Most OFWs who return home broke and in debt are clear examples of the urgent need for financial education early in life. It’s not just the knowledge but the habit and the right way of thinking on how to manage savings and money in general. Money management is a problem in almost every Filipino and his “bahala na” attitude or enjoy-today-worry- tomorrow habit. They should be taught not to be overwhelmed and complacent with their spending the moment they earn their first salary. Children should be educated early on about money and saving to prevent major heartaches in the future.
British life insurer Pru Life Insurance Corporation of U.K. (Pru Life UK) strengthens its commitment to promote financial literacy among Filipinos by hosting its third Cha-Ching Educators’ Conference on Financial Literacy at the Marco Polo Ortigas Manila in Pasig City. The yearly conference brought together over 280 partners and teachers from both public and private partner schools nationwide.
With the theme “Building on the gains of Cha-Ching: Institutionalizing financial literacy in basic education,” the one-day conference included discussions and presentations focusing on the potentials of the incorporation of financial literacy in the grade school curriculum. The event also highlighted the best practices of Cha-Ching, providing the teachers a venue to exchange learnings and strategies from on-the-ground experiences in handling Cha-Ching lessons.
The panel discussions – which underscored developing, celebrating, and encouraging the reach of financial literacy and entrepreneurship in the Philippine educational system – were led by public and private sector advocates of financial literacy, including Atty. Tonisito Umali, the Assistant Secretary for Legal and Legislative Affairs, as well as Partnerships and External Linkages, of the Department of Education (DepEd); Norman Cualteros, the Lead Policy Officer of the Office of Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino; Shayne Rose Bulos, the Officer-in-Charge in Microinsurance of the Insurance Commission; Prof. Edwin Suson of the University of Santo Tomas; Bernadee Uy, the Social Enterprise Manager of the British Council; and Shanonraj Khadka, the co-founder of Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farms.
Rounding up the line-up of speakers and subject matter experts who shared their insights on teaching money management skills were Alexi Bautista of Generation Hope Philippines; Vivian Lau, JA Asia Pacific’s President, and Mark Valino, Pru Life UK’s Senior Manager for Investment Marketing.
Atty. Umali welcomed the participants by reiterating the importance of being financially literate to help them effectively champion the money-smart values not only in the classroom but also in their daily lives. “I’m very happy about Cha-Ching as well as Pru Life UK for being active in promoting financial literacy among children. We have already started taking on the challenge of imbibing these money smarts among our youth, and this makes me excited to look forward to a more financially literate Philippines.”
This year’s conference welcomed the addition of 17 public schools and four private schools to the current roster of 76 partner institutions implementing financial literacy lessons under Pru Life UK’s Financial Literacy for the Youth program.
Thumbs up from Cha-Ching teachers
In the 2015 Cha-Ching Educator’s Conference, evaluation results of the third implementation year of Cha-Ching were discussed. The evaluation showed that students under the Cha-Ching program experienced an immediate change in money management practices such as prioritizing savings and exploring entrepreneurship as a viable option for earning.
The same has also been observed with the financial skills of the teachers as more of them apply the money-smart lessons to their own personal finances. Overall, 100% of teachers and principals who have implemented the Cha-Ching program said they would continue to implement it and recommend it to other schools.
“We are pleased the Cha-Ching program has been well received by children, parents, and teachers in the Philippines and across Asia. Building on the program’s successes, we see the opportunity to create a grade school curriculum on financial literacy using the Cha-Ching concepts,” said Prudence Foundation Executive Director Marc Fancy. “Through this new Cha-Ching curriculum, we hope to reach as many children as possible, helping them to develop responsible money management habits at an early age.“
New and enhanced curriculum
As part of its commitment to provide comprehensive and contemporary materials and initiatives to further improve the program, Pru Life UK launched during the program an enhanced curriculum which was developed by Prudence Foundation in collaboration with JA Asia Pacific.
The said curriculum and its corresponding workbooks will target elementary school children and will be implemented in the grade 4 level – the recommended ideal grade level for administering the curriculum during the pilot test run. It consists of six 45-minute modular sessions, wherein each session is taught through experiential and hands-on learning that allows students to put into practice the knowledge acquired.
