Written by Olalekan David Abiola; an excerpt from The Grey Collection by Oyemaja.
For The Oyemaja Foundation,
A division of The Oyemaja Group.
Financial literacy for kids is about ensuring that a child is educated on the best way to manage finances. This is a way of securing their future. This is because they will be able to learn how to manage money in all ways possible.
I have been faced with different challenges as a teacher-leader in the classroom. I discovered that some of my pupils would not even come to school with a pen, some of them would not get new notebooks after exhausting the ones they were using.
Times without number, I had provided these basic things for my pupils with the help of my organisation Teach For Nigeria and donors. But I have exhausted all that I had in stock so there was need to devise an alternative.
After series of observations and reflections on how best to tackle this, I discovered that my pupils give themselves ice cream, puff puff, sweets, biscuits treat after school. Which means they have money but will never use the money given to them to buy pen or books that they need.
So I thought to myself, why not make these pupils take responsibility for themselves by saving some percentage of what their parents give to them daily. We can then deduct from it to settle pressing needs of note books and pen.
To cut a long story short, we launched our piggybank yesterday (we designed and produced a piggybank using recycled materials - waste to wealth). After the launch, we had a lesson on how and why we all need to save money.
My pupils have developed a sense of agency to money saving and have saved more than 15% of what they get from their parents so far, they just want to save money as soon as they get it.
We also elected a financial secretary who would keep record of what is saved and deducted.
My pupils added financial management skills to the skills they already have.
According to the World Bank, Africa generates nearly 70 million tonnes of waste every year. Waste is everywhere; it only requires a bit of creativity and hard work to create wealth out of it. In lieu of this, my champions and I started a 35 minutes class aimed at critical thinking and creativity on how to turn waste to wealth last term. In this class, we display waste materials like tin, plastic bottles, boxes, papers, etc. and everyone takes about 5mins to think critically and come up with what these objects can be used for.
At first, I was skeptical about this idea but when we had our first class, I was surprised at the mind blowing ideas that these kids came up with. One of such ideas is creating a first aid box using a shoe box, and also creating piggybank using beverage tin. We noted all that was shared that day and we are turning them into reality one after the other. The volume of waste generated on our continent is expected to double in the coming years as Africa’s economy becomes more prosperous and the size and population of its cities explode. It is therefore important to prepare kids on how to think outside the box and create wealth for themselves from waste.