By John Ekongo
A unique programme aimed at teaching primary school learners the importance of saving was launched in the capital last week.
The Aflatoun concept is an Indian financial education initiative, aimed at teaching young children aged 6-14 years sound financial principles, including the value of saving, planning and budgeting.
In Namibia, the concept was introduced to the Namibian schooling public by the Namibian chapter of the global youth empowering organisation Junior Achievement -Namibia (JAN).
Research has shown that not only adults but also children have a lack of knowledge about the rights and responsibilities of financial skills, which in turn lead to a cycle of poverty.
This can be blamed on parents who fail in their duties to adequately teach their offspring the importance of financial education, leading the children who are susceptible to follow the same pattern the parents used in dealing with money.
According to JAN, it wants to do away with this calamity.
JAN together with Standard Bank Namibia and Pro Wealth, committed an amount of close to N$336 000 for this cause.
Motivating his company’s involvement Managing Director of Standard Bank Mpumzi Pupuma said: “Standard Bank has taken the request by Government on financial literacy very seriously. More often than not children follow the path of their parents, who through ignorance, are not able to teach them about money matters and so the children also remain ignorant and continue in the pattern set by their parents and grandparents.”
He said the Aflatoun Campaign would teach learners all about finances, given that kids around the ages of 6-14 are at a stage where they yearn for new information.
Director of Education in the Khomas Region, Claudia Tjikuua, speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Education, expressed happiness about the initiative, describing it as “a movement of children” more than it is a programme.
“Aflatoun is more than a programme – it is a movement for children across the globe.”
She said that Aflatoun seeks to include social and financial education in the national formal and informal education system.
“Therefore, the concept needs to be accepted by and implemented with the help of governments.”
She added: “We (Ministry of Education) therefore support the Aflatoun programme bringing social and financial education to Namibian children to educate them to become responsible citizens with a better future economically.”
She concluded by saying that programmes such as this will teach kids to save and spend responsibly, as well as budget and plan properly, for them to be economically self-sustainable in the future.