The program teaches children about the four key concepts of money management – Earn, Save, Spend, and Donate – and uses an integrated learning approach, featuring a Cha-Ching music videos, discussions on the concepts, in-class activities, and take home materials in each session.
Best practices among financial literacy partners
Aside from the learning sessions, awards were conferred to the money-smart partner schools, educators, and students who participated in the following Cha-Ching contests:
Cha-Ching School Project Proposal Competition
The competition encouraged schools to present strategies on how they can champion and actively promote financial literacy within the school and in nearby communities with the participation of teachers, students, parents, and community officials.
Gold award (PhP 25,000) Western Visayas Sanitarium Elementary School
Silver award (PhP 20,000) Stonyhurst Southville International School – Batangas
Bronze award (PhP 15,000) Tagaytay City Central School
Most Distinguished Cha-Ching Educator Award (PhP 25,000)
The competition aimed to recognize and award the best financial literacy educators currently implementing the Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids Program in their schools.
James Earn A. Esperida – Pagatpat Elementary School, Calabanga, Camarines Sur
Cha-Ching Lesson Plan Competition
Teachers were encouraged to create a unique lesson plan that will effectively teach the money smarts to students.
First place (PhP 7,000) Vanessa B. Soldevilla
Pavia Pilot Elementary School
Second place (PhP 6,000) Elizabeth V. Sullano
Southville International School and Colleges
Third place (PhP 5,000) Claudine P. Katigbak
Stonyhurst Southville International School – Malarayat
Cha-Ching Poster Competition
Students were invited to create a poster illustrating at least one of the Cha-Ching money-smart values: earn, save, spend, and donate.
First place (PhP 6,000) Kurt Sebastian M. Manalaysay – Grade 2
Baliwag North Central School
Second place (PhP 5,000) Kyle C. Tiotangco – Grade 3
Baliwag North Central School
Third place (PhP 4,000) John David De Castro – Grade 3
Santa Rosa Elementary School Central I
Fourth place (PhP 3,000) Kirby R. Paderan – Grade 2
Baliwag North Central School
Fifth place (PhP 3,000) Erbert Jr. Lebriza – Grade 3
Western Visayas Sanitarium Elementary School
Sixth place (PhP 3,000) Shakira Rein R. Esperano – Grade 3
Baliwag North Central School
Continuing the Cha-Ching milestone
As Pru Life UK’s flagship corporate social responsibility program, Cha-Ching is the first multi-country, multi-platform program that aims to help parents in Asia teach children basic money management skills to children aged seven to 12. It was launched in Hong Kong in 2011 by Prudential Corporation Asia, the regional headquarters of Pru Life UK.
The Philippines became the first country to integrate Cha-Ching in the grade school curriculum following the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement with DepEd in April 2012 for the integration of the Cha-Ching in the grade 2 curriculum.
Piloting in Upper Bicutan Elementary School in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Tagaytay Central School in the Southern Tagalog Region for academic year 2012-2013 through DepEd’s Adopt-A-School program, the implementation has expanded its coverage to a total of 64 public schools in NCR, Northern and Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao for academic year 2016-2017. Cha-Ching is likewise concurrently being integrated in the syllabi of 33 partner private educational institutions. To date, the program has benefitted more than 100,000 students and trained more than 1,500 teachers across the country.
“The third Cha-Ching Educators’ Conference provided an opportunity for Pru Life UK to take concrete steps and expand wider reach in instilling financial literacy in Filipinos, therefore contributing to nation-building,” said Pru Life UK President and Chief Executive Officer Antonio De Rosas. “We hope that with this event, our Cha-Ching teachers are even more equipped to champion the money-smart values in the classroom and mold money-smart kids who will, in the future, lead a more money-smart Philippines.”
The third Cha-Ching Educators’ Conference coincides with Pru Life UK’s 20th anniversary in the Philippines. In 1996, the Insurance Commission granted the British subsidiary the license to operate and sell life insurance in the country. Since then, Pru Life UK has expanded its reach to over 80 branches in the Philippines, with the biggest life agency force at 14,000 licensed agents, and has emerged as one of the top five life insurers. Pru Life UK is headquartered in Uptown Bonifacio, Taguig City.