Thousands of Young People Empowered with Financial Education for their Futures


Grade 11 learners from Shakaskraal Secondary School in KwaZulu-Natal have had their financial futures kick-started through Metropolitan’s Kickstarz financial education programme. Having undergone money management training with an entertaining twist, they now form part of the 2,500 plus learners from schools around the country who have been empowered to deal with real-world financial responsibilities when they leave home.

The Kickstarz programme saw Shakaskraal Secondary School learners getting the chance to start their own sneaker companies (each with unique names and logos) and designing their very own pair of sneakers that they could then market to the rest of the school. In doing so, they learnt financial basics from how to read a bank statement and how to plan and follow a budget, to more advanced issues like how to build up a good credit record and stay out of debt.

On the final day of the programme, the kids got to display their sneaker designs and decide which was the best-performing ‘business’ in the programme. All members of the winning team walked away with a real pair of sneakers, made using their very own design. Upping the excitement on the day was DJ Deon Govender from East Coast Radio who emceed the event.

South Africans’ financial literacy is currently ranked lowest in the world, according to a survey conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, in which 2,813 South Africans aged between 18 and 79 took part. The survey found that South African adults display low levels of financial knowledge, fail to engage in financial behaviours that could improve their financial security and have financial attitudes focused on the short-term. “With this in mind, we realised that it was crucial to educate young people on healthy financial habits before they enter adulthood and provide them with financial wellness tools for their futures,” says Metropolitan CSI Manager, Elsie Govender. “Given South Africa’s staggering youth unemployment rate, Kickstarz also offers learners an opportunity to consider entrepreneurship as a form of successful employment.”

Piloted in 2016 and implemented at six schools last year, Kickstarz has seen 99% of students now being able to create a budget, 56% being able to understand financial terms and phrases very well and 99% being more likely to save money. In addition, 95% of parents felt that the Kickstarz programme was a good way to teach children about money management.

“The programme not only teaches financial principles, but also other valuable skills such as teamwork and presentation skills, which are not necessarily taught through textbooks. It is a practical programme and was designed with edutainment in mind. It engages learners in a fun way but also leaves them with valuable skills to better understand and work with money,” shares Govender.

She concludes: “The future of our country, our economy and our businesses lie in the hands of the youth. When in grade 11, they are also at a critical juncture to shape their own future successes. We invite other schools to contact us to find out how this programme can be brought to their learners.”

The next school to undergo the Kickstarz programme will be Soneike High School in Kuilsriver, Western Cape. Metropolitan are looking to roll out the programme to more schools in Gauteng and the Western Cape during 2018.

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