Following last year’s success, the Malta Bankers’ Association will be participating in the European Money Week, which is a Europe-wide initiative organised by the European Banking Federation and aimed at promoting financial literacy and financial education, in particular amongst youths and school children.
The launch of this year’s Money Week was held on Monday 14th March at the St Thomas More College, Girls’ Secondary School in Santa Lucija. This launch event was organised by the Home Economics Seminar Centre [HESC] within the Department of Curriculum Management [DCM], Directorate for Quality and Standards in Education together with the Malta Bankers’ Association and presided by Minister for Education and Employment, Evarist Bartolo. During the launch, teachers from the Home Economics Seminar Centre chaired a students’ panel, whereby students were given the opportunity to voice their opinion through, reflecting, debating, analysing and evaluating video clips which portray important features in effecting standards and electronic banking transactions.
Speaking during the inauguration Minister Bartolo said that, “the education process of our children should have a wider scope, over and above the academic requirements. Financial literacy is a crucial aspect of a person’s well-being and in today’s world, it is a valuable necessity.”
In his address the Secretary of the Malta Bankers’ Association, James Bonello said that, “Educating consumers about financial matters has always been considered by the banking sector as being of crucial importance. Consumers need to understand how to manage their finances and how to avoid unnecessary risks which could lead to excessive debts and, possibly, financial exclusion. In this respect the banking community is committed to provide financial education on an ongoing basis.”
Mr. Bonello added that, “A new initiative which will be taking place during this year’s Money Week is the organisation of daily sessions entitled ‘BE WISE PAY SMART’. These sessions are open to fifteen and sixteen year old students who are following the Core Curriculum Programme (CCP) and the Alternative Learning Programme (ALP). During these sessions, the students will experience hands-on use of ATMs and EPOS terminals. Students will be visiting a local bank throughout the week for a ninety minute practical session. This visit will entail discussions on the use of ATMs and EPOS terminals, the different types of bank accounts which can be opened, and the use of debit cards and credit cards. This will be followed by hands-on training, carrying out ATM and card transactions. Sessions will be facilitated by teachers from the Home Economics Seminar Centre and bank personnel. “
As one of the participating banks in this programme, Bank of Valletta was represented by Charles Azzopardi, Head PR & Marketing and Noel Debono, Manager at the Bank’s Training Centre. “Bank of Valletta is proud to give its support to this initiative which aims at broadening the scope of financial education among the younger generation.” Every year Bank of Valletta organises the BOV Investor Education Programme. This Programme is an annual appointment through which the Bank seeks to increase financial literacy by sharing its knowledge with the public.
Other activities forming part of the European Money Week 2016 include Form 4 (Year 10) students’ visits to the Central Bank of Malta, post-secondary students’ visit to the Malta Stock Exchange and the facilitation of a financial literacy programme titled ‘Money Matters’ at HESC, DCM. This interactive programme targets Year 6 students and adopts an active learning framework and methodology which focuses on learning by doing where pupils can engage themselves in games, debates, drama workshops and case studies.
Mr. Bonello thanked the Department of Curriculum Management, the Malta Financial Services Authority, the Central Bank of Malta, the Malta Stock Exchange and the Institute of Financial Services for their valued support and cooperation in organizing these events.