Key person interview Report 3: Panasonic's Initiative to Support Development of the Next Generation - Accelerate Activities with Panasonic Electric Works and SANYO Electric as Wholly-owned Subsidiaries
Panasonic's vision through contributing its energy to career education
From the perspective of support to develop the next generation, Panasonic Group is willing to contribute its energy to "career education" for junior high school, high school, and college students. During fiscal 2011, lessons are to be offered at 50 schools in Japan based on this curriculum.
"Career education is to be conducted through school-company collaboration by promoting a view of different occupations that incorporates the Manufucturing perspective," said GM Ogawa.
So, what is career development that promotes a view of different occupations?
GM Ogawa said, "Pursuing profit is a matter of course for a company to keep its business running. Nevertheless, I want children to understand that this is not the only thing a company does. For a company, the role of being a public entity of society is more important than the quest for profit, in other words, it must be a contributor to society. In order to offer career education based on this stance, there is a limit to what school education can offer. In this context, we hope to provide study materials, etc. that incorporate Panasonic Group's viewpoint."
Currently, under the guideline of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, career experience classes are offered to students in the second year of junior high school. But, it has been pointed out that they often provide nothing more than a simple job experience.
GM Ogawa further commented, "It is useful that children practice some social manners like how to bow and how to converse with people. However, we hope to provide children with a more extensive job experience with a broader worldview. We should have children learn something new, for example, how people in society are engaged in different kinds of jobs, how those jobs influence society, and how people and companies contribute to society."
Our founder, Konosuke Matsushita, had his mantra, "A company is a public entity of society," disseminated throughout the entire company. Because it is built on this teaching, Panasonic can offer career education with a broad worldview that no individual school can offer.
Expand support to develop the next generation globally
Children having a hands-on experience at RiSuPia
In addition, this effort to develop the next generation is being expanded globally. By acting internationally as well as domestically, Panasonic demonstrates its character as a global company.
In addition to in-school lessons offered in Japan, there are various projects, such as an eco learning program from the perspective of ESD (Education for Sustainable Development); KWN (Kid Witness News) to help elementary and junior high school students enhance their creativity and communication ability through video making; and RiSuPia math- and science-related events. RiSuPia is a hands-on type of museum where children can experience the joy of mathematics and science. There are two RiSuPia locations: one at the Panasonic Center Tokyo in Ariake, Tokyo and one in Vietnam.
Globally, our support to develop the next generation reached approximately 210 thousand children in fiscal 2010, and this number is expected to increase to as many as 250 thousand in fiscal 2011.
One of its unique characteristics is that "Instead of promoting globally unified methods and thinking, different curriculums are prepared in consideration of the characteristics of the respective regions to bring about a higher effect."
GM Ogawa said, "Regarding support to develop the next generation, the priority theme for fiscal 2011 in Japan is to establish three pillars: Eco Mono Gatari, science education, and career education. On a global basis, we will advance the existing science education one step further to develop an enhanced education curriculum in line with energy management and the entire house and entire town solutions that Panasonic proposes."
In this context, again the synergy effect with Panasonic Electric Works and SANYO Electric can be a great contributing factor for support to develop the next generation.
It can be said that Panasonic Group, which has a consciousness of being a public entity of society across-the-board, is capable of playing a great role in supporting the development of children who will forge the next generation.