Bakhodir Burkhanov: FinEd Handing Over Ceremony

Aug 16, 2017

Acting Australian High Commissioner, Ms. Amy Crago

Acting Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji, Mr. Ariff Ali

Members of the Fiji National Financial Inclusion Taskforce and Working Groups

Permanent Secretary for Education, Mr. Iowane Tiko

Colleagues and staff of the Ministry of Education

Distinguished guests:

Good afternoon, Yadra Vinaka, Namaste and Assalamu Aleykum!

PFIP’s history with the Fiji Financial Education project began in 2009 when the former Minister for Education, Filipe Bole, approached the UN following the Forum Education Ministers Meeting. Minister Bole envisaged a programme that would teach school students in Fiji personal money management skills. In partnership with the Ministry of Education, we have turned this vision into reality:

Looking back at this journey today, we are thrilled that Financial Education (FinEd) has been placed as a curriculum perspective within the Fiji National Curriculum Framework, and a comprehensive set of FinEd learning outcomes is now part of the syllabi for existing subjects taught in Years 1 through 12.

A series of teaching and student materials have been developed and disseminated in three separate distribution rounds to all 935 primary and secondary schools in Fiji. Division, district and school-based teacher training events followed nationwide.

One figure sums up this tremendous effort: Every year 205,000 primary and secondary school students are learning about personal money management in school. A child that began Class 1 in 2013 has had the marvelous opportunity of now having 4½ years of learning about Saving, Spending Wisely, Investing and Sharing in the classroom.

Thinking about what this means, one cannot overlook the role of children as agents of change. Just think about messages about financial management that this child has taken home to her/his family and shared within the community.  Or think of the very real impact, that teaching not just one child, but 205,000 students every year about personal money management, can have towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

As yet another milestone, this September, innovative primary and special schools from around the country will receive Financial Education Innovation Awards, celebrating the steps they have taken to put the curriculum into practice beyond the classroom teaching and learning materials that we have developed with the Ministry.

Internationally, the FinED Fiji project has picked up the 2013 Maya Declaration Award and the 2016 Child Youth Finance International Award. We are encouraged by the interest that has seen the project being considered for the Commonwealth Good Practices in Education Award in 2018.

The UNCDF-UNDP Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme based in the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji is proud to be associated with such a groundbreaking project and we acknowledge, with sincere appreciation, the confidence of the primary FinED Fiji funder, the Australian Government. Together with other members of the PFIP Investment Committee, DFAT supported the programme and the Ministry in making this remarkable initiative possible.  

I would also like to recognize the indispensable role of the Ministry of Education in delivering these results thus far. We have heard inspirational stories from schools around the country and we have every confidence that, under the stewardship of the Ministry of Education, this initiative continues to inspire and influence life’s journeys of students, their parents, their schools and their communities.

We invite you to take a look at our FinED display as well as the banners around the room, celebrating our collective achievements in this project. 

Thank you, Vinaka Vakalevu, Dhanyabaad and Shukriya! 

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