To facilitate interaction and real time financial transactions between banks and school children, the Royal Monitory Authority (RMA) organised a two-day Youth Ethics (YE) banking incentive camp at Goshing primary school in Zhemgang on October 30.
YE-banking is an incentive-based school-banking programme, which recognises and rewards schools for their collective efforts put in together by teachers and students during the yearlong academic session in the fields of academics, co-curricular, behavioural ethics and financial values.
During the incentive day, the bank points (merits) earned and accumulated throughout the year by children of various schools get converted to cash incentives that are further deposited into children’s YE-banking accounts.
During the two-day programme about Nu 800,000 was credited to the 16 participating schools. Jigme Losel primary school in Thimphu received the highest amount of about Nu 120,000.
RMA officials said that the camp also provides hands on experience and inclusive opportunities to connect ethics, values and learning to banking practicalities.
The initiative was first preconceived by Tshering Yangchen, a Class VI student of Jigme Losel primary school during the Global Money Week game challenge in 2017.
“I am privileged and honoured beyond words to Dasho Governor and RMA for recognising my simple idea and formalising it into such big programme that is benefiting children across the country,” said Tshering Yangchen.
Besides the financial benefits, the YE-banking camp remains a much-awaited programme for schools and students for various opportunities.
“Our children woke up as early as 3am, excited to attend the camp,” said the officiating principal of Lauri principal school. “This is the first time our children got such opportunity to travel out of Lauri.”
The principal of Wangsel Institute in Paro, Dechen Tshering, said that despite being physically challenged, the children are grateful for the opportunity to take part in the programme. “It was a great opportunity for our children to make new friends from other schools.”
Zhemgang dzongrab, Kinzang Dorjee, said that it is more likely that Bhutanese children and people in the rural pockets would face critical challenges of keeping pace with the emerging financial technology developments.
“It is of utmost importance and duty of policy makers, teachers and financial institutions to nurture and educate our children on the inevitable financial life skills and equip every child with updated knowledge, skills and experiences of keeping pace with the financial digital transformations,” he said.
RMA with support of the Saving Bank Foundation for International Cooperation in Germany have conducted the YE-banking camp for 16 schools so far.
Participants from Sakteng, Goshing, Zangkhar, Umling, Tabadramtoe, Dechenling, Wangduechholing lower secondary schools, Laya and Phobjikha central schools, Tshangkha and Arekha middle secondary school, Wangsel Institute in Paro, Khaling Muenselling Institute and Y-VIA Gelephu took part in the camp.