Minister of Education, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites, is urging students, who benefitted from the Financial Education in Schools programme, to used the knowledge gained to save and become more financially empowered for the future.
“I am encouraging you, who have the learning and understanding now as a result of your exposure, to save as part of your enablement for the future. Learning to save is an important aspect of achievement. If you save, then you can invest,” he said.
The Minister was speaking at on March 28 closing ceremony of the programme held at the Wyndham Kingston hotel.
He noted that through the initiative, the students were able to learn valuable lessons in how to become more confident about managing money, understanding how businesses run, and how to organise their personal affairs.
He contended that such knowledge of financing and how to operate a business should be taught throughout the school system, based on United Nations reports that in the future, some 80 per cent of jobs worldwide will be generated by people, who operate their own business or from small businesses that employ less than 10 people.
“You’re going to be able to gain prosperity by starting your own businesses or forming a little business with your friends and growing it from there, and an important set of lessons that you are learning is what you have got through the programme,” he said.
Over the last five weeks, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) partnered with Junior Achievement, Jamaica a non-profit organisation, to deliver the programme on personal finance to seven high schools across Jamaica.
President, Junior Achievement, Jamaica, Alphie Mullings-Aiken, said the entity is focused on delivering programmes in schools focused on three main areas: financial literacy; entrepreneurship; and work readiness skills.
She noted that a key feature of the programme was wealth creation and making sure “it wasn’t just about getting a job and working, but how do you invest to grow your money, how do you manage those funds when you get it, and how do you protect it”.
Executive Director, FSC, Rohan Barnett, challenged the students to use what they have learnt to be financially smart adults. He contended that a more financially-literate population fosters sustainable and orderly economic growth and development for the country, through increased savings and investment, and is better able to understand and respond quickly to public policy changes.
Now in its second year, approximately 250 high school students were sensitised under the programme in budgeting, investing, making sound financial decisions, and how the financial system in Jamaica operates. The schools were Glenmuir, William Knibb, Tacius Golding, St. Jago, Norman Manley, Black River and Ardenne High Schools.
The programme also had an essay competition component, where students made submissions on the topic: ‘Budgeting is an Important Part of Good Money Management: Discuss’.
Chadeaux Roberts of St. Jago High copped the first prize of an Ipad for her entry; second place went to Michela Thompson of Tacius Golding High, who won a Kindle Fire; while Tka McKenzie of Glenmuir High received the third prize of an Ipod Touch.
The prize for the Most Outstanding School went to Tacius Golding, which received a Compaq laptop computer.
By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter