May 28, 2018

BDO, BSP, DepEd launch Financial Literacy Program for Schools today

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  • Financial literacy is a topic something that’s new to most Filipinos. It’s a concept we were intrinsically taught as kids (putting away money for something you want to buy), but have never really come to grips with. The latest initiative of the BDO Foundation, Department of Education (DepEd), and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), however, seeks to patch up these “holes” through the Financial Literacy Program for Schools.

    VIDEO TURNOVER. The first part of the Financial Literacy Program for Schools, an initiative by the BDO Foundation, DepEd, and BSP, is turned over to the DepEd. In the photo are DepEd Undersecretary Victoria Catibog (5th from left) with representatives from the BDO Foundation, led by their President Mario Deriquito (2nd from right), and BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla, Jr. (3rd from right).

    The initiative looks to share lessons on financial responsibility with public school teachers non-teaching personnel, and learners. It is in line with the partner organizations’ goal to provide financial literacy education, especially to those who need it most: those studying in public schools.

    The Financial Literacy Program for Schools is BDO Foundation’s flagship corporate citizenship initiative under its financial inclusion advocacy. It is aimed at supporting the efforts of both DepEd and BSP to inculcate financial literacy in Filipinos by having it be institutionalized in the teaching curriculum.

    BDO Foundation President Mario Deriquito talks about the Financial Literacy Program for Schools, its benefits, and how it can be scaled and eventually ingrained in DepEd’s K-12 curriculum.

    “There are two things that make this program exciting,” said BDO Foundation President Mario Deriquito. “The first is the carefully developed materials, which are expected to make learning and teaching financial literacy more fun, interesting, engaging, and effective. The second is the program’s potential for rapid rollout and scaling up within the DepEd system, which will enable us to reach all learners and teachers in the public schools as well as DepEd’s non-teaching personnel.”

    A preview of the program was shown during its launch earlier today at the BDO Corporate Tower in Ortigas, Pasig City. The first phase of the program consists of five videos that focus on effective ways to save money. These videos are meant to be shown to certain grade levels in the current K-12 curriculum (yes, all the way up to senior high school) along with modules that are aimed specifically at teachers. Discussion plans will aid teachers in making the lessons gained from these videos, which last anywhere from 90 seconds to three minutes, will be provided within the school year.

    Other topics that will be covered in the program are investing, budgeting, financial planning, and responsible credit use. These topics will be discussed in videos and various teaching aids that will be integrated into the current K-12 curriculum.

    A year in the making

    According to DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones, the program has been in the DepEd pipeline for at least two years, thanks to the passage of Republic Act No. 10922, or the Economic and Financial Literacy Act, last July 2016. Briones looks at it more as “a response to a need, not as a token gesture.” She acknowledged the fact that most teachers are themselves financially illiterate, including Sec. Briones herself.

    A NEED FOR FINANCIAL LITERACY. Secretary Leonor Briones, who said that she herself wasn’t financially literate, encouraged teachers to embrace the program, noting that everyone stands to gain from what the program offers.

    “I can look at budget plans involving hundreds of thousands of pesos, but I can’t bring myself to manage my own finances,” said Briones. She believes that this will not only help them cultivate a virtue of saving in their learners, but also help teachers be better equipped to take on the challenges of day-to-day living. Teachers can apply the things they will teach (and learn) from the program in their daily lives, making it easier to teach children the importance of financial literacy.

    A rollout of the program is expected within the first few months of School Year 2018-2019, with the teaching aids and discussion plans set to be given to the DepEd within the beginning of the school calendar. The program will be accessible via the DepEd’s learning portal (LRMDS) and is expected to be delivered to schools without access to the internet via USB.

    Private schools and other institutions will eventually gain access to the program, but the DepEd did not give a timeline as to when that access will be given.

    Written by Andronico Del Rosario, with information from BDO Foundation press release

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