Another major initiative is being undertaken by the Grenada Union of Teachers Cooperative Credit Union as it seeks to ensure most of the nation’s youth have a financially sound future.
The GUTCU Junior Financial Literacy Cooperative Society that is targeted at students at the Secondary School level was launched last week Tuesday at the Horizon Plaza on St John’s Street.
The aim of the project is to create an environment where young people will acquire hands-on experience in financial transactions and thereby gain skills that are necessary to navigate the financial world.
The progamme will be piloted in three Secondary Schools – Anglican High School, St Andrew Anglican Secondary School and St Mark’s Secondary School – before it is extended to 14 other secondary schools on the island.
President of the GUTCU, Kim Parris said the programme is one that seeks to engage students in practical, real life financial transactions so as to ensure the continuity of the credit union movement.
Parris said that they have discerned through observation and interaction with a number of persons that these people often develop poor money management habits and are usually uninformed about financial institutions and the product that they offer due to limited experience and lack of knowledge.
In this regards, she said the Junior Financial Cooperative Society will seek to engage “our young people in real life financial matters such as opening an account, budgeting, the use of credit, the importance of saving and responsible spending and understanding that interest accumulates and money grows”.
According to Parris, all students of the participating schools can become a member but the management of the operations will be put in the hands of students from forms three to five and that the co-operative will be opened three days per week at the initial stages.
Deputy Manager of GUTCU, Retesha Boyd-Smith stressed that the Credit Union is committed to the development of young people as it seeks to nurture the next generation of savers, entrepreneurs, educators and cooperators.
“We anticipate that through this venture, students will develop good financial habits that they will put into practice through out their lives. It is hoped that a new generation of informed consumers would emerge who will make more informed financial decisions”, she said.
“…We are in the process of getting the permission from our regulators and hope to commence the programme ….once all of this is satisfied, hopefully within the first quarter of the year,” she added.
The Grenada Cooperative League has given full support to the GUTCU on its initiative with its Manager Chanda Davis declaring that she is familiar with the programme and knows first hand the benefits that can be derived from it.
“…I am a product of such a programme”, said Davis, who added that she was exposed to the scheme “many many moons ago in St Vincent where that programme was very thriving and it’s a similar type of programme to what GUT has here”.
“…I must say it gave me a sense of community, a sense of self to be a better responsible person among other good characteristics,” she remarked and commended the GUTCU for deciding to undertake the programme.