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May 9, 2018

Preaching Financial Literacy to Youths

Ten high schools took part in the fifth Youth Innovation Challenge held at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex in Belize City. The students are honing their skills at this early age, on the importance of saving, budgeting and investing to prepare them to make the rights decisions with financial resources. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

In its fifth year, the Youth Innovation Challenge is focusing on financial literacy.  The idea is to educate as many high school students participating in the competition on how to effectively manage their money.

 

Carol Babb

Dr. Carol Babb, Chief Education Officer

“Our theme is “Literacy for Financial Security”.  As you know, Isani, we launched literacy as a national priority, but we also see financial literacy as an important part of the development of our young people.  Too many times we see people saying that they can’t provided some of their basic needs and many times it’s not because they don’t earn good salaries, it’s just because they can’t manage their money, they don’t save regularly, they don’t budget and if they do borrow monies, they don’t pay promptly.  So we are trying to instill these knowledge and skills in our young people.  It’s a part of our HFLE curriculum, so young people are exposed to financial literacy skills and knowledge from the tender age of five.”

 

With that goal in mind, the Ministry of Education has once again joined forces with Peacework and Price Waterhouse Coopers to organize the event.

 

Dr. Carol Babb

“We have ten schools participating and they are all schools from the Belize District.  We have San Pedro and Caye Caulker, from the cayes, and we have eight schools from Belize City.  Saint Catherine Academy was last year’s winner.  We have SJC, we have Anglican Cathedral College, Edward P. Yorke, Ladyville Tech and Sadie Vernon and Gwen Lizarraga High School.”

 

Ashanti Rubio is a student at ACC.  Aside from participating in the annual challenge, she is looking forward to applying what she has learned to her professional life after high school.

 

Ashanti Rubio

Ashanti Rubio, Student, Anglican Cathedral College

“Overall I think that it’s a really good experience and the topic, it was difficult at first.  But I think that over time, eventually, it really will benefit Belize.  Financial literacy is very important and I honestly believe that it should be adopted in the curriculum for schools.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“How does financial literacy help you going forward, as a young woman who at some point will be working and will have to be able to manage your money?”

 

Ashanti Rubio

“Well for me personally, financial literacy helps me as a part of my presentation, it helps me to save, budget and invest – three basic skills that you need to know in financial literacy.  Being literate, it’s really important, just like in problem solving whereas you need to understand what the problem is saying in order to solve it.  It just all ties up together as one, financial literacy.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

 

At the end of the competition, San Pedro High School took first place, EP Yorke placed second and tying for third place was Ocean Academy and Belize High School.

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