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Financial education for youth

Published on 19th Jan, Edition 3, 2015

 

There are lots of investment program in our country for big and small investors but no one ever have focused on creating some programs related to income generation for very small income persons or for school going kids. In our society income matters and it is a social security for one’s survival. I personally seriously felt the need of teaching our children about saving and investment ideas and its importance at school level. Normally we teach our child how important is to save but what about earning and investments? Well that’s alarming! Robert Kiyosaki an Educational Entrepreneur said, “One of the reasons the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and the middle class struggles in debt is because the subject of money is taught at home, not at school.”

While going through some international development campaigns I noticed that there are many programs which have made for orphans and vulnerable children in developed and under developing countries for the stability of their future generation. Especially in Africa, where poverty is on its peak and people crucially need some income opportunities to meet their basic necessities of life. Being part of youth development society, I feel its great significance in our society.

We have encountered unemployment in Pakistan for years and one have find it so difficult to get into any job and on the other hand inflation is increasing as days passed. How good is if one is literate from his childhood to save money to beat inflation or starting some earning from different ideas. There also should initiate some investment plans and literacy programs by government and financial institutes for children. There should be an Advisory team who can give some wise financial choices for everyday living like how to switch their preference according to their need. Our country is a place where people are price conscious, which tells story of our spending attitude.

Developed countries have made financial education compulsory and official part of English national curriculum in which public finance is put at integral part and also have made many wonderful tools and ideas to make it easy for new learners. Now are there are some question arises that if we begin such ideas here would it worth teaching, what are the ways and tools to teach children such difficult topics? Whether the implementations would work out? Well laying the first stone is always tough but finally it become fruitful.

One most important thing is to budget your own money according to your needs. Budgeting is far helpful tool in managing your money and it helps in realizing difference between our needs and wants as we want everything but we need some. How to teach it all? Well, there are lots of organizations who are working on designing teaching mechanism such for example “My Bank” a finance education charity has made “Money Marathon” games which includes activities, quizzes and board games which played by dice.

 

My Bank also has created a “save-o-meter” worksheet which tells how small amount of money saving regularly can add up into big amount. They also have made workshops and events over “Learn Money Week” with the collaboration of Economic World Forum. Pfeg (personal Finance Education Group) is a leading in spreading financial education among children. Their “Financial fairytales” idea helps students in understanding money things through stories. Barclay Money Skills tool emphasis over budgeting and spending. Barclay also provides practical activities on how we waste money if don’t budget it. An excellent activity “Mel Muldowney” is made on real life scenarios, which explain mathematics, exchange rates and calculating balance in electricity bills. INFE; International Network on Financial Education and OECD; Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development is working together in making rules to strengthen financial literacy curriculum. OECD also organizes PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) exams, which comprises on mathematics, reading and science across 65 countries which helps in accumulation of data about how literate is youth about finance.

In spite of investment; children also should be learned to earn money ethically and where to keep it safe for e.g., safety deposit box, rented postal deposit box, or reliable financial institution. While introducing children with earnings keep their interest in forefront. Earning money teachings includes skills assessment, self-employment vs wage employment, making safe choices. Make a child skilled in any appropriate field like making crafts for selling and computer literacy can empower a child to stand on his own and become a part of economic society being either self-employed or wage employed.

With a very clear vision it is far easy to develop a course on Children Financial Literacy Program that can be comprises over four parts; Managing money (saving, budgeting), Financial services (what are financial service providers, savings services, lending services), Financial negotiation (communication skills, how to prepare for financial negotiations), Earning money (skills assessment, self-employment vs wage employment, making safe choices).

I hope if this consider as important, our coming generation will be able to become a productive part of economic society and will lessen unemployment from the country at biggest level. More and more income opportunities will create and more business and investment ideas will come out. One will learn importance of earn ethically and crimes from the society will be eliminate. Under developed countries like Africa has worked fundamentally over this issue and has proved in achieving great sustainable development. Developing countries like India and China has made a great impact on economic plat form by working over financial issues in every areas. We need to learn and diverse from our old educational curriculum to prove ourselves as good as people from the other countries.

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