FEATURE | In Tabaco City, schoolkids are mentored to handle money

LEGAZPI CITY – What better way to teach children to handle money than having them operate a small enterprise. At the San Lorenzo Elementary School (SLES) in Tabaco City, pupils and teachers initiated various enterprises which were exhibited in the weeklong celebration of the Aflatoun day and Global Money Week (GMW).

The Children International Bicol (CIB) provided each grade level with P1,500 as starting capital on November 2018. The most innovative teams with the most capital gain were awarded during the culmination ceremony.

For generating an income of P14,000, the grade 4 pupils were held as the first placers. The grade 6 pupils who had an income of P7,800 and the grade 1 pupils who posted an income of P3,700 were the second and third placers, respectively.

The profits were used in the purchase of school supplies, learning materials, children’s Christmas party and other future projects.

The GMW and Aflatoun Day was a financial awareness campaign staged every 4th week of March and aimed at inspiring children and young people to learn about money matters, livelihood and entrepreneurship.

“Teaching lifelong skills is very important in the development of the child. As early as now, we provide them with essential skills. Our dream is for all students to graduate but in reality, there are some who will not make it to college. With the financial and enterprise skills given to them, they will be able to realize that a business is possible even with very limited resources. We develop the child not only within the school curriculum but the whole of the child,” said Josefa Clariño, principal of San Lorenzo Elementary School.

Aside from the value of saving and investing, social skills, children rights and responsibilities as well as planning were also taught to the pupils by the CIB in line with its Aflatoun International iSHARE program.

“The children are the hope of our country. If a child is financially literate, (his knowledge) will (have) a domino effect (because he) can address poverty,” said Cris Mirandilla, iSHARE program facilitator.

“The Children International Bicol provided partner schools with seminars anchored on the five core elements of the iSHARE program namely, personal understanding and exploration, rights and responsibilities of the child, saving and spending, planning and budgeting, financial and social enterprise,” he added.

The pupils were provided with holistic development after being a partner of CIB for four years.

Moreover, saving money through opening a bank account was also introduced to the children and each child was given a coin bank where they could save daily.

“Aside from the iSHARE program, CIB provided support in terms of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WaSH) in Schools (WinS) Program,” Clarino said. “(CIB likewise) provided us capacity-building trainings on positive discipline and on handling cases of abuse.”

The Children International and Aflatoun International are non-profit humanitarian organizations that care for the welfare and education of children worldwide. (By Danica D. Caballero/PIA-5)