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Saturday 20 January 2018

Signal Hill tops Financial Literacy Challenge

SIGNAL Hill Secondary School held off strong challenges from four other top secondary schools to walk away with first place in the National Financial Literacy Secondary Schools Challenge Competition at the Central Bank in Port-of-Spain. Naparima Boys College and Lakshmi Girls High School placed second and third respectively, with Hillview College and Queens Royal College rounding out the top five.

The competition, an initiative of the National Financial Literacy Programme (NFLP) of the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, was developed as part of the NFLP’s mission to educate the young people of Trinidad and Tobago to make informed financial choices and better manage their money.

Dr Shelton Nicholls, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, speaking to the audience of students, teachers and parents on hand to witness the competition, thanked the young people for their hard work and dedication despite the many demands on their time.

He noted that the “Central Bank was collaborating with the Ministry of Education to infuse financial literacy into the curriculum of the schools and had already produced a series of booklets and other material for use by primary and secondary school students”.

He also indicated that since its inception in 2007, the NFLP had reached 19,500 students in approximately 608 classes at 358 primary schools.

He urged participants to continue to spread the practical experiences that they had gained in financial literacy with their peers, family and the community.

The National Financial Literacy Secondary Schools Challenge offered secondary school students from Forms Three to Six a challenge to develop a tool that could be used to teach financial literacy to their peers.

The competition consisted of two parts — a national financial literacy quiz and a team project. Only the ten schools scoring highest in the quiz were invited to conceptualise, design and build a tool, and then test it with other students at their school. At the final competition, the five schools with the overall highest scores presented their projects before a panel of judges, which included Adrian Saunders, Asst Manager, NFLP; Francis William-Smith, Officer 2, NFLP; Gaynelle Holdip-Curriculum Officer, Ministry of Education and Lisa Grannum, University Treasurer, UTT to explain and defend their creations.

After a hard fought battle, Signal Hill Secondary with its innovative Financial Literacy Speech Band presentation emerged victorious. The speech band tradition, which is part of Tobago’s oral tradition and which is typically used as a type of social commentary, was used by the students to convey strong messages about financial literacy.

Not to be outdone, the students of Naparima College developed an interactive multimedia presentation that used drama and chutney music to teach young people financial literacy.

The high standard of their project and presentation earned them second place.

Lakshmi Girls adapted two very popular television shows - Family Feud and Deal or No Deal — to create a financial literacy game that not only taughtimportant financial literacy concepts but thrilled the audience. For their efforts, they were awarded third place. Both Hillview College and QRC created innovative board games which required the winner to make the most prudent financial decisions.

Speaking on behalf of the judging panel and the Ministry of Education, Holdip commended all the students for the high standard of their projects and congratulated them on their achievement despite having to contend with a rigorous academic curriculum. She also commended the NFLP for its efforts to reach young people with important financial messages and pledged the ministry’s continued support.

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