Lautoka Teachers Trained on Financial Education and Integrating FinED into the School Curriculum

October 28, 2011

About 30 teachers from Drasa Avenue School and Jasper Williams Primary School went through professional development training on personal money management and investment yesterday at Jasper Williams Primary School inLautoka.

The workshop was conducted by the Financial Education (FinED) Champion Teachers, Mrs. Emma Brook and Mrs. Sarah Qiokata.
The Fiji Financial Education Curriculum Development (FinED Fiji) Project, involves the integration and strengthening of financial education within the school curriculum from Class 1 to Form 6.

The FinED Fiji Project’s first professional development workshop for primary regional champion teachers was held earlier this year. During this earlier workshop, 13 primary teachers from three school divisions in Fiji were exposed to financial education, learning outcomes, methods of integrating the management of money and investing. These teachers were trained in the use of financial education student resources and teaching and assessment materials within the Class 3 and Class 4 curricula.

The Curriculum Advisory Services Division of the Ministry of Education is leading the Ministry’s FinED Fiji efforts. The Division has worked with the regional champion teachers since early this year. Regional champion teachers are the pioneer teachers leading the introduction of FinED in schools and responsible for the training on the use of the resources.

Mrs Brook and Mrs Qiokata are doing just that. As regional FinED champions from Lautoka, the two teachers have had the exciting role of being actively involved in integrating financial education within the curriculum and training their peers on this ground breaking initiative. Through the teaching resources such as teachers’ manual, story book materials and educational board games, the teachers in the two schools are now trained in the use of financial education resources and teaching and assessment materials. Representatives from the Divisional Education Office Western and the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme were also present at the workshop.

The two primary schools, Jasper Williams and Drasa Avenue have been dynamic and inspiring champions for financial education and have begun using the student and teacher FinED resources in the classroom, with exciting results.

Mrs Marica Naisau, head teacher, Jasper Williams Primary School, thanked the FinED champion teachers and PFIP for the initiative and indicated, “I found our students motivated and eager to practice the activities in school especially the financial education games, which makes learning exciting and relevant. We understand that there is a need to properly contextualize the resources to our Fiji situation. We take this as a challenge and look forward to implementing the program in our school, in particular helping our girls to learn how to better manage their finances, which is becoming more and more critical in this money economy.” Jasper Williams Primary is an all-girls school in the West.

By 2013, it is expected that on an annual basis, 197,000 students will have exposure to financial education at all schooling levels from Class 1 through to Form 6. The FinED Fiji Project is funded by the Australian Aid Program in Fiji and is jointly managed by the Ministry of Education and the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme. Young Enterprise Trust of New Zealand, are the providers of specialist and technical services to the Project.

PFIP is a Pacific-wide programme helping to provide sustainable financial services to low income households. It is funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and operates from the UNDP Pacific Centre.