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Making kids money-savvy through new initiative
By a staff reporter February 07, 2017
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DUBAI: Teaching your children the value of money equips them with a life skill you can’t put a price on. In the UAE, these lessons can be a challenge but here to help you is the Kids’ Finance Initiative. Its extra-curricular classes make learning about finance fun – and are backed by some of the country’s leading educators.

How many times have you heard people say kids don’t understand the value of money these days, with their smart phones, tablets, designer trainers – all paid for by the Bank of Mum and Dad? How do you teach your children ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’?

This is where the newly launched Kids’ Finance Initiative steps in. Geared towards making sure youngsters are clued-up about their future finances, it offers extra-curricular classes delivered by fully qualified educators with extensive experience in the world of finance.

Eight-week courses focus on teaching financial literacy through fun, activity-based learning, with topics including budgeting, investing, debt and entrepreneurship. There’ll also be sessions on giving back, to ensure students develop an understanding and appreciation of social responsibility.

“Educating children on the importance of managing finances is a cause I strongly believe in,” said Kids’ Finance Initiative founder Marilyn Pinto. “The world they grow up into could well be very different to the world many of us know with far more challenges to face. We’ve had some tough times recently with the global economic crisis, and it’s vital the young people of today are well-prepared for what life throws at them in terms of finance.”

The initiative is already endorsed by leading local education figures. “With limited opportunities to gain school-age part-time employment in the UAE, students are at risk of not understanding the value of money,” said Alun Yorath, headmaster of Abu Dhabi’s Brighton College. “This is a wonderful initiative that fills a gap in our school extra-curricular activities provision, as participants will develop a perspective on the value of money and will be better placed to handle future personal finances responsibly.”

Ros Marshall, CEO of education provider Taaleem, agreed; “This after-school activity will serve to improve the knowledge and understanding of responsible financial management for our students and we look forward to supporting this educational initiative.”

Some schools are buying the programme to offer it directly to their pupils. Deira Private School is among the first to be running Kids’ Finance Initiative and Clemy Fernandes, vice principal, said, “We are excited about this programme as it will help students get a head start on developing good money habits and dealing with the financial challenges of adulthood.”

Classes are in two age groups; 9-11 and 12-14. The first eight-week course, costing Dhs640, begins on February 4 with classes on Saturdays at Uptown School, Jumeira Baccalaureate School and Dubai British School.

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