Payments technology company Visa and children’s money management application Cashee are launching educational workshops in UAE schools to coincide with Global Money Week that runs from March 21 to 27.
The programme, available to all schoolchildren, will explore the fundamentals of personal finance, including budgeting, saving, responsible spending and the use of credit, Visa said in a statement on Monday.
It also aims to equip educators with the curriculum to strengthen students’ financial literacy.
Fifty-nine per cent of the 2,046 adult Americans polled in a Charles Schwab Financial Literacy survey in June 2020 cited the value of saving money as a key lesson to be taught to children. This was followed by teaching basic money management (52 per cent), while 51 per cent respondents listed setting financial goals and working towards them as an important learning.
On a scale of one to 100, the respondents rated money management (62.9 per cent) as the most important skill for children to learn. About 63 per cent of US adults also chose financial education as the most important supplementary graduation requirement to maths, English and science, the survey found.
The 10th edition of Global Money Week, an annual initiative run by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, aims to improve financial literacy for young people. This year’s theme is Build Your Future, Be Smart About Money.
“What we have learnt during our pursuit [of financial literacy] is that addressing the gap in knowledge cannot be the sole responsibility of educators,” said Carl Manlan, Visa’s vice president for inclusive impact and sustainability for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa.
“Financial leaders must work together to ensure younger generations are taught practical and fundamental skills of money management.”
Experts from Cashee and Visa will visit schools across the UAE “to speak to as many kids and teenagers as possible”, Smeetha Ghosh, co-founder and chief executive of the UAE start-up, said.
Cashee, which will launch in the UAE in April 2022, will provide teenagers with a free digital banking app and prepaid card to manage their money effectively.
Separately, UAE youth money management platform Edfundo also said on Monday that it will distribute bespoke learning modules and teacher handbooks to Dubai schools to encourage an upscaling of financial literacy.
More than 20 UAE schools will support the financial literacy push over the coming days, Edfundo said.
The packs are part of the Edfundo For Schools initiative that guides teachers on plugging the financial literacy education gap at home, online and in the classroom.
“GMW2022’s theme … captures the importance of being money smart from an early age to avoid the many pitfalls – financial and otherwise – that can befall us later in life,” said Andrew Toward, Edfundo’s co-founder and chief operating officer.
“We believe a week is not long enough to undo the mistakes of the past in not putting enough emphasis on financial literacy. It will take a year-round effort.”