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NSE partners 5 state school boards for financial literacy

The National Stock Exchange (NSE) has partnered the state school boards of Tamil Nadu, Nagaland, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Assam.

Through the tie-ups, NSE will introduce financial literacy courses in high schools.

“We began awareness programmes in 1994 but realised that at the base level, understanding was very low. We decided much more needed to be done,” said Ravi Varanasi, chief business development officer.

The exchange is in talks with other state governments for similar tie-ups.

Among others, textbook lessons will be on setting financial goals, creating a financial plan and implementing it, details on disposable income, savings, taxes and other deductions and the calculation of simple interest and compound interest.

In class eight, students will be taught money and its management.

In nine, lessons will include drafting a budget, working of primary and secondary markets, inflation, insurance and basics of economics.

Students of class 11 will be introduced to financial markets. They will be taught financial instruments like money market instruments, mutual funds, life insurance policies, derivatives, credit rating agencies, equity markets, the functioning of stock exchanges and financial statement analysis. More, students of class 11 will be taught futures market, market index, forwards and futures market, regulators and regulatory framework, trading and clearing and settlements.

The financial markets management course has been available to class 11 and 12 students in schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) since 2007. It is being run in 55 schools across the country in cities like Jaipur, Allahabad, Patna, Mandi, Bhubaneswar, Jamshedpur.

In Himachal Pradesh, the course will begin as a pilot project in 100 schools in Shimla and Solan districts for class nine and 10 this academic year (2014-15). Close to 30,000 are expected to benefit from this.

In Uttarakhand, the course will initially be offered in schools in Dehradun, Haridwar and Rudrapur districts this academic session, for classes IX and X and later be extended to other parts of the state.

NSE will also start the financial literacy course for students in class IX and X in schools in Assam in 2014-15. It will begin as a pilot project in Cachar, Kamrup (Metro) and Dibrugarh districts. After the pilot project, it will be extended to 54 schools across all districts of Assam in the first phase. 108 teachers would be trained.

Earlier this year, NSE entered into a partnership with the Nagaland Board of School Education (NBSE) to offer Financial Markets Management course for students of class XI and XII in schools affiliated with the NBSE. The course is being offered in five schools at present.

NSE will provide textbooks for the financial literacy course in English or Hindi (as per medium of teaching / choice of school / students).

As part of its tie up with the Tamil Nadu government over 2000 Tamil and English medium schools, financial literacy and financial markets courses are being taught.

More than 2200 teachers have been trained by NSE to teach the course to the students. Close to 7, 50,000 students are studying these courses every year and around 17,00,000 students have taken the course so far.

“By means of teaching these courses, we see very encouraging signs in students who want to take up a career in finance going forward. We are also looking at introducing skill based courses in classes XI and XII as a vocational elective to create skilled manpower for the financial sector” added Varanasi.

On completion of the course, NSE conducts an online computer-based or offline paper-based, objective type examination. A certificate is issued by the state board of school education and NSE to students who pass the examination. Those who are not able to pass get a participation certificate.

But given the culture of rote learning in schools, how will NSE test the fundamental understanding of the subject? “For everything we do, we devise questions in a way that it tests the fundamental understanding of the subject of student,” said Varanasi.

For maximum benefit to their students, NSE is also organising workshops for principals and teachers of these schools, and has arranged for training for the teachers. This initiative will be introduced in 1000 schools across the states from the next academic year (2015-16).

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