Central Bank Announces Programme to Improve Financial Literacy Nationally
The Central Bank of Barbados today announced plans for a major upgrade in its efforts to educate Barbadians about how they can better manage their personal finances.
Governor, Dr. Marion Williams said that a National Financial Education Programme (NFEP) will be launched at the Frank Collymore Hall on Monday, August 31, 2009 at 10:00 a.m.
The Governor explained that the Bank will take a systematic and comprehensive approach to educating the average Barbadian, in particular, about the basic best practices in managing his/her personal finances. To this end, the programme will address an array of topics that are pertinent and relevant to personal financial management, including, Budgeting and Saving, Borrowing and Purchasing A Home, Credit and Debit Cards, Insurance, Retirement and Estate Planning.
The Bank will work in tandem with a number of organisations, institutions and individuals who have already expressed an interest in being associated with helping to deliver the programme.
The Bank will be targeting the programme directly to the man in the street by hosting a series of “Lunch and Learn” sessions, as well as by engaging in conversations with Non-Governmental Organisations and community groups. The programme will commence in early September with presentations on Budgeting and Saving. These presentations will run for about three (3) to six (6) months before a new topic is rolled out. The campaign will also use the mass media to reach the public.
While this first phase will be focusing on the adult population, the Governor announced that the Bank hopes to collaborate with the Ministry of Education in the design of a programme targeting school children.
“The NFEP is not intended to create financial experts, but to get Barbadians to understand that effective management of personal finances would lead to an improvement in both their well-being and the country’s,” Governor Williams stated. “I hope that Barbadians embrace the programme and that we are able to change some behaviours.”
Prior to designing the programme, the Bank conducted a survey to measure interest and responsiveness to this type of campaign. “We were very encouraged by the results; they show that Barbadians are receptive to financial education,” the Governor commented.
Over the years the Bank has emphasized the importance of educating and informing its publics through its various seminars, conferences and workshops, as well as its Schools’ Outreach programme. The NFEP’s focus will be more broad-based than any of the other projects executed by the Bank and if it is considered that there is a continuing need, it is expected that it will be sustained over an extended period.