Central Bank teaches students financial management

Students of Couva South Government Primary School excitedly raise their hands to answer questions during the interactive session at the Central Bank Auditorium on June 4. - Faith Ayoung
Students of Couva South Government Primary School excitedly raise their hands to answer questions during the interactive session at the Central Bank Auditorium on June 4. - Faith Ayoung

Scores of students from seven primary schools across Trinidad gathered at the Central Bank Auditorium in Port of Spain on June 4 to participate in the bank's school outreach initiative.

The students toured the bank's museum and participated in an interactive lecture session on topics such as financial literacy.

The hour-long session was high-energy, with students getting the opportunity to participate in question-and-answer sessions for prizes.

This is part of the bank’s 60th-anniversary celebrations and will engage 1,500 students from 24 primary and secondary schools on June 3-4 and 6-7.

This project is the second activity on the bank's calendar of celebration events, after it planted 60 poui trees on Lady Chancellor Hill on May 25.

The Central Bank will celebrate 60 years of existence on December 12.

Students of Tableland Anglican Primary School look at older designs of the TT currency at the Central Bank Museum on St Vincent Street, Port of Spain, on June 4. - Faith Ayoung

Senior manager of resources and industrial relations Nicole Crooks said the school outreach is in line with the organisation's move to make noticeable contributions to communities.

Crooks said the sessions will educate the students on financial literacy, the role of the Central Bank and understanding the specifications of the money.

They will also get the opportunity to learn about the history of the Central Bank and the country on their tour of the museum.

“We will be educating students in an age-appropriate way on the roles and functions of the Central Bank. So it looks like fun when we do the trivia, but really it is to teach them what we are about.

“Then the whole financial literacy piece is an aspect we are passionate about because we believe it must start young, since that is where habits are formed. If you want adults to do better in terms of financial management, you have to start from young.

“And then we want people, as young as they are, to understand their money. So when they get a note, they know when they get an authentic note and when a note is not authentic."

Crooks said she hopes at the end of the sessions students leave with a better understanding of what the Central Bank is about and with a better understanding of financial matters.

“As we engaged them on the fundamentals of needs and wants and about making choices, I noticed they knew answers about expenditure and budgeting. There are some students who already grasped it, and I am hoping that for those who didn’t have it, we planted a seed, and for those who already have it, they will become more inquisitive and practise those things.

"At the end of the day, we hope the children leave more educated so that they get an appreciation of our country and our legacy.”

Even as Crooks expressed her hope that participants would leave with valuable takeaways, students and teachers who attended the June 4 event confirmed her wish.

Students of Valencia RC Government Primary School closely examine a $5 note as part of an interactive quiz session at the Central Bank on June 4. - Faith Ayoung

A Valencia RC Government Primary School teacher described the activity as a wonderful initiative to teach children about money management.

“Many of them (students) actually believe that spending money is all that there is. The information was well presented, the children had fun and I think they learned a lot.”

Rio Claro Presbyterian Primary School teacher Genet Jarvis shared similar sentiments about her students.

“It was an eye-opener for the students getting to see what was made back then compared to how our currency is now – the different paper money and coins. The little lecture was really educational for all of us, even myself. There were some things I didn’t know about, like the different birds on the bills.

“There is a lot of history here: they told you in specifics who did certain things and how some things were created. For instance a lot of them didn’t know who the governor was, and so it gave the students a historical perspective.

Students of Grant Memorial Presbyterian Primary School participate in the School Outreach Programme at Central Bank Auditorium on St Vincent Street, Port of Spain on June 4. - Faith Ayoung

Israel Dindial, a student of Rio Claro Presbyterian Primary School, said, “I really enjoyed the day, I learned that the Central Bank is now 60 years old. The lecture was fun; they showed us what they do here and it was interesting. The museum tour was the most interesting part and I enjoyed looking at the art, especially the one with the dragon.”

Students from Tableland Anglican School also shared their experience and said they enjoyed the trivia segment of the session the most.

Karrissa Blackwell said, “This is my first time at the Central Bank and I learned that our money is made in England. I had fun and I will be sharing what I learned with my friends. I also went into the museum and I saw the different birds and a mini market. The best part of the day was when we went into the auditorium and answered the questions.”

The bank expects to take both the tree-planting and the school-outreach initiatives to Tobago in the latter part of the year.


"Central Bank teaches students financial management"

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