Holness Endorses Financial Education Programme for Schools


Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, has endorsed the financial education programme being undertaken by the MultiCare Foundation and Citibank, which teaches money management skills to students in under-served communities.
He said that financial literacy and planning should be critical elements of the learning process, and would be areas of priority focus for the Education Ministry this year.
The Minister was speaking at one of the closing workshops for the Easter session of the programme held yesterday (March 18) at the Holy Family Primary School on Laws Street in Kingston.
He encouraged the students present not to be “foolish” with their money, as saving is a very important part of reaching one’s financial goals.
The $1.6 million programme, which is sponsored by Citibank through its Citi Foundation, seeks to help build life skills among young people from under-served communities by teaching them the basics and importance of saving and money management as a model for wealth creation and to achieve their goals.
Approximately 2,000 students from 31 primary and high schools throughout east, west and central Kingston, and Greater Portmore in St. Catherine, are benefitting from the initiative, which started in October 2009.
It involves a series of training workshops throughout the academic year for students from grades one through to 12, all of whom are expected to attend follow-up sessions.
To date, workshops have been conducted in ‘Saving and Investing For a Better Life’ (Christmas term); ‘Managing Money to Achieve your Goals’ (Easter term), while the summer term will focus on ‘Budgeting and Running a Small Business’.
Public Relations Officer for the MultiCare Foundation, Ms. Elizabeth Campbell, said that the programme has been “enthusiastically” embraced by principals, guidance counsellors and form teachers in the participating schools, while students have been eager for and receptive to the information and many have already started saving.
Citibank Country Manager, Mr. Peter Moses said that the organisation is happy to support the initiative. “Money management and financial planning are always topical lessons that should be introduced to children and young adults to assist them in developing skills to responsibly manage their personal finances,” he stated.
MultiCare Foundation Director, Mr. Errol Miller, expressed gratitude to Citibank for partnering with MultiCare in delivering the life skills training, which he said, will help the children better appreciate the importance of budgeting and saving and how to set and achieve goals through financial planning.
“As the MultiCare Foundation continues to provide our children with alternative models for living and the opportunity to grow into productive citizens, we see the importance of introducing them to financial education as an alternate method of wealth creation to achieve their goals,” he stated.
He argued that “by providing our young people with the basic skills, they would be less likely to adopt undesirable lifestyles”.
“Children, confident in their ability to handle money, would be less intimidated by banks and other financial institutions, have faith in their ability to succeed in business and improve the quality of their life,” Mr. Miller said.

JIS Social