Adolescent students across 23 districts to be imparted financial literacy 

Financial literacy of girls will ensure them to continue with their education

Patna: State Master Trainers were trained under the Financial Literacy Programme for Adolescents aimed at equipping them about banking concepts, budget, account opening, types of loan, government schemes, internet transactions, safety and security related to banking transactions, safe usage of ATM, internet banking, digital payments and career planning.

The training was imparted by Bihar Education Project Council (BEPC) and UNICEF during a recently concluded three-day training of State Master Trainers on Financial Literacy Programme for Adolescents in Patna.

In the joint collaboration event of BEPC and UNICEF, 119 participants including 65 secondary level government school teachers, 30 Madrasa teachers and 24 representatives of CSO partners (Pratham, Nari Gunjan, Save the Children, Mashaal and Action Aid) were trained by the resource persons of Vikramshila, Education Society, a Kolkata-based NGO. 

Talking about the overall framework and objectives of the training, Pushpa Joshi, Education Specialist, UNICEF Bihar said, “Generally, young people struggle in finding opportunities that match their aspirations. COVID-19 has further increased the challenge due to disruption in education, school drop-outs and early marriages. In this context, financial literacy is a significant area where adolescents need to be engaged to develop 21st century skills. Through this training, the participants have been trained on various aspects of financial literacy. 

The trained State Master Trainers (SMTs) will further train 650 Secondary/Sr. Secondary school teachers in 13 BEPC-supported minority districts and 608 Madrasa teachers in 2 districts. Afterwards, an individual SMT will impart financial literacy to 40 girls each in 650 schools through a mandatory course duration of 20-hours thus covering around 26,000 adolescent girls studying in class 9 to 12. Similarly, 40 adolescents, especially the girls will be trained in each of 608 Madrasas thereby covering around 24,000 adolescents.  

She further added that the students in the selected 13 districts will be educated about account opening, use of ATM, safe online transaction, safety from cyber fraud and others through videos in smart classes. 

They will also be briefed about the basics of banking services during the Chetna Satra. In case of Madrasas, Anjuman programme will be used for this purpose. The girls would be taken to the banks and ATMs by the teachers as part of the exposure visit to get the first-hand experience of the banking system to ensure better understanding and for effectively meeting the challenges. 

Assuring BEPC’s commitment to fully support this initiative, Kumar Arvind Sinha, State Programme Officer, BEPC said that this programme will be continuously conducted and would be launched in all 38 districts. 

For the monitoring and to test the success of this initiative,  some indicators have been devised such as Account opening of all 40 girls in each school, ability of all trained adolescents to use ATM service, their families not being compelled to approach the money lenders in case of emergency, seeking loan from bank for their education and career building when needed and others. This initiative will pave the way for financial inclusion of adolescents belonging to the vulnerable sections, namely minority and Mahadalit communities, Mr Sinha added.

Basant Kumar Sinha, Education Officer, UNICEF Bihar said that this initiative will also help in enlightening their families and community through the adolescents. Financial literacy holds key to enable the adolescents, particularly the girls to continue with their education, effectively make informed choices and also better negotiate decisions that impact their lives. 

Bharat Bhushan, State Resource Person, BEPC, Saeed Ansari, Secretary, Bihar State Madrasa Education Board, S. A. Moin, Senior Consultant, Dharamvir Kumar Singh and Mujtaba Hussain, State Consultants of UNICEF Bihar were present during the programme.