FSB takes financial literacy into Gauteng high schools

20 May 2016 Lyndwill Clarke, FSB

Education in the economic heartland of Gauteng is about to get a major boost with a new financial literacy competition for high school learners launched by the Financial Services Board (FSB) on Tuesday, 10 May 2016.

The FSB launched the competition, in collaboration with the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE), to address the lack of financial literacy in learners in an effort to ultimately boost economic growth in South Africa.

Held at Midrand High School in Midrand, the launch was attended by senior representatives from the FSB and GDE, teachers from various high schools across Gauteng, as well as other stakeholders in the financial services training sector, who expressed enthusiasm at the competition’s prospects to inculcate financial shrewdness to the youth.

The project is based on a model started in KwaZulu-Natal schools and which is being implemented in that province by the KZN Financial Literacy Association for over 20 years with over 1 500 learners from all the province’s districts participating.

“The quality of the work presented by the learners in KwaZulu-Natal has been increasing dramatically over the past five years, with massive interest from schools in the province and impressive results for learners who participated in the competition,” says Lyndwill Clarke, Head for Consumer Education at the FSB.

“This is why we decided to expand the competition to Gauteng, which is at the heart of the South Africa economic landscape,” he adds.

The competition targets Grade 11 learners in the 15 districts across Gauteng and focuses on encouraging learners to become more financially literate through conducting research on one of the three topics provided and presenting their findings in a well-crafted, five minute speech. Topics include entrepreneurship, savings and investments and credit.

“The competition will instil a sense of financial literacy in the youth and this will give them an opportunity to research and experience financial literacy from a practical and not a theoretical point of view,” says Clarke.

He told the gathering that financial discipline is very important for an emerging economy such as ours and “as such it is incumbent upon all of us in the financial services sector to introduce it to our youth at an early age”.

In addition, through assisting learners, teachers will also benefit from the research undertaken for the competition.

The objectives of the competition are the following:

• Promoting financial literacy in schools (Budgeting, Saving & Investment and Consumer Rights).
• Creating awareness of consumer rights & available support systems.
• Promoting careers in the financial services industry.
• Encouraging entrepreneurship.
• Integrating theory and practice as an important principal in the National Curriculum Statement (NCS).

The competition will be held in three rounds from school progressing to district and culminating in the provincial final. At the provincial final, district winners will compete to determine the overall winner. The Grand prizes for the top three schools, teachers and learners vary between R20 000 and R5000. Learners from participating schools will be invited to attend and support their representatives.

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