June 14, 2019
Honiara, Solomon Islands – Following the successful piloting of financial education (FinEd) curricula in the coursework of three rural training centres (RTCs), the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACoM) has announced the extension of FinEd across all its centres in Solomon Islands, a move that is expected to impact close to 800 tertiary students annually.
Funded by the Australian Government and implemented by the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP), the FinEd curricula was piloted at three ACoM-run tertiary and vocational education training centres in Garanga, Pamua and Airahu mid last year. The project saw the integration and strengthening of FinEd within the curriculum of core courses such as carpentry, mechanical engineering, agriculture, life skills, business studies and electrical studies. The pilot was successfully completed in December 2018.
Under the extension of the project, three RTCs will be included; Kholaevo in Isabel Province, Bishop Koete in Central Province and Luesale in Temotu Province.
ACoM Head of Education, Desmond Waita said ACoM was pleased with the rate of implementation, adoption and support of the teachers and students during the pilot. He said that during this time, the project noted many visible results such as changes in financial behaviour of the students, teachers and the wider school community, the startup of many small entrepreneurial projects and a number of bank accounts being opened.
“ACOM has successfully completed a six-month pilot of the Financial Education curriculum across our Airahu, Garanga and Pamua training centres in 2018. We found that our students and teachers gained meaningful money management skills after the 80 hours of FinEd training they undertook, and this can be seen in their interactions with money, with saving for the future and their new confidence with using financial services. Based on the impact at the student and teacher level, we are excited to be extending this relationship with PFIP moving forward.”
PFIP’s Deputy Programme Manager, Krishnan Narasimhan whilst officiating at an Exchange of Letters to formalize the relationship between ACOM and PFIP acknowledged the support of the Central Bank of Solomon Islands and the Governor in prioritizing FinEd at a national level.
“We acknowledge with appreciation the Governor Denton Rarawa who has co-endorsed the Exchange of Letters between ACOM and PFIP. This project falls within financial literacy and financial education priorities within the National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2016-2020 and we recognize that this project contributes towards efforts to strengthen money management skills in Solomon Islands.”
He said the work with ACoM in Solomon Islands was a great model to showcase to other Pacific countries and added that currently PFIP is also working with eight training institutions in Papua New Guinea and was finalizing an agreement with a large regional TVET that has campuses in five Pacific Island Countries.
The FinEd regional initiative
The FinEd regional initiative is an outcome of the Money Pacific Goals endorsed by the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM) and the South Pacific Central Bank Governors in 2009, calling for the increased access of financial education for all Pacific Island children and adults.
Unlike the FinEd project implemented in the Fiji primary and secondary school system, the regional initiative works with technical and vocational education training institutions to produce labour market-ready graduates who are better equipped to deal with financial decision-making.
PFIP is a Pacific-wide programme that has helped over 2.4 million Pacific islanders gain access to financial services and financial education. It achieves these results by funding innovation with financial services and delivery channels, supports policy and regulatory initiatives, and the empowerment of consumers.
PFIP is jointly administered by the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and receives funding from the Australian Government, the European Union and the New Zealand Government. PFIP operates from the UNDP Pacific Office in Suva, Fiji and has offices in Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.