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European Money Week 2019 Launched in Malta

European Money Week seeks to boost public awareness on the benefits of financial education as low levels of financial literacy are increasingly perceived as problematic, especially given the rapid emergence of financial technology that emphasizes the digital nature of money.

The fifth European Money Week which aims at promoting financial literacy and financial education amongst students and youths, takes place during 25th – 29th March 2019, with financial education events organised by national banking associations across Europe, under coordination of the European Banking Federation. This annual initiative now involves young people in more than 32 countries, with activities ranging from classroom sessions to seminars and conferences, all seeking to improve financial literacy through better financial education.

This year’s European Money Week was officially launched by Mr Stephen Cachia, Director General, Department for Curriculum, Lifelong Learning and Employability at the Ministry for Education and Employment, on Monday, 25 March at St. Ignatius College, Middle School, Tal-Handaq.

A programme of events and activities for this purpose was organised by the Malta Bankers’ Association in collaboration with the Home Economics Seminar Centre within the Directorate for Learning and Assessment Programmes, its members, the Central Bank of Malta, Finance Malta, the Institute of Financial Services and Global Payments Ltd.

Speaking during the inauguration, Director General Cachia said that;

“Collaboration with important industry stakeholders such as the MBA gives our students the opportunity to link and see the relevance of what they learn at school to the reality of the wider world outside the classroom. This is even more important in an area such as financial literacy which is experiencing continuous and rapid change. Events such as these are crucial for the educational sector to remain responsive to these changes in order to prepare our students to adequately face them in a positive manner.”

In his address, the Secretary General of the Malta Bankers’ Association, Karol Gabarretta, stressed that “financial education is an important key for students’ future empowerment. In today’s times the incentive to save unfortunately may have decreased as the opportunities for doing so have been whittled down over recent years as interest rates have tumbled. However, it is extremely important that we, as current guardians of our children’s future, ensure that young people start from an early age being exposed to financial education and literacy.”

Mr Gabarretta said that this year’s Money Week programme was built on a number of successful events which had been organised in past years. One such event was the “Financial Literacy Challenge” which this year was organised in two categories one for Year 5 and 6 pupils and the other for Year 7 and 8 students. The participating school teams had to plan and implement an activity aimed at promoting awareness related to financial literacy and education, and the cash prizes which were awarded by the Malta Bankers’ Association are to be used to fund school initiatives related to financial literacy.

Another successful event included in the programme focused on teacher development training. Around fifty Home Economics teachers were invited to participate in a morning seminar entitled “Financial Literacy Matters for Educators”. The training was aimed at updating the participants on new, fast-moving developments in various areas of financial services.

In addition to these events, this year’s programme also introduced an information session entitled Cybersecurity and Payments for post-secondary students. The session aims to highlight the importance of awareness among young people on cybersecurity issues so as to help them develop sufficient knowledge of the risks in this area thus enhancing their cybersecurity skills.

Mr Gabarretta thanked all concerned for their valued support and cooperation in organising this year’s Money Week, which he said has now firmly established itself in the local financial literacy calendar and which thus plays an important part in boosting awareness on the benefits of better financial education amongst youths and the community at large.