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May 10, 2019

Learning Dollars and Cents at an Early Age

Learning about dollars and cents starts at an early age. In Belize, a forum on financial literacy is held annually to teach young students how to manage money and make sound financial decisions. News Five’s Duane Moody reports from the Ramada Belize City Princess.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Students, parents as well as educators and reps from financial institutions gathered inside the Queens Room at the Ramada Belize City Princess for the 2019 Financial Literacy Symposium. It is part of this year’s education showcase that seeks to break down the importance of being financially literate in dollars and cents for persons as young as five years old.

 

Carol Babb

Dr. Carol Babb, Chief Education Officer

“We are getting financial institutions along with the central bank giving advice on savings, on budgeting, on borrowing, investing and all of that. We want to help our students, our teachers [and] the wider community to make wise financial decisions. It is very important you know because if our students, if our people do not manage their monies wisely, then they end up in poverty and then it becomes a strain on the country. So we want them to manage their money well, making good sound financial decisions, differentiating between wants and needs.”

 

The theme for this year’s education month is “Financial Literacy – A Pathway to a Productive Life.” One of the key presenters is the Chief Finance Officer at the Holy Redeemer Credit Union. Clement Usher says that the symposium speaks to the mission of the credit union movement and his message is for the public to save for retirement.

 

Clement Usher

Clement Usher, Chief Finance Officer, H.R.C.U.

“Everybody needs to save and when I talk about saving I don’t mean saving after you’ve spent all your money on what you want. You need to first save before you even begin to spend. That’s the most important thing that you need to instil in people. It is not that you go out and you buy what you want first and then you save what’s left because if that’s so, you will never ever safe.”

 

Earlier this week, there was an innovation challenge for high school students across Belize District. The students were asked to display a project that would foster financial literacy within their respective institutions. Saint Catherine Academy took second place, but they were nevertheless present at today’s symposium. Teacher Ingrid Acosta says that the school is proactive in its approach in getting students to develop good saving practices for their future.

 

Ingrid Acosta

Ingrid Acosta, Teacher, Saint Catherine Academy

“Our students have to set up a small business and roll out a project or a service and they learn through that course what it is to be financially literate. Our biggest push is to ensure that our students are financially included and so as a final phase of the project we will be ensuring that all the students have a bank account in their name by the time that they graduate from SCA.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.


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