close
close

Financial literacy supports rural students in Nagpur district

In today’s complex financial world, managing money effectively is crucial. Yet access to financial literacy remains a distant dream for many rural and tribal families in India. The limited knowledge about financial instruments and digital transactions makes saving and planning for the future a major hurdle.

Recognizing this challenge, the Nagpur Zilla Parishad (ZP) government, led by CEO ZP, IAS officer Saumya Sharma, in collaboration with Swatah Education Foundation and Zerodha, launched a path-breaking initiative to integrate financial literacy into school curricula.

Indian masterminds spoke exclusively with the officer to learn how this program empowers students, promotes financial independence and shapes a better future for generations to come.

PROMOTING FINANCIAL LITERACY AT BASICS

The program recognized the importance of financial literacy for a secure future and was designed with a four-pronged approach. Firstly, it provides students in both primary and upper primary education with the necessary financial knowledge.

Second, it focuses on strengthening practical financial skills for students in grades 5 to 9. The program also aims to cultivate a culture of responsible money management among students and encourage them to consider saving, investing and even entrepreneurship.

“To ensure effective delivery of financial education, we are also prioritizing building the capacity of teachers to lead these discussions with confidence,” the official said.

IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY

The success of the program depends on a well-defined implementation strategy:

Curriculum development: In collaboration with the District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) and partner organizations, a comprehensive curriculum was developed, tailor-made for each grade level. Topics such as economic planning, savings, banking activities, loans and interest rates are covered in fun, activity-based sessions.

Teacher training: A two-pronged approach provided comprehensive teacher training. First, 200 Super Trainers received in-depth training. They then passed on their knowledge to all teachers covering grades 5 to 9, through multiple training sessions and online doubt solving sessions.

Embracing technology: The Vinoba App, an internal platform for ZP teachers, facilitated seamless communication and distribution of the curriculum. The app contained the curriculum, enabled progress tracking and promoted a paperless approach.

Interactive learning in schools: Trained teachers led engaging discussions, using educational materials and activities tailored to each topic. The program went beyond theory and established student-run savings banks within schools. Students actively managed these banks and learned essential banking transactions such as deposits, withdrawals and even the basics of internet banking.

FINANCIALLY SAVVY SHAPING YOUNG MINDS

The impact of the program was far-reaching. Students showed significant increases in self-confidence and financial literacy due to the practical experience they gained through the program.

Assessments from hundreds of schools with more than 15,000 participants showed remarkable improvement in learning in just one year. In addition, schools, with help from the community, established student-run savings banks. This initiative provided students with valuable first-hand experience with real-world banking functions, including deposits, withdrawals and even basic internet banking. The program was not limited to students; parents, even those with limited education, actively participated and benefited from their children’s learning.

“Perhaps most notably, students have begun to consider careers beyond traditional paths, with some setting their sights on the exciting world of banking and the stock market,” Ms Sharma said. Indian masterminds.

CASE STUDY: ZILA PARISHAD UPPER PRIMARY SCHOOL, MAHALGAON

This case study illustrates the effectiveness of the program. Students of Zilla Parishad Upper Primary School, Mahalgaon, successfully launched their own bank under the guidance of teachers.

Over 130 students collectively deposited approximately INR 60,000, gaining hands-on experience in various banking transactions.

“Creating and printing passbooks and receipts has further increased their understanding and confidence in managing finances.”

A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

The financial literacy program has seen enthusiastic participation across Nagpur district. The success paves the way for expansion and replication in other districts. This has the potential to contribute significantly to the holistic development of students, especially those in rural Zilla Parishad schools, enabling them to compete with their urban counterparts.