20 October 2021
Teaching young South Africans to manage money is an imperative which will prepare them for the increasingly complex real-life economic decisions they will make in the future and lead to a happier and more financially stable adult life.
This was the view of Al Baraka Bank's Marketing Manager, Mr Yunus Paruk, addressing some 50 learners at Durban's Lakehaven Secondary School during a recent Consumer Finance Education presentation. In spite of challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, bank representatives - adhering to strict protocols - were able to address learners and plan further school visits going forward, bringing the message of financial literacy to young people.
Al Baraka Bank believes it has an obligation to inform communities and, especially, young people about money management and is intent on building and maintaining the momentum of financial literacy presentations for the benefit of this country's learners.
"There is no question that imparting financial education in later life has a very limited effect. We need to focus on our country's youth, assisting them now to adopt sound financial behaviours at an early age."
"This will give effect to instilling in children and teenagers a good work ethic, whilst empowering them to better manage their money as they become older," said Mr Paruk.
He said financial literacy was taking on ever increasing importance in the face of technological advancements and was critical in ensuring that young people are not left behind, growing up in ignorance of their financial obligations and opportunities.
Mr Paruk added: "There is a critical and widespread need in South Africa to better prepare our children for the real-life economic decisions they will in future have to make."
"Our goal is to reach learners in schools and to encourage them to embrace financial literacy now, in order to ensure their financial security in later life."
The bank's schools programme teaches the importance of saving and living within personal budgets and demonstrates to learners how to prepare for a more complex financial future, which could involve car and property purchases, understanding workplace benefits and selecting from a growing plethora of investment options, through to planning for retirement.
"Regrettably a culture of instant gratification currently prevails, with people living for today and not giving consideration to tomorrow."
"Such a mindset has the potential to lead to reckless and irresponsible financial decisions and dire consequences for people not sufficiently aware of money management, or who are financially illiterate," Mr Paruk stressed.