More to benefit

Dr Maszlee (standing, second from left) and Azman speaking to students in a Finco Reads session at SMK Padang Tembak.

MORE will benefit from the Financial Industry Collective Outreach’s (Finco) flagship programme for students.

The first two programmes - Finco Reads and Finco Mentor - will be expanded to all states in Malaysia by 2021.

Finco chairman Tan Sri Azman Hashim says they are confident to take the project nationwide to selected schools after receiving positive feedback during the pilot in Sabah and Sarawak.

The pilot for Finco Reads, in Sabah, and Finco Mentor, in Sarawak, impacted more than 37 schools, 81 teachers and around 4,000 students.

“We’ve been fortunate to have the support of schools, parents, communities and the Education Ministry for the programmes in Sabah and Sarawak,” he explains.

The scale-up is expected to reach 20 schools in each state and up to 55,000 students in 2019.

He adds that they will begin Finco Reads with 40 schools in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Johor in April.

During the national launch of the programmes recently, Azman says the programmes under Finco are targeted at young children.

Both programmes were “designed with sustainability, scalability and impact in mind.”

He adds that the idea for Finco came out of a working group initiated by Bank Negara Malaysia in 2016 as part of efforts to increase financial inclusion for youths.

“The proposed solution was to provide disadvantaged youths with the aspirations and educational tools to achieve their life goals,” he explains.

He adds that Finco was formed to carry out these programmes.

Finco Reads works to build the skills of Year Four teachers and provide the necessary resources to strengthen the English reading proficiency of pupils and make learning fun.

Finco Mentor will provide workshops to upper secondary students on not only career aspirations but also the impact that identity and values have on their decision making and long-term success.

Azman says that English proficiency is necessary for long-term career success.

Finco Mentor, on the other hand, is aimed at addressing the unemployment rate among youth.

Besides Finco Reads and Finco Mentor, they are also in the process of designing and implementing financial literacy and disaster relief programmes for students.

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik thanked Finco for taking the initiative to improve the English language proficiency of students.

He adds that the ministry welcomes more public-private partnerships on English language proficiency.

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