Financial Education Programme For Public Schools in the Philippines


BDO Foundation, Inc.

INTRODUCTION

BDO Foundation serves underprivileged Filipinos through two main advocacies: disaster response and financial inclusion.

Leveraging the bank’s wide network of branches nationwide and the volunteerism of BDO employees, the Foundation mounts relief operations across the country for people affected by natural or man-made disasters. As a follow through to these disaster response efforts, it helps rebuild calamity-stricken or economically disadvantaged communities by rehabilitating rural health units, constructing new school buildings and building resettlement homes.

In line with its financial inclusion advocacy, the Foundation forged partnerships with various institutions to develop financial education programmes that benefit millions of Filipinos. The goal is to contribute significantly to the development of a financially literate citizenry. The initiative is significant as the Philippines has low financial literacy levels. According to studies cited by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Central Bank of the Philippines, people lack basic knowledge to make sound financial decisions.

FRAMEWORK AND STRATEGY

BDO Foundation partnered with BSP and the Department of Education (DepEd) for the development of a financial education programme for public schools in the Philippines, with teachers, non-teaching personnel and students as the target audience. Through this initiative, the Foundation aims to support BSP’s National Strategy for Financial Inclusion as well as DepEd’s efforts to strengthen the financial literacy component of its K-12 (Kindergarten to 12th grade) curriculum.

To make lessons on financial responsibility engaging and compelling, the Foundation produced ten financial education videos in collaboration with BSP and DepEd, covering lessons on savings, budgeting, financial planning, investments, managing debt, the responsible use of credit, entrepreneurship and avoiding scams. Lessons were enhanced by discussion guides developed by master teachers under the guidance of DepEd. The videos and discussion guides are now used in classroom instruction and the regular training and development programmes of DepEd for its teaching and non-teaching personnel.

ACHIEVEMENT AND IMPACT

The financial education programme for public schools in the Philippines is the only corporate citizenship initiative of its kind in the country. Unlike similar projects undertaken by other organisations, the programme is integrated in the DepEd system. This way, the educational materials can be deployed effectively to the target audience—teachers, nonteaching personnel and students—in a short period of time.

As part of the nationwide deployment of the programme, BDO Foundation donated 120 LED television sets and more than 10,000 USB memory drives containing the financial education materials to DepEd regional directors and schools division superintendents all over the country. The donation was aimed at helping schools effectively facilitate training sessions and discussions on financial literacy.

More than 800,000 teachers and non-teaching personnel, and an estimated 24 million students in more than 47,000 public schools across the Philippines stand to benefit from the financial education programme.

FUTURE DIRECTION

Spurred by the success of the programme, BDO Foundation is expanding the scope of its financial inclusion advocacy to cover more beneficiaries. Currently underway is the implementation of similar programmes for migrant Filipino workers and soldiers of the Philippine Army.

An agreement signed by the leadership of BDO Foundation, BSP and DepEd affirms the partners’ commitment to the implementation of the programme. Discussions between the partners on the development of more training interventions are also underway.

All the financial education videos, discussion guides and lesson plans are now integrated into DepEd’s K-12 curriculum and teacher training programmes. They are now part of its learning resources. These resources are now uploaded on DepEd’s online learning portal, where they can be readily accessed. All these measures are meant to ensure the sustainability and continuance of BDO Foundation’s financial education programme for public schools in the Philippines.
BDO Foundation, Inc. is the corporate social responsibility arm of BDO, the largest bank in the Philippines. Founded in 2008, the Foundation aims to contribute to nation-building by addressing the needs of underserved sectors of society.