Standard Chartered Bank has offered education on financial literacy to students of the Armed Forces Senior High School, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
The education centred on savings, budgeting and investments which according to the bank, is aimed at exposing the students to adopt a saving culture, know how to spend within budget and how to plan for the future.
In a statement, the bank noted that: “We are basically trying to help the communities in which we serve and getting people to be conscious of money and to save. We teach them that they don’t have to wait to have a lot of money to be able to save.”
With over 8,000 staff in Africa, the bank encourages its staff to use their interests and skills to help out in the local communities where it is based to make a real difference.
Members of staff have three days each outside their leave to engage in volunteering. Many spend time working on causes the bank supports such as planting trees, mentoring to training youth on health and hygiene, eradicating preventable blindness and support for people living with HIV/AIDS. This education on financial literacy is the first project for the year 2018.
According to the bank, they come together as a team of employee volunteers and then take the students through the model. “We don’t put them all in an assembly hall to talk to them. We go to the classrooms where we can be able to work with a small group to explain to them for easy understanding and good interaction of questions and answers.”
The model was in three folds. There was a template representation of a young person’s average budget, where she/he starts the month with a deficit because of lack of financial education. He therefore spends all his money and he has to borrow and is constantly living in debt.
The second was a family budget where the couple put their money together to plan for expenditures and bills for the upkeep of the home. The third was an average budget of students’ ‘pocket’ money. During the interactive session, they were asked what they used their monies for. Some of the students who responded were educated to let go of or reduce purchasing of certain items such drinks and biscuits after every meal in order to save
According to the bank: “We made them understand that if they save as little as GHC 50 pesewas per week, at the end of the year they would have saved GHC 250. They could be having their own money for personal things and as a High School student, GHC 250 is quite a huge sum of money. Even if they decide not to touch the money, by the time they complete school, they would have been having GHC 750.” This enlightened the students and exposed them to the possibilities of even starting their own businesses.
After the education, a feedback form was distributed to the students for immediate feedback on the lessons they had learnt and how they benefited from the exposure. However, the bank is expected to go back after a year, for in-depth feedback from the students for assessments and other strategies to adopt to make the education successful
The employee volunteers also give feedback to the school authorities to draw their attention to some wrongful behaviours on what some of the students use their monies for such as gambling.