27 June 2012

Ghana: Gov to Introduce Financial Education At SHS

Kumasi — THE PRINCIPAL Economic officer at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Mrs. Marian Mensah has given hints of the introduction of financial education in the Senior High School syllabi. She said financial education is being addressed in the review of Senior High School syllabi in, Business Management studies.

According to her, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning is working with the Ghana Education Service with support from the German International Cooperation (GIZ) through Responsible Finance Ghana Project to develop a more detailed content to be addressed under personal financial education in the Senior High Schools.

She said the objective is to equip students at Senior High Schools with adequate knowledge of basic financial issues and enable them make informed financial decisions as future custodians of financial service providers.

Mrs. Mensah, who was addressing a public forum on finance on the occasion of the third National Financial Literacy Week (NFLWP) in Kumasi, indicated that the government totally subscribes to the worldwide view that financial sector growth is crucial to economic development, for which it has demonstrated its commitment to promoting an enabling environment necessary for further development of the financial sector in Ghana to support private sector growth with the ultimate objective of reducing poverty.

She assured of government's commitment to continue pursuing measures to set the National Financial Literacy Week on a sustainable path by instituting a financial education endowment fund, decentralization and increasing the frequency of organization of financial literacy programmes, furthering the inclusion and enhancement of financial literacy content in Upper Primary and Junior High School curricula of teacher training colleges among others.

The Economic Officer noted that one of the most important and prudent lessons of life borders on how to achieve and maintain financial security, yet too few Ghanaians have had the opportunity to learn the basics of money management in school, at work and at home, which behooves on us as individuals and a nation to avail ourselves of opportunities to learn about personal financial skills.

She said financial literacy can set the stage for positive actions which are so important to creating wealth and financial stability, such actions she said include careful considerations of costs associated with the conduct of financial services, avoidance of fraudulent schemes, having clear knowledge and understanding of financial products and services and engaging in long term savings for retirement.

She further indicated that results of two surveys conducted in 2007 and 2009 to ascertain the depth of financial literacy amongst urban and rural adult Ghanaians, established that 43% of those surveyed did not have full or correct information on what they needed for successful financial planning.

To correct the situation, Mrs. Mensah said the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning in 2010 initiated the Finscope Ghana Demand Survey to identify barriers and highlight opportunities for innovation in both formal and informal sector, which she admitted had made some in-roads at correcting and identifying some of these barriers following positive response so far.

Mrs. Mensah noted that the government believed in promoting financial literacy to empower consumers and small business to better understand and manage financial risk, deal effectively with market complexity and take advantage of increasing competition in the financial sector towards a stronger economic growth.

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