From April 2013, all schools in Fiji will start teaching financial education in the classroom, exposing 197,000 students to new skills to better manage and invest money.
Today, the UNDP Deputy Assistant Administrator and the Deputy Director for Asia Pacific, Nicholas Rosellini visited one of the schools implementing the curriculum – the Nadi Airport School – and had a chance to interact with teachers and students involved.
The Nadi Airport School is a pioneer Regional Financial Education Champion School and has implemented the financial education curriculum in the classroom from May 2011. The Financial Education (FinED) Fiji Project, involves the integration of personal money management and investment into the school curriculum from Classes 1 to 8 and Forms 3 to 6.
As part of his visit, Mr Rosellini, accompanied by the UNDP Fiji Deputy Resident Representative, Ms. Akiko Fujii and Divisional Education Officer Western, Mr. Lorima Voravora, observed the delivery of financial education learning in Class 1 and 8. He joined Class 1 students on the ‘Shared Reading’ mat for a lesson on Saving, Spending Wisely and Sharing.
“I was impressed to see 5-6 year old students in Class 1, learn how to recognize money. In Class 8, I noted with interest, how the students interacted to information on savings and investments as well as budgeting. I thought the group work to prepare and present a financial newspaper was an interesting way to integrate financial information which enthused the students,” said Mr Rosellini.
Mr. Rosellini acknowledged the school’s commitment to financial education and commended the school for the ease with which it integrated financial education into lessons in English, Maths and Social Studies/Science.
During the visit, the school’s teachers demonstrated not only the integration of financial education in an existing subject, but also the use of financial education activities as Classroom Based Assessments (CBA).
“In introducing financial education in the classroom, teachers are encouraged to be innovative. With the resources and lessons already developed and structured into lesson plans combined with detailed teacher notes, it is exciting to observe Nadi Airport School picking this up and running with it, not just in the classroom but as a way to also address CBAs,” said the Divisional Education Officer Western, Mr. Voravora.
The FinED Project is funded by the AusAID Bilateral Program in Fiji and is jointly managed by the Ministry of Education and the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP).
PFIP is a Pacific-wide programme helping to provide sustainable financial services to low income households. It operates from the UNDP Pacific Centre and is a project of the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with additional funding from the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the European Union.