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Messages to Their Second Century

"Skills for living" are required in today's students.

Mr. Kazuhiro Fujiwara
Previous Principal of Suginami Ward Wada Junior High School

Mr. Fujiwara discussed his expectations towards university education from the perspective of his experience as the first individual form the private sector to serve as principal of a junior high school.

---What do you believe will be expected of universities in the future?

I believe that universities will be expected to provide education and create networks that enable students to survive in an international society.

In recent years, Japanese values have become more diversified. In the past, happiness could be acquired by doing the same thing as everyone else. However, in today's world, an individual must take it upon himself or herself to create a future that contains happiness. In every aspect of society, the system is changing from "everyone all together" to "each individual".

In this kind of situation, it is necessary to obtain the ability to compete internationally in order to promote one's self upon going out into the world. Even individuals who clung to their own organizations until now will be expected to possess the skills to express themselves utilizing both the power of that organization and their own individual character. Japanese university should teach these skills.

At the same time, universities will be expected to create internationally added value, such as the establishment and support of centers to assist students in constructing networks. When I served as a principal, I often heard the guardians of students saying that they wanted to have their child study overseas in the future. We have reached an age where this kind of thinking is common in ordinary households, not just the homes of traders or ambassadors.

---What to you think is lacking in university education?

Education to prepare students for life. For example, in today's scholastic education, skills needed for an individual to edit their own life, such as how to read a book, how to debate, how to throw things away, or how to relate to television, in other words skills needed to live as the owner of one's own life, are not taught. I felt the need for such education when I was a principal, and I established the Yo-no-Naka Program so that children could feel the connection between themselves and the world. For example, I asked the children "What would you do if your had to make a business selling rubber?" and I got unique answers such as "Make tires from burnable rubber". In this way, the children understand the meaning of the phrase "added value", and the class makes it possible for students to gain knowledge about venture business. The Yo-no-Naka Program is starting at elementary and junior high schools throughout the country, but time is still required for the program to spread. I would like universities to conduct education that offers the skills needed for life, such as those found in the Yo-no-Naka program. I think that both students and guardians want this kind of education.

---Could you speak about your expectations for Waseda University?

I would like Waseda University to establish a management school for non-profit activities. I believe that school principals have the greatest need for this kind of school. Currently, school teachers are overwhelmed by a number of tasks, such acquiring lesson skills, providing lifestyle guidance like club activities, and other office work. Therefore, by the time a teachers has become a principals, they don't have the skills to manage a school. Furthermore, unlike office workers, teachers don't have a subordinate staff, so they aren't able to develop leadership skills. So, I would like to have the management of corporations act as teachers and instruct school principles on the aspects of management.

Furthermore, for individuals from the private sector who seek to become school principals, the management school for non-profit activities could serve as a business school for studying the education world. This would make it possible to insert into schools the networks of people like myself who have worked in other fields.

I left the private sector to become a principal after deeply feeling the need for a reform in compulsory education. With the help of Waseda University, we can change the future of children in Japan.

Mr. Kazuhiro Fujiwara

Born in 1955. Graduated from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Tokyo in 1978 and entered Recruit Co., Ltd. Served as General Director of the Tokyo Sales Division and Director of the New Businesses Division. Spent time stationed in Europe and served as a Corporate Fellow for Recruit Co., Ltd. From 2002, assumed the position of a participant in the Suginami Ward Education Committee while working as a businessman. Received recognition for the development and implementation of the "Yo-no-Naka Program" as part of efforts for education reform at elementary schools and junior high schools. Served as principal of Suginami Ward Wada Junior High School from April of 2003 until March of 2008. In Tokyo, was the first individual from the private sector to serve as principal of a junior high school in the field of compulsory education. Relationship with Waseda University includes participation in the Okuma Preparatory School, as well as participation in the symposium entitled "Possibility of Constructing a New Support Network for Juvenile Delinquency in the Regional Community: Focusing on the Programs of Suginami Ward", held by Professor Masaoki Ishikawa (Director of the Institute of the Policy of Social Safety and Professor at the Waseda School of Law) to commemorate the 1st anniversary of the Institute of the Policy of Social Safety.