Response to "Teach Personal Finance in Schools" (Straits Times Forum, 21 Mar 2008)
We refer to "Teach personal finance in schools" (Straits Times Forum, 21 Mar 2008).
We agree that financial education is important. MoneySENSE, the national financial education programme, brings together industry and public sector initiatives to enhance the basic financial literacy of consumers. Since its launch in 2003, MoneySENSE has published various consumer guides and educational articles, and organised talks, workshops and roadshows to reach out to different segments of the community.
For those in school, the Ministry of Education has infused financial education messages in appropriate subjects in the formal curriculum such as Civics and Moral Education and Social Studies at the primary and secondary levels. MoneySENSE complements this through educational skits, games and workshops in primary and secondary schools. For example, MoneySENSE and the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) developed an interactive skit"Saving – the Sensible Habit" for primary school students. To date, the programme has been brought to 81 primary schools. MoneySENSE and ABS aim to bring it to the remaining 97 primary schools by mid 2009.
All publicly-funded institutions of higher learning, including universities and polytechnics, run general financial literacy modules or cross-disciplinary modules that incorporate financial literacy content for their students. MoneySENSE and CPF Board have also rolled out programmes which target students from Institute of Technical Education (ITE), polytechnics and the universities. Such programmes include simple carnival games that convey financial education messages, online game competitions and talks by financial industry practitioners. To date, more than 37,400 students from ITE, polytechnics and universities have participated in these programmes.
Information on MoneySENSE talks, consumer guides and articles, as well as how schools and other organisations may partner MoneySENSE is available at the MoneySENSE website (www.moneysense.gov.sg).
While financial education plays an important role, ultimately, everyone has to take responsibility for their own financial well-being and do their homework before making financial decisions.
Angelina Fernandez Director (Communications) Monetary Authority of Singapore
Lim Pik Ying Elaine Deputy Director Humanities and Aesthetics Ministry of Education
on behalf of the MoneySENSE Financial Education Steering Committee