Money management course for secondary school students launched

The programme was funded by and co-organised with the Responsible Gaming Foundation

A money management course was launched in the Alternative Learning Programme at the Paola secondary school earlier today.

Education minister Evarist Bartolo said the programme had already reached some 500 students who would have been left behind by the educational system, and that the new programme sought to give students values and skills that would help them in their everyday lives.

"It is important to help young people to continue learning how to navigate through life and face challenges that are all too common," he said, referring to financial management.

The programme was funded by and co-organised with the Responsible Gaming Foundation, and will begin next week.

Foundation chairman Silvio Schembri said that although gaming was a very strong industry, it should never be treated as anything more than recreation and that the hobby could become an addiction.

"I think it is essential to educate students to make the necessary choices and growth to become better individuals," he said.

Schembri added that he hoped the programme would help students to learn how to manage their money and to approach gambling with the right attitude.

Economic growth parliamentary secretary Jose Herrera explained that the gaming industry was growing internationally as well as locally, employing some 8,000 people in Malta and contributing 12% of the GDP.

"The programme will present students with a better understanding of the outside world and with professionals from various fields to present different realities."

Project leader Joanna Zammit said that the project on money management would include lessons in how to manage and take care of personal funds as well as creating entrepreneurial skills to help students become financially stable.

She added students would also learn how to prioritize spending and how to make simple budgets to see what they are spending their money on and where their money is coming from.

A spokesperson for HSBC Bank will also be addressing topics such as savings, online safety and online banking.

"Students will also be taught that they have certain responsibilities towards the community including taxes and so on."

School principal Robert Magro explained that there were currently 260 students in the school and that the one-year learning programme was in its third year.

The school offers various programmes and job training opportunities to equip students with skills to enter the workforce and to learn more skills