The success of Daily Monitor's Newspaper in Education (NiE) programme has spurred Citibank to sign a partnership with Monitor Publications Limited to extend financial education to primary schools in Uganda.
Speaking at the launch of the initiative in Kampala on Tuesday, Citibank Uganda managing director Chinedu Ikwudinma said the partnership will benefit 60 schools funded by Citibank and more schools countrywide reached by NiE.
To facilitate this initiative, globally known as Aflatoun programme, Citibank has staked $50,000 (Shs112 million) towards its implementation. The Aflatoun project helps children reflect and build on their ability to save and spend money wisely.
The MPL Managing Director, Dr Gitahi Githinji, said the Daily Monitor participation in the initiative is motivated by corporate social responsibility. He said as an organisation, MPL strives to raise literacy levels of Ugandans, irrespective of religious, tribal or social status.
"Financial literacy is not for the rich but everybody, and our involvement in this is not about ourselves but the community," Dr Githinji said.
The financial literacy project was started after Private Education Development Network (PEDN) pilot project shown the need to start financial education early.
With its Aflatoun Child Social and Financial Education Program, PEDN has been running a financial education pilot project with primary schools since 2006, covering over 50 primary schools. The 60 schools will be part of the other schools that will be receiving NiE copies weekly for another 12 months.
9,000 to benefit
"With this new support, the Aflatoun financial education project is geared toward increasing the number of young people who are able to plan, earn, keep and spend their money wisely, or even advise their parents or guardians in this respect," a statement issued by Citibank said.
The project will target 9,000 children directly and a further 3,000 children indirectly, in 60 schools in two districts for one year.
Meanwhile, a total of over 28,000 children have so far benefitted from the NiE program, receiving a total of 24,000 copies of Daily Monitor newspapers since the project's inception in 2008.
Parents scoring home
Also, over 40 readers' clubs have been formed in the 56 schools, underlining the importance of the NiE project in enhancing reading and writing tradition.
The statement further reads: "Because of NiE, more parents are now sending their children to NiE beneficiary schools.
The Citibank MD noted that NiE has contributed to student retention in schools. He noted that he has since got inquiries, including from international organizations asking him about the NiE programme that has turned out to be a huge success.
Ms Grace Baguma, representing the Ministry of Education, commended the initiative, calling it the way forward in developing education.