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Financial Literacy in Schools

Sok Chan / Khmer Times Share:
Financial literacy helps develop a strong foundation among students for lifelong financial competence. KT/Fabien Mouret

Financial literacy, for students to make effective and informed money management decisions, will now be in the general education curriculum due to joint efforts by the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS).
Chea Serey, director general of NBC, said last week that the NBC was working with MoEYS to include finance-related coursework in the primary and high school curriculum to develop a strong foundation, among students, for lifelong financial competence.
“We are now working with our counterparts in the ministry on the curriculum and will soon start its implementation after it is approved by the MoEYS,” Ms. Chea Serey told Khmer Times at the sidelines of the NBC’s launch of a report on foreign direct investment in the Kingdom.
“By teaching children about money, you help them to save. The subjects in financial literacy can also be combined with other subjects like mathematics, statistics and social sciences. This will be a step by step process,” said Ms. Chea Serey.
“Financial literacy can begin at a young age with simple money concepts like counting riel notes. Older children can learn about savings accounts and creating personal budgets,” she added.
“When the students have enough skills, they could help their parents calculate interest rates for loans and also help in family budgeting. This is important to help boost their knowledge and also help lift families out of poverty,” Ms. Chea Serey pointed out.
Mey Kalyan, a senior advisor to the Supreme Economic Council and chairman of the board of trustees at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, told Khmer Times that it was useful to have financial literacy in the general education curriculum as it was a life skill.
“Students need to learn financial responsibility through experiential learning so that they become better citizens. This is what society needs and there is a connection between work ethic and money,” said Mr. Kalyan.
Mr. Kalyan stressed that financial literacy will provide knowledge on interest rates, microfinance and how to avoid over-indebtedness.
“Providing this knowledge to students is pivotal,” he said.
Kea Borann, CEO of microfinance institution AMK, welcomed the move and supported the joint NBC-MoYES efforts.
“Financial literacy will help students manage their money, which will be useful when they are adults ‒ if they want loans from microfinance institutions. It helps them to be responsible citizens and this is good for the whole nation,” said Mr. Borann.

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