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Jul 12, 2011

Peacework and PWC’s 1200 strong educational camp

The ministry of education has joined forces with two international organizations for a mega summer camp. The camp sites are throughout the city and well over a thousand primary and high school students and teachers have signed up.  The camp deals with financial literacy and News Five’s Jose Sanchez visited one of the ongoing camps at the IT-VET.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

Peacework’s sweat equity combined with funding from PricewaterhouseCoopers have resulted in a summer educational camp that has over a thousand students occupied and learning during the summer holiday.

Carol Babb, Deputy Chief Education Officer

Carol Babb

“We have partnered with Peacework and Price Waterhouse in putting together this financial literacy camp. We realized that is timely that our students need to know about financial management. They need to know how to budget, how to plan and most importantly after high school many of our students go looking for a job. But this camp will teach them entrepreneurial skills. It will show them how they can become creative and create their own jobs instead of looking and waiting around for a job.”

Jose Sanchez

“How many sites do we have with these people assisting our students?”

Carol Babb

“We have eight sites and it includes ten schools—two high schools; Gwen Lizarraga High School, Anglican Cathedral College and eight primary schools.”

Eileen Cleirig

Eileen Cleirig, Rep., PriceWaterhouseCoopers

“PWC is a professional services firm. We offer accounting, tax and advisory services. So the majority of our staff members are accountants or consultants and they provide advising services to typically fortune five hundred companies and other large organizations.”

Jose Sanchez

“What is PWC doing here in Belize?”

Eileen Cleirig

“PWC is here to work on youth education and financial literacy as well as teacher training and we are also building learning landscape playgrounds at five school sites.”

Jose Sanchez

“So at the different locations, what can we see your people doing?”

Eileen Cleirig

“You’ll see our people in various classrooms at eight different sites of schools and they’ll be teaching the children financial literacy concepts such as: saving and investing, credit cards, budgeting. Here at ITVET, we are working with youth leaders—forty scholarship recipients—these students have received scholarship money from PWC to continue their education and we’ve been going through resume exercises with them. We’ve done budgeting; we’ve visited Belize Bank this morning. So just a variety of skill building activities.”

The sheer volume of students, twelve hundred in total at eight camps, gives an idea of the funding that goes into the student sessions. But according to Carol Babb, the Deputy Chief Education Officer, there is one session that is tailored specifically for training local educators.

Carol Babb

“These teachers will be trained to teach financial literacy in their schools. When they go back to the classrooms in August, they will be expected to share this financial literacy knowledge and skills that they have learnt with their colleagues. And we are hoping that the children will be the beneficiaries. So we are training these teachers and we are hoping that we will touch much more than twelve hundred students as a result of this camp.”

Jose Sanchez

“Will this be a yearly event?”

Carol Babb

“Well we have began working with PriceWaterhouseCoopers on this Financial Literacy Camp since 2008. They did not come back and do a camp in 2009 or in 2010, but every year they have given us a sum of money to support students who are desirous of going to high school and cannot afford to go to high school.”

Jose Sanchez

“So it’s never too young to learn to save?”

Eileen Cleirig

“That’s right. We are trying to teach them as young as possible, the importance of budgeting money, the importance of working hard, studying and using their money wisely.”

Jose Sanchez

“What’s the age range? How long will this be?”

Eileen Cleirig

“The age range of the scholars are students going into form one up to form four. So I believe between fourteen and sixteen ages the bulk of the students we are working with. At the other school sites, the ages range from as young as four years old up to about seventeen years old.”

Any student who wishes to attend the camp can still show up on Wednesday morning to any of the sites. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

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