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Malaysia

Public-private partnerships have been a key feature of the promotion and provision of financial education in Malaysian schools since the late 90s. There is currently a proposal to introduce financial education in schools into core subjects as of 2014 in primary schools and as of 2017 in secondary schools. Until now, most financial education has occurred through co-curricular rather than curriculum integrated activities and financial institutions have provided significant funding as well as in-kind support for these initiatives. The involvement of financial institutions in the financial education programme is part of their corporate and social responsibility and financial institutions are encouraged to play a significant role in financial education.

Specific public-private partnerships have been developed through collaboration between Bank Negara Malaysia, the Ministry of Education (MoE) and financial institutions since the launch of the Schools Adoption Programme (SAP) in 1997. Under the SAP, 10 000 Government-funded schools have been adopted by the financial institutions, including schools for children with disabilities. The financial institutions conduct activities relating to banking, insurance and basic financial knowledge and provide an opportunity for school children to have a bank account. It is worth noting that under existing proposals to introduce financial education in core subjects, the SAP platform would continue to play an important role in reinforcing delivery of the subjects in the classroom and in supporting teacher through technical advice (both workshops and guidance).

Bank Negara Malaysia is responsible for coordinating the SAP and for promoting financial education in schools. The Bank allocates an annual budget for the implementation of teacher workshops, development and production of educational materials, maintenance and enhancement of the financial education website17, promotional activities and prizes for financial education competitions. The Bank has made a long-term commitment to elevating the financial literacy of school children. Other financial institutions also allocate funds to organise activities related to financial education in their adopted schools and to produce financial education materials.

The SAP has been complemented by several other initiatives. These are:

  • • Student Financial Club (SFC) - a SFC has been established in more than 2000 schools under the SAP since 1999. As part of their co-curricular activities, students who join the clubs engage in money and finance related activities through workshops, visits to financial institutions, knowledge sharing and games.
  • • Pocket Money Book: introduced in 1998 to educate and assist students to manage their pocket money and to take control of their personal finance. More than 7.9 million books have been distributed.

• Financial education website: In 2004, Bank Negara Malaysia, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education created and launched a financial education website as an interactive financial education tool.

The Bank has worked closely with the MoE. For example, in 2005 a guidebook for teachers-in-charge of SFC was prepared by Bank Negara Malaysia in collaboration with the MoE. To further assist teachers in conducting financial education activities, lesson plans with outlined modules and activities on financial education were distributed to all schools in 200818. The lesson plans were developed at teacher workshops with the contribution of adoptive financial institutions and were compiled by Bank Negara Malaysia.

Bank Negara’ Malaysia’s efforts are complemented by the contribution of partners such as the Securities Industry Development Corporation, the National Co-operative Organisation of Malaysia, Malaysian Association for the Blind and the relevant government ministries and agencies.

The table below summarises the contributions made by the key stakeholders.

Organisation

Roles

Bank Negara Malaysia in collaboration with the MoE and adoptive financial institutions under SAP

  • • Structure the financial education programme framework for school children
  • • Organise workshops to train teachers in conducting financial education activities as part of their professional development
  • • Organise financial education workshops for school children
  • • Develop materials such as guidebooks and lesson plans to facilitate teachers in conducting activities relating to financial education
  • • Develop and distribute effective financial education materials such as Pocket Money Book (including Braille version), financial education website, leaflets and brochures
  • • Promote awareness of the financial education programmes for children
  • • Organise “Financial Awareness Week” at a different state each year to enhance engagement with the community at large, including school children in the locality

Private sector such as Securities Industry Development Corporation

  • • Promote investor education through programmes organised for school children
  • • Provide technical assistance to adoptive financial institutions and introduce fresh ideas on investor education activities to motivate teachers and students

Non-governmental organisations such as consumer associations

  • • Promote and create awareness of the importance of financial education programmes through the media
  • • Publish financial education materials

Smart partners such as Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency, Financial Mediation Bureau, Malaysian Deposit Insurance Corporation and relevant ministries

• Promote public awareness of the consumer education programme targeted at school children via joint outreach programmes and dissemination of materials and create links to duitsaku.com website

Managing possible conflicts of interest

To mitigate possible conflicts of interest, the MoE has streamlined all the cocurricular activities conducted by private organisations for school children. As a guiding principle for heads of the 10 000 schools adopted under the SAP, financial education programmes should only be conducted by the MoE, the adoptive financial institutions and the partners of Bank Negara Malaysia. The MoE and school authorities monitor financial education activities by financial institutions to ensure that marketing activities are not conducted during financial education activities.

 
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