By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
Education Secretary Leonor Briones reiterated importance of financial literacy to both learners and teachers as the Department of Education (DepEd) continues to integrate its concepts into the K to 12 curriculum.
Briones underscored anew the importance of instilling financial literacy among teachers and students during the Financial Education Stakeholders (FinEd) Expo 2018 organized by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City recently.
With the help of its partners, Briones said the DepEd has been training trainers in the conduct of Financial Literacy Education (FLE) for teachers – who will benefit personally and professionally as they integrate FLE in their respective classes.
Around 6,000 teachers from the National Capital Region (NCR) have been trained in the pilot stage of the modules developed by DepEd, the BSP, and the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) to date. DepEd said the FLE is integrated in the following discipline areas across grade levels: Filipino; English; Mathematics; Science; Araling Panlipunan; Edukasyong Pantahanan at Pangkabuhayan; Technology and Livelihood Education; Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao; Music, Arts, Physical Education and Health; Homeroom Guidance Program; and selected senior high school (SHS) core and applied subjects.
Briones recalled that one of her first actions when she assumed the position as Education chief was to conduct in-depth studies on the spending habits of DepEd employees – both teaching and nonteaching personnel. This, she noted, led to the “birth of various efforts and partnerships of DepEd with other key agencies and organizations that promote financial literacy.”
“When I joined DepEd, the first thing I did was to conduct a serious study on the spending habits of my constituencies, to ask what do they do with their borrowed funds because you can borrow money within 30 minutes if you wish to,” Briones said. “And there are always institutions, groups – legal or illegal – from whom you can borrow the money,” she added.
Briones also mentioned that DepEd will embark on further improving its financial systems by next year. “Employees go into debt is due to the delays in the payment of salaries, in the downloading of fund, etc,” she said. “We have to work very, very hard on this,” she added.
The FinEd Expo aimed to connect stakeholders from the public and private sectors, provide venue for sharing their financial education initiatives, and encourage productive partnerships. Topics discussed include leadership and financial stewardship; the state of financial education practices in the Philippines and around the world; practical tips for personal finance management from well-known life coaches; innovations in financial education program design and delivery; and financial education as part of corporate social responsibility.
Alongside the Expo was an exhibit showcasing selected private financial institutions and nongovernment entities that have financial education programs. Aside from DepEd, also present at the event were representatives from Insurance Commission, Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation, Securities Exchange Commission, Asian Development Bank, banking associations, private financial institutions and their foundations, cooperative and microfinance sectors, and well-known financial literacy advocates.
Meanwhile, Briones also conveyed her gratitude to the BSP and other partners for the conduct of the Expo, and emphasized that this was timely as the holiday season – when spending becomes more frequent and higher – comes around the corner. “There is no end to our wants but there are limitations,” she said. “So therefore, we have to take care of our resources, money and funds,” she ended.