BPI is teaching financial literacy in classrooms, and it’ll make you jealous

Cover Art Erka Capili Inciong

Words by

Digital Reporter

Don’t you wish we were taught how to adult? Look at all these money mistakes that we’re committing right now. Well, the students who have to take senior high school due to the government‑mandated K‑12 curriculum might learn these skills in school. Lucky them.

The Bank of the Philippines Islands Foundation (BPIF), through its BPI Senior High School Acceleration Program for Employment and Entrepreneurship (BPI SHAPE) program has partnered with key schools in Taguig and Laguna to provide assistance in coming up with the financial literacy curriculum for senior high students. In an interview with SparkUp during the BPI SHAPE Business and Academic Fair at SM Aura Premier, Taguig City last September 28, officials from BPI and the local government of Taguig spoke about the benefits of this partnership between one of the largest private banks in the Philippines and the government.

“We found out that there’s a real need for Grades 11 and 12 students to learn basic financial literacy if they plan to pursue corporate or employment, and of course entrepreneurship skills if they would go for that track,” said Anika Daudem, program manager of BPI SHAPE. “But aside from that we also encourage students to take the subject even if they plan on going to further studies like college or vocational courses.”

“The financial literacy module of BPI SHAPE will prepare them for life once they earn their own income. So it’s really about personal money management, savings, basic modules on investing—how to maximize what they’re going to get once they enter the real world,” Ms. Daudem added. “It’s focuses on the personal finance of the students.”

The executive direrctor of BPI Foundation, Maricris San Diego, herself helped shed light on how BPI and possibly other players from the private sector can help in the Department of Education’s (DepEd) K‑12 program. “We embarked with a tie up with the City of Taguig and the Department of Education to help them enrich the K‑12 program and cope with the changes that happened. Because part of the goal of K‑12 is to reduce unemployment in the Philippines by making sure that our graduates are prepared for employment or entrepreneurship, and of course higher studies,” Ms. San Diego said. “The private sector, especially BPI Foundation through BPI SHAPE is really complementing the program that DepEd has already prepared for the K‑12.”

There are three ways that partnership with BPI SHAPE will enrich the education of senior high school students: through theory and academics, through practical sessions, and through partnerships and linkages. For theory and academics, BPI SHAPE has developed entrepreneurship and personal development modules specifically for the classroom set up and will train teachers on how to implement these. “Thereby the students can learn more about themselves and be able to choose which track they want to take in terms of further education, employment, or starting their own businesses,” Ms. San Diego explained.

For practical sessions, BPI will bring in representatives from private companies and individuals who have set up their own successful businesses to share with the students what they’ve learned on their way to success. Finally, for partnerships and linkages, BPI SHAPE will link the schools to companies who are willing to partner with them for the 80‑hour mandatory work immersion for senior high school students.

As for training the teachers, Ms. San Diego said that they are planning to have a bootcamp session. “Teachers can learn not just from us but from each other, to share techniques on how to teach the different modules and also to learn from private practitioners on the skills that we are trying to impart the students,” the BPI official said. “We will also invite leaders from student councils so that they will be well‑represented.”

The partnership with two schools in Taguig and three schools in Laguna is just the start for BPI SHAPE. “In the next year we’re looking forward to expand it to the whole LGU: all 22 SHS in Taguig and hopefully all the ones also in Laguna,” Ms. Daudem said. “Once we perfect that model, we will expand that to a bootcamp approach that we will partner with other LGUs for.”

And then maybe, just maybe, we can finally learn about money from school.