European Money Week 2021 goes virtual as Malta Bankers’ Association promotes financial literacy amongst youth

Representatives from various bodies at the Teachers’ training programme as part of European Money Week 2021 held on the 23 March.

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The Malta Bankers’ Association (MBA) organised a series of events and activities in conjunction with European Money Week (EMW) and Global Money Week, which this year was held between 22 and 26 March 2021. The EMW 2021 events included also a first – a local competition amongst eligible students aimed at selecting participants representing Malta for the European Banking Federation (EBF)’s European Money Quiz, which will be held in April.

This was the seventh year that EMW was held in Malta, although last year almost all events had to be cancelled due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

EMW is characterised by a series of financial education events organised by national banking associations across Europe, under the coordination of the EBF of which the MBA is a member.

“This annual initiative, which is aligned with the OECD’s Global Money Week, sees the involvement of young people in more than 32 European countries. However, this year most of the activities were held virtually and ranged from competitive sessions to webinars. The aim is to continue to sensitise educators and students to the benefits of better financial education as a means of improving financial literacy. The EMW is thus a crucial part of EBF’s mission to promote financial literacy in Europe through events, publications and partnerships,” said Karol Gabarretta, Secretary General of the MBA.

The MBA’s programme of events was organised in conjunction with the Home Economics Seminar Centre (HESC) within the Department for Curriculum, Lifelong Learning & Employability, Ministry for Education and in collaboration with GEMMA, Junior Achievement Young Enterprise Malta Foundation (JAYE), the Central Bank of Malta (CBM) and the Malta Insurance Association (MIA).

This year’s events aimed to implement a concept scheduled for last year, in that the programme departed from the format utilised in previous editions of EMW, which had focused almost exclusively on the utilisation of banking products to foster financial literacy. As the concept of financial literacy is much more extensive than just imparting knowledge on banking services and products, the MBA and its partners in this year’s venture collaborated to encompass interventions with a more comprehensive financial significance, and to a wider audience.

EMW 2021’s week-long programme was officially inaugurated on the 22 March with a virtual address from the Minister for Education Dr Justyne Caruana and kicked off with the announcement of the winning students who competed in the ‘Financial Literacy Challenge’ for Year 4 to Year 11 students, aged 8 to 16 years. The students from the participating primary and secondary schools, planned and implemented an activity with the theme “Take Care of Yourself, Take Care of Your Money”, aimed at promoting awareness related to financial literacy, education and inclusion. Vouchers for Є 250 and Є 150 were awarded by the MBA to the first and second-placed students respectively from both primary and secondary schools.  

As part of the activities of EMW itself, a train-the-trainer event namely, a professional development training session for educators with the theme “Financial Literacy a Lifelong Experience”, was held on the 23 March. Speakers from the CBM, the MIA, GEMMA and JAYE, developed themes connected with the wider definition and concept of financial literacy as explained above.

EMW 2021 in Malta will however be primarily remembered as being the first time that a local competition was held amongst eligible students to select participants for the EBF’s European Money Quiz. The local event, held on the 24 March, resulted in the selection of two students who will now compete in the Grand final of the European Money Quiz scheduled to be held virtually on the 20 April. The MB A awarded vouchers to the two finalists.

A further event was held on the 25 March, whereby speakers from JAYE Malta Foundation organised a webinar with the theme “Europe My Business”, as an interactive programme which explores the relationship between the natural, human and capital resources found in different countries.

EMW 2021 concluded on the 26 March with an initiative which was also successfully held in previous editions of the Money Week, namely the “Be Wise – Pay Smart” programme. This event showcased a number of educational videos written, acted and directed by staff from the HESC and commissioned and funded by the MBA for use in schools. The participants comprised Year 10 students aged 14 to 15 years following the Core Curriculum Programme and Year 9, 10 and 11 students aged 13 to 16 years following the PTI Achieve Programme. Teachers from the HESC together with representatives of the MBA’s members, namely BOV and HSBC, acted as facilitators during this event.

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