Emirates Foundation sets out to teach youth about financial literacy

Increasing financial literacy skills and awareness of issues pertaining to sustainability are key to the UAE’s human development, said Hameed Mohammad Al Qattami, the Minister of Education.

Maytha Al Habsi, the chief programmes officer for the Emirates Foundation, says financial literacy training is needed especially that 70 per cent of young Emiratis are reported to be in debt. Delores Johnson / The National
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New school programmes on financial literacy and sustainability will be included in the public school curriculum as early as next year to combat alarming debt trends among youth and raise awareness on issues such as climate change.

The modules are a joint initiative between the Ministry of Education and the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development, an independent philanthropic organisation focused on youth development set up by the government of Abu Dhabi.

Increasing financial literacy skills and awareness of issues pertaining to sustainability are key to the UAE's human development, said Hameed Mohammad Al Qattami, the Minister of Education.

“It’s very important for our youth that we teach them about the concept of saving, the concept of productivity, of making a contribution to their society,” he said yesterday.

The roll-out of the programme will be determined by the Ministry of Education, said Maytha Al Habsi, the chief programmes officer for the Emirates Foundation.

“We’re still in the stage of developing the content and the curriculum. We’re expecting that we would be able to launch this next year,” she said.

Financial literacy training is especially needed, with 70 per cent of young Emiratis reported to be in debt, she added.

“Incorporating sustainable development issues in the teaching curricula allows our students to gain knowledge, the necessary skills, attitudes and values to chart sustainable future for the state,” said the Emirates Foundation managing director, Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan.

“Education for sustainable development means the inclusion of sustainable development major topics into the teaching-learning process such as climate changes, reducing disaster risks, sustainable consumption and personal financial management. These are issues that should be well-comprehended so as to preserve a prosperous future for the coming generation,” he added.

The Emirates Foundation last year launched the 100 Youth Club initiative, with the intention of training 100 people between the ages of 15 and 24 as youth ambassadors for financial responsibility.

The initiative included the launch of a financial literacy bus that visits malls, schools and universities to hold educational events and activities designed to raise awareness among the country’s youth.

jeverington@thenational.ae

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