Sunday 21 April 2024

Financial literacy among youth at the focus of European Money Week 2023

The Malta Bankers Association (MBA) will once again be joining the European Banking Federation (EBF) and national banking associations across Europe in marking European Money Week (EMW), with a series of events being held between the 20 and 26 March.

EMW is an annual financial education drive targeting the younger generations. It was launched by the EBF in 2015 to promote financial literacy and to raise awareness on money and personal finances. The initiative has since spread to 35 European countries, bearing testimony to the commitment of the banking industry to help people manage their finances better and improve their quality of life.

The Minister for Education, Sport, Youth, Research and Innovation, Dr. Clifton Grima will be opening the EMW 2023 activities on Monday, 20 March.

Karol Gabarretta, Secretary General of the MBA, said: “As a member of the EBF, the MBA will for the ninth consecutive year, be organising several activities to mark EMW. Like our European counterparts, we strongly acknowledge the importance of initiating financial education at a young age and, as stakeholders in the industry, we are proud to give our contribution so that Maltese youngsters are not left behind. This is even more important given the rapid advancements in financial services and the digital economy.”

All activities in the calendar of events put together by the MBA in co-ordination with the Home Economics Seminar Centre (HESC) within the Directorate for Learning and Assessment Programmes (DLAP), Ministry for Education, Sport, Youth, Research and Innovation (MEYR) are centred around the theme chosen by the EBF for EBW 2023, in line with the OECD-INFE Global Money Week: ‘Financial skills: Lighting the path to a sound financial future’. This theme was inspired by the conviction that basic money management skills remain a priority and is set in the context of the joint EU/OECD-INFE financial competence framework for children and youth which is expected to be finalised in 2023. The theme of Global Money Week is ‘Plan your money, plant your future.’ Both themes capture the importance of thinking about one’s own future when making financial decisions.

‘Be Money Smart!’ is a programme for Year 6 schoolchildren that aims to develop the learners’ financial capabilities by enabling them to plan a simple budget, outline the importance of saving money, discuss the main role of banks, identify ways to verify authentic bank notes and discuss ways how to be a critical consumer. This programme will be run by the HESC within the Directorate for Learning and Assessment Programmes (DLAP), MEYR, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Malta (CBM).

Older students in Year 9, Year 10 & Year 11 will be invited to attend the ‘Be Wise, Pay Smart’ programme. This programme explores the use of the ATM and different methods of payments. Students will also have the opportunity to discuss ways how to be smart consumers through the use of educational video clips. This programme will be facilitated by support teachers from the HESC in collaboration with MBA members.

This year’s EMW will also see the launch of the ‘JA Malta – Building a Financially Capable Generation’ programme for Year 8 – Year 11 students. This new programme provides young people with the practical information needed to support them on their way to financial capability both on a personal and businesses level through discussions and online game-led activities. All students taking part in this programme will have the opportunity to represent their school as a team at the National Innovation Challenge.

Educators will also be given the opportunity to develop their own financial capabilities during a seminar for teachers in middle and secondary schools. The training seminar aims to empower teachers to model good financial behaviour and effectively address financial literacy-related goals and outcomes. This programme, besides featuring interventions from members of the MBA, speakers from GEMMA, JA Malta, the Commissioner for Revenue and the Office of the Information and Data Protection Commissioner will also take part.

One of the stalwart events of EMW is the Financial Literacy Challenge, the closing date of which was the 6 March. This challenge was open to students in Year 4 to Year 8 in State and Non-State schools. Participants on an individual, or group, basis were asked to create a healthy, low-cost food item with emphasis on seasonality, sustainability and local. Prizes, which are sponsored by the MBA, will be awarded to the winners of both categories i.e. those participants placing first and second in the individual and group categories respectively. The results will be announced at the opening event on the 20 March, where all participants will be given a certificate.

EMW 2023 will culminate with an event organised by the MBA, in conjunction with the National Council of Women and supported by the Central Bank of Malta, namely a conference with the aim of fostering an enhanced appreciation of the benefits of financial literacy, themed ‘Women and Finance’. A closing adddress will be delivered by the Governor of the CBM Prof. Edward Scicluna.The event is being held on 24 March at the Binja Laparelli within the CBM. Further details regarding the conference and registration can be obtained on https://www.maltabankers.org/women-and-finance/