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Finance curriculum to be in schools by 2019

Students at Phnom Penh’s Sisowath High School prepare to take a test in 2015.
Students at Phnom Penh’s Sisowath High School prepare to take a test in 2015. Hong Menea

Finance curriculum to be in schools by 2019

The central bank announced yesterday that it was close to finalising a new academic curriculum to promote financial literacy with the aim of incorporating it into schools nationwide by the start of the 2019 academic year.

Speaking yesterday at a technical workshop on financial education in the Kingdom’s schools, Chea Serey, director-general of the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), said the new curriculum would help raise students’ knowledge of financial literacy at an early age.

She added that the new curriculum was still being drafted and it would take time to finalise as the NBC intends to hold a series of consultation meetings and workshops with teachers in order to get feedback on how to best introduce the materials into lesson planning. Additionally, she said teachers would also be required to attend training courses to fully understand the value of the curriculum.

“We expect that this programme will help students learn how to calculate basic interest rates and understand their obligations [when using financial services] as well their rights,” she said.

Serey stressed that with nearly two-thirds of the Cambodian population under the age of 30 it was important to improve the financial literacy of youth. This would help bring them into the formal financial sector, which would play a significant role in boosting overall economic activity.

“The Cambodian financial sector very much needs the participation of young people and thus young people should be educated well on the concept of financial management,” she said.

The NBC has been working with officials from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS), as well as development partners, to design a curriculum that will teach the concepts of savings, loans and financial management tools to students in the primary and high school levels.

Mok Sarom, deputy director-general of education at MoEYS, said the curriculum would be integrated into three existing subjects that include mathematics, home economics and life skills.

“We are trying to grow knowledge of the financial sector by teaching children to manage their money well and educate them to appreciate the meaning of savings,” he said.

“When we have a clear financial plan, life will be successful and we will enjoy prosperity.”

In March, the NBC launched its “Let’s Talk Money!” campaign, a set of instructive comic books given out to primary schools nationwide. The books were developed in cooperation with Good Return, an Australian NGO that promotes financial inclusion and responsible lending.

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