Financial Literacy In PH Gets Boost

Teaching financial literacy to students got another lift through a multi-sectoral program to educate teachers on this topic and provide tools that will make financial education more interesting.

Global payment technology provider Visa has partnered with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), education-focused non-profit organization Teach for the Philippines (TFP) and Tanghalang Pilipino (TP) for the roll-out of a theater production called “Lukot-lukot, Bilog-bilog (Crumpled, Round) aimed at teaching students the value of savings and proper utilization of money.

On the partnership’s second year, Visa is funding a teacher training program using TFP’s network to produce in digital format a play on financial literacy, in hopes of reaching more students.

Visa Country Manager for the Philippines and Guam Stuart Tomlinson, in his speech before the launch of the financial literacy play in Makati City said they join the BSP in its committment to promote financial literacy “to equip all Filipinos with money management knowledge because it is such an important life skill.”

He said the partnership with BSP, TFP and TP has “created a powerful outreach program to scale our financial literacy efforts.”

“The program will echo the central bank’s effort in ensuring more Filipinos are empowered with knowledge to make critical money management decisions that will transform their lives,” he said.

BSP Inclusive Finance Advocacy Office head Pia Roman-Tayag told reporters after the show that financial education is currently incorporated in the curriculum being provided by the Department of Education (DepEd). She, however, said that teaching tools and learning materials, aside from books, are needed to make this lesson interesting to students.

She said the program will be institutionalized next school year, with the help of the teachers’ training program.

Assessing the effectiveness efforts to instill financial literacy among students is hard but Tayag said they are in touch with DepEd on a monitoring framework on this. She said financial literacy is best reflected in one’s life decisions, thus, it is hard to track.

Citing a World Bank (WB) study, the BSP official said it was found out that only two percent of Filipino adults were able to correctly answer seven financial literacy questions used to compare financial literacy levels among countries. “So we definitely have a long way to go and the BSP is happy to continue this creative and productive and partnership with like-minded organizations like Visa,” she said.

“Overall our objective, at least, is to keep doing these things, (these) partnerships to be institutionalized through DepEd so that our raking on global measures will improve at least in the next two to three years,” she added.

TFP Chief Strategy Officer Patricia Feria-Lim said around one hundred educators will be included in the first teachers’ training, eyed to be implemented in October this year. She said these educators are TFP fellows who are deployed to various public schools and help teach Math, Science, and English as well as run schools programs like the Batang Bayani (Young Hero) Life Skills Program.

“The idea is for them to bring the lessons to their school communities. The way Teach for the Philippines runs these trainings is we want to empower the teachers to help each other,” she said.

Lim said the initial batch of teachers who will undergo financial literacy training will come from 36 school communities, 22 cities and municipalities, and 11 regions. She explained that the teachers’ training is part of TFP’s Batang Bayani program, which also provided training to students from April to July this year. (PNA)

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