Bhutan Participates In The Global Money Week 2018
The theme of the Global Money Week 2018 is “money matters matter”, which aims to inculcate the importance making smart financial decisions throughout life to children and youth in Bhutan.
By Dechen Dolkar | Business Bhutan
During the Global Money Week (GMW), more than 3,000 students of class XI and above opened bank accounts across the country as per the directives of the education minister.
The Financial inclusion and literacy division under the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) organised the GMW in Bhutan, which was celebrated from March 12 to 18.
Bhutan has been participating in the GMW since 2012. It is an initiative of the Child and Youth Finance International based in Amsterdam.
Aims of the Global Money Week 2018
The theme of the GMW 2018 is “money matters matter”, which aims to inculcate the importance making smart financial decisions throughout life to children and youth in Bhutan.
During the GMW, more than 30,000 students from 35 schools and institutions participated in this event. Eleven financial institutions including macro finance institutions initiated relevant thematic talks at various educational and vocational institutes across the country.
The head of the financial inclusion and literacy division, RMA, Nangse Dema said that currently the authority is in the process of finalising the financial literacy curriculum with the education ministry.
‘Youth ethic banking’ launched
‘Youth ethic banking’ was also launched during the event. As a pilot project, it was initiated at the Jigme Losel primary school in Thimphu, Arikha primary school in Chukha, Wangsel Institute at Paro and the Youth Volunteers Actions.
Nangse Dema said that ‘youth ethic banking’ aims to educate and encourage students to be financially literate.
She said that when students perform well in their academic activities, they will be given demi-bank notes which carry bank points as their reward.
Each bank point carries Nu 2 as monetary value. As a pilot project initially, the central bank will deposit the amount in the students’ accounts.
Moreover, the stake-holders are also tying up with various insurance companies.
“Talks are in progress,” she said.
For the pilot project, the RMA has selected the three schools because the idea of ‘youth ethic banking’ came from one of the students from Jigme Losel primary school last year. As the central bank felt that the idea was good, it acted as the main initiator.
Arikha School was chosen because it was very enthusiastic about the initiative while Wangsel Institute joined because financial literacy should ideally reach all students in the country.
The pilot project will operate until November this year. It will be launched formally next year if it is successful. It will subsequently be replicated in other schools across the country.
“The project targets primary schools so that children at an early age can learn about bank notes and financial literacy,” she said, adding that they hope the next adult generation will be a financially literate one.
Initiation of the Student business seedling programs
During the event, student business seedling programs were also initiated at Desi High School in collaboration with the Labour Ministry and IT Park.
Students came up with random business ideas from which the top 21 business ideas were selected. During the summer vacation, the central bank will conduct a boot camp and select the best three business ideas and rewards will be given.
Nangse Dema said that with low financial capabilities, youth lack the confidence and readiness to be part of the formal financial system.
“We are making them ready for self-employment,” she said.
This article first appeared in Business Bhutan and has been edited for the new Bhutan Times.