Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Schools to teach financial literacy

Schools to teach financial literacy

Students at Phnom Penh’s Wat Koh High School listen to instructions from a teacher during a class in 2014.
Students at Phnom Penh’s Wat Koh High School listen to instructions from a teacher during a class in 2014. Pha Lina

Schools to teach financial literacy

The central bank is working on developing a new syllabus for financial literacy that will be included in the general education curriculum, but has yet to find a development partner to help craft a program, an official said yesterday.

Chea Serey, director-general of the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), said that while numerous parties have shown interest in helping draw up a program, the central bank has yet to decide on an official partner or set a timeline for implementation. The NBC will coordinate with the Ministry of Education to make sure that it compliments existing nationwide curriculum, she said.

Nevertheless, Serey stressed the importance of quickly adopting a curriculum while the country’s banking and financial services continue to mature and draw a new generation of clients. Currently, only 17 per cent of Cambodia’s adult population is currently using the available financial tools, according to a recent FinScope Consumer Survey.

“It is important for children to at least understand the concept of interest rate and interest calculation,” she said, adding that the program could be incorporated into other core subjects such as math or social studies.

“People who can manage their finance well can avoid going into over indebtedness and can actually help manage their lives better.”

She continued by noting that the majority of Cambodians do not understand how to choose loans that have fair interest rates and that provide adequate repayment plans.

David Van, managing director for Cambodia of Bower Group Asia, said that a financial literacy program should be able to target rural areas where clients of microfinance institutions struggle to repay their debt while thinking that they have received low interest rates.

“Some people might not know what kind of business they need to support a loan with an interest rate of 3 per cent a month,” he said, adding that the compounded that rate equals 36 per cent of the annual loan value. “This reflects that educating them about financial literacy is necessary for them.”

Chan Sophal, director at the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS), welcomed the initiative, adding that with the Kingdom’s rapid credit growth financial literacy is a growing concern.

“I worry for our people who take out large loans, but who are poor in financial literacy,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown extended for another week

    The government late on April 26 announced an extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province for another seven days – or longer if residents do not comply with Covid-19 preventive measures and the community outbreak does not subside – until May 5. According

  • Gov't mulls extension of Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown

    The Inter-ministerial National Commission for the Control and Enforcement of Lockdown held a video conference meeting on April 25 to review a draft document on the extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal province’s Takmao town. The meeting was chaired by Minister of

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a