FINANCIAL LITERACY – KEY TO ECONOMIC GROWTH

Youth as leaders of tomorrow needs a better understanding of financial issues which will fast-track economic growth in Africa. Hence the integration of financial literacy in schools has been identified as the key. Director, Curriculum, Research and development division, Ghana Education Service, Mrs. Diana Esi Mantey gave this indication in an interview on ways to create a better understanding of financial related issues that will ensure economic prosperity in Africa.

Abdullateef Abubakar Jos: How do you understand financial literacy?

 Diana Esi Mantey:It has to do with issues bothering on managing money and whatever that people make use of in terms of resources in their daily transactions.

 How do you think integrating financial literacy into high school curriculum can be beneficial to the youths?

 I believe it should not just be limited to high schools, as you know that children right from the early stage these days handle money, so as early as possible all issues relating to money should be made known to them. This will help them in handling money properly, encourage them on the need to cultivate a saving habit and train them not to embark on wasteful spending.

Can you shed light on the Ghana education experience on the teaching of financial literacy in schools?

We operate a national curriculum on education, with financial literacy   incorporated in the syllabus right from primary  up to high school level for over twenty years. We have an integrated approach towards this. Hence issues as such have been spread into subjects like citizenship education, social studies, business studies and at the high school level this include costing and accounting. Also all the vocational schools have components of financial literacy.

Do you think the introduction of business clubs or associations that gives practical training on understanding economic and financial matters aside the theoretical aspect in schools can create better understanding?

I believe so, as this may surprise you that some graduates of various field  without financial knowledge could  still not make judicious  financial decisions and wise investment due to their lack of understanding of financial issues. Therefore, I believe if we can sustain the practice in the younger ones, they will imbibe this attitude of financial discipline  at a very tender age and exhibit a sense of responsibility  in handling money and making financial decisions, which will guarantee their sound decisions  and willingness to invest. Because it is a skill they need to have. Everybody handles money at a point in time.

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