takatsuto
Corporate Planning Department,
Tokio Marine & Nichido
Fire Insurance Co., Ltd.

Since 2005, we have been providing Green Lessons: The Mangrove Story. It is an environmental education program on global warming and the preservation of biodiversity, which features mangrove planting.

Our Disaster Prevention Lessons, which started on the basis of the lessons learned from the Great East Japan Earthquake, encompass our hope to pass on disaster prevention knowledge to children and help them prepare for a next disaster.

In July 2016, we commenced “Group Work on Managing Risks and Opportunities,” which is a program to give children a chance to learn about work and business management.

QWhat was the background for developing “Group Work on Managing Risks and Opportunities”?

In recent years there has been a strong awareness of the importance of career education, and in promoting such education, growing expectations are placed on company human resources with expertise to help schools provide appropriate programs.

In response, we considered a program for learning about the importance of “assuming risk and preparing for the future” utilizing the features of an insurance company.
Specifically, Tokio Marine & Nichido Risk Consulting developed a learning program in collaboration with Tokio Marine & Nichido under an experimental study of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). The development of the program was conducted with the expert guidance of junior high school and high school teachers as well as NPOs and other experts in the field of career development, including Mr. Daisuke Fujikawa, Professor at the Faculty of Education, Chiba University, and Mr. Masanori Chiba, Principal of Higashiatago Public Junior High School in Tama City, Tokyo.

QWhat exactly is “Group Work on Managing Risks and Opportunities”?

It is a program that combines card games and workshops. The integration of these two activities is the most distinctive characteristic of the program.

In the program, students divide into groups and compete to generate sales as the managers of a bakery. Given a predefined amount of budget, each group selects an overall strategy using “strategy cards,” each showing a specific approach, such as the development of new products, renovation of store interiors and enrollment in insurance, along with associated costs. The strategy selected serves to increase the convenience and attractiveness of the store and affect its sales.

Illness of the store manager, food poisoning and other unexpected problems arise during the game, and the presence or absence of preparations also have a considerable impact on sales.

While working to promote the store’s growth, students will learn the importance of preventing risks and gain a sense of the significance of insurance.

QTo what points did you pay particular attention in developing the program?

Business management is an unfamiliar topic for children. So we used a bakery to add a commonplace feel to the program. To create a realistic program, we actually visited bakeries during development to hear about their know-how on running a bakery and the difficulties involved and reflected these points in our program. Costs specified on each strategy card are also closely matched to reality.

During the program, we create a graph showing fluctuations in sales of each group. Children cry out with delight when they see an increase in sales as a result of their chosen strategy and are chagrined when sales decline because of a trouble. Seeing children acting like that, we have felt that the program is attractive enough to stimulate their interest.

QWhat feedback have you received from students participating in the program?

One student commented, “I learned that it is important not just to pursue short-term profits but to also earn profits by continuously operating over the long term.” Another student stated, “I thought that striking a balance between “taking advantage of opportunities” and “making preparations for emergencies” was important.” From these comments, we feel certain that our intended theme of the program has been correctly conveyed to the children.

Teachers have also found it meaningful that the program offers an opportunity for children to interact with adults from outside school and get to know about society and various aspects of work in a realistic manner.

QHow do you intend to offer “Group Work on Managing Risks and Opportunities” in the future?

Through the program, we hope to provide learning opportunities, in which children voluntarily and collaboratively identify issues and work to resolve these issues. We would be absolutely delighted if this class leads to moments when children feel happiness from taking on a challenge and achieving growth or joy from sharing and attaining dreams and goals with their classmates.

From fiscal 2017, we plan to implement this program across Japan in collaboration with schools and other educational organizations. We are looking forward to seeing many children joining the program.