ITE students trained to teach financial planning

Miss Atikah Ramlan and Mr Padauan Berwin Ela, both 19, are among ITE students who have been trained to teach financial literacy to schoolmates in a project that is a spin-off from a programme run by Citibank Singapore and SMU. Both said they are thin
Miss Atikah Ramlan and Mr Padauan Berwin Ela, both 19, are among ITE students who have been trained to teach financial literacy to schoolmates in a project that is a spin-off from a programme run by Citibank Singapore and SMU. Both said they are thinking about careers in finance.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

In a novel move, Institute of Technical Education (ITE) students are being trained to teach their schoolmates financial planning, in a bid to give the students a lift in life.

After completing a 14-hour course conducted by lecturers from the Singapore Management University (SMU), these students become trainers, running roadshows or workshops for fellow ITE students.

A total of 42 ITE students have been trained since the programme was started in the three ITE campuses this year. Another 30 are expected to be trained next year.

The project is a spin-off from a financial literacy programme that Citibank Singapore and SMU have been running since 2012. The trainers' programme started with SMU and polytechnic students, and was extended to ITE students this year.

Besides the ITE students, about 210 SMU students and 80 polytechnic students have been trained and are running programmes in their university and polytechnics.

Extending the programme to the ITE will give students there a leg-up in life, said Ms Cheryl Chen, Citibank Singapore's vice-president and head of corporate citizenship.

"We believe that with financial literacy training, the students, some of whom come from disadvantaged families, can have a better chance to improve themselves and the lives of their families," she said.

EMPOWERING STUDENTS 

We believe that with financial literacy training, the students, some of whom come from disadvantaged families, can have a better chance to improve themselves and the lives of their families. 

MS CHERYL CHEN, vice-president and head of corporate citizenship at Citibank Singapore.

ITE students who have completed the course said they found it useful. "I thought it would be boring, but it was actually quite fun," said Mr Padauan Berwin Ela, 19.

"I learnt to plan a budget and save upfront, rather than save what I have left after spending my money," he added. "This is the idea of 'paying myself first'."

Fellow student Atikah Ramlan, 19, said the programme taught her not to spend all her pocket money.

"I get $10 in pocket money from my parents every day," she said. "I used to spend it all, including buying desserts. Now, I skip desserts and try to save half of it."

She added: "My father was a taxi driver who now drives for Uber. It is not easy for him to earn a living and I can help him by not spending so much."

Besides gaining financial planning knowledge, the two students said the programme has also got them thinking about careers in the financial sector.

"I want to be an accountant," said Miss Atikah. "I am the only child and I want to support my parents."

Mr Ela has set his sights on being a financial planner.

"I will be able to help other people with financial planning after I graduate," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2017, with the headline 'ITE students trained to teach financial planning'. Print Edition | Subscribe