Opening a bank account, getting a debit card and learning to live within a budget will be part of the curriculum from this academic year for CBSE students in Class 9 and Class 10.
In a move towards equipping children with life-skills, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will give lessons in financial literacy under its School Bank Champs project, in collaboration with the Indian Banks Association (IBA).
The board has asked its schools to find a bank next to the campus and open individual accounts for students. It has even told schools to appoint teachers exclusively for the project.
“The project aims to provide financial education and access to financial products to schoolchildren in India,” said a circular issued by MVV Prasad Rao, director, vocational education.
With the help of teachers, students will learn how to open a bank account, get a debit card, use the bank’s net banking facility and learn about pension and insurance plans.
The project will also teach students financial management — learning to save well, setting life goals and entrepreneurship.
“Schools will have to identify a nearby bank to take up the project and send details of the bank to the board, along with the details of a teacher interested in acting as a nodal officer for the school. Banks will also identify a nodal officer from their side,” the circular said.
Rao, however, made it clear that schools should ensure the project does not interfere with academic activities.
City schools have lapped up the idea, saying the initiative will help students become financially responsible from a young age.
“This project is important, as it will impact everybody, whichever field they take up,” said Avnita Bir, principal of RN Podar School, Santacruz. “The first step is to understand how banks work, the various schemes available and reading the fine print in financial documents.”
Deepshikha Srivastava, the principal of Rajhans Vidyalaya in Andheri said they will appoint teacher co-ordinators for the programme. “It is important to teach students the importance of saving and make them financially prudent.”