SELIBE PHIKWE, Botswana: Stanbic Bank Botswana is advocating for the introduction of financial literacy training in Botswana schools ÔÇô a move expected to bolster financial knowledge to the country’s future generations.
In an address at the Makhubu Community Junior Secondary School prize giving ceremony recently, Leina Gabaraane, the Stanbic Bank Botswana Managing Director, called for financial literacy renaissance. He noted that it would bring knowledge and power regarding finance.
“I believe that one of the fundamental causes of the financial crisis was the lack of financial education and understanding. The existence of basic financial literacy would have gone a very long way in reducing the impact of the financial crisis and could well have helped avoid the crisis. I believe that journey has to start now in our nation so that we can make a relevant impact.”
Gabaraane’s address comes at a time when a vast majority, even amongst the educated populace in Botswana, does not have basic understanding of financial principles, and yet the need for financial knowledge has taken a global centre stage.
“Because most of us do not understand finance, we cannot gainfully engage in constructive dialogue. The ongoing crisis therefore re-emphasised the strong calls for improved financial education starting at very elementary levels, we have historically believed that science and maths are critical in our daily lives and that understanding of these topics is pertinent in our education systems, likewise we have to now accept that financial management is part of our lives and basic training in financial management is necessary,” added Gabaraane.
He further noted that without basic understanding of finance, wrong and misinformed decisions prejudicial to businesses and homes are made.
“We just do not know when we have borrowed enough. We do not understand the importance of investing and saving for the future, hence Botswana having the lowest levels of savings per household and has one of the highest levels of debt per household.”
Tsimamma, the Head Teacher of Makhubu JSS echoed Gabaraane’s sentiments.
She said, “I believe in giving the children ÔÇô who are the future, as broad an education as possible. This will enable them to understand certain concepts such as finance from an early age. The introduction of financial training to our education system would therefore be a truly welcome development.”
Stanbic Bank has always advocated for the importance of the provision of basic training in financial management.
As part of its campaign, the Bank has developed some financial literacy booklets for distribution in the local schools and, if possible, to have these financial literacy booklets adopted into the school curriculum.
The Bank also donated a colour copier inclusive of a printer, scanner and fax to the school to assist it with the administration.