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By Seleoe Nonyane
The Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) says the introduction of financial education at primary school level is crucial as it will impact the learners’ finances in future.
This was said by the CBL corporate communication chief, Ephraim Moremoholo, at a stakeholder engagement workshop held on Monday this week.
Moremoholo indicated that CBL has drafted a National Strategy for Financial Education 2024-2029 aimed at making Lesotho a financially educated nation capable of making informed financial decisions.
He said the mission of the strategy is to foster financial education and literacy, which will in turn promote financial inclusion and well-being of citizens.
He emphasized that when financial education is introduced to children at an early stage, they are likely to become better future providers of their families and have a society that does not fall victim to debt, which is a major problem facing the country currently.
“One of the activities the CBL is engaged in is to encourage the integration of financial education into the school curriculum. This started in 2017 but was put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic. At the moment financial education has already been included in secondary and high school curricula.
“We also want this to be included for children who are out of school hence encouraging the consideration of co-curricular initiatives.
“The youth that are already out of school such as herd boys must be included. So, we need to come up with strategies that get to reach those disadvantaged groups,” he said.
According to Moremoholo, the second pillar of the strategy is focused mainly on young people, and youth representatives who can be able to tell exactly what the needs of the youth are as they work closely with them.
He added that CBL has a framework for financial education in schools, covering four areas namely money management, becoming a critical consumer; risk management; emotions around money; and the importance of money in life.
“This entails infrastructure development and issues of tax, among others.
“Children need to understand that if one is doing well then how is that going to assist in achieving the nation’s goal at the end of the day,” he noted.
Included in the document is an ‘out-of-school framework’ which talks about money and transactions.
“I understand that people need to be taught about different payment systems and that it is not all the cash that one can be able to use. People need to be engaged on such issues.
“Issues of budgeting, savings, investment, and retirement are very critical,” he reiterated.
Moremoholo said to reach a large proportion of the population, CBL will engage in awareness campaigns or direct training and practices. For instance, he said, asking children to join in when doing household budgeting; that will help them comprehend how it goes.
He added that currently, there is no authority or structure that directly deals with financial education, and this poses a challenge as it hampers the process of monitoring progress and reporting on it.