Kuala Lumpur, 28 January 2022: Four teams of primary school students emerged as national champions of the Financial Industry Collective Outreach (FINCO)’s inaugural financial literacy programme, Good SENS. The announcement at the Good SENS award ceremony brought to a close the first year of FINCO’s flagship financial literacy programme which uses social enterprise as a vehicle for the development of financial literacy skills amongst students in government primary schools.

The four Overall Best Social Enterprise teams were ‘Money Makers’ from SK Shah Alam, ‘Rainbow’ from SK Taman Sri Muda 2, ‘Money Matters’ from SK Bunga Raya 2 and ‘Power’ from SJK (T) Ladang Kinrara – all from Selangor. Each winning team will be rewarded with a share of RM12,000 in prize money and investment, as well as with trophies and a workshop.

The winners were amongst 33 teams from 20 schools who participated in a year-long initiative during which financial industry mentors, teachers and facilitators guided teams of upper primary school students through curated modules, which are mapped to the Ministry of Education (MOE)’s financial literacy curriculum, and supported them to develop a business model that generates profit to be channelled to addressing social cause students are passionate about.

From selling cookies to buy groceries for fellow students’ families, to selling face masks to plan Mangrove saplings, the winning teams’ social enterprises impressed judges from the financial industry, MOE and social enterprise sector at the ‘Dragons’ Den’ in which they competed for investment to scale their social enterprise.

“The FINCO Good SENS programme was introduced in 2021 to support the Malaysia National Strategy for Financial Literacy by providing students with the opportunity to not only learn about financial concepts but to develop good financial habits through application in real-life situations.

Working with partners, the Social Enterprise Academy Malaysia, we launched ‘Good SENS’ in 2021 and have been immensely proud of the way in which students, teachers and financial industry mentors have fully embraced this opportunity to grow and apply learning. Besides increased financial literacy, students have also shown evidence of improved English proficiency and transferable skills such as leadership, teamwork and critical thinking.” said Clare Walker, CEO of FINCO.

In addition to the overall winners, teachers Viola Adtak and Noorhasmihan Ab Rahim from SK Sungai Danga, were both awarded the title of FINCO Good SENS teacher of the year and financial industry volunteer mentor, Saravanan Palaniappan, from Manulife Insurance was recognised for his outstanding contribution to the programme. A number of other student teams also received various awards for individual achievements throughout the programme.

At the same ceremony, awards were given to winners from FINCO’s 2021 English Language Competition which is in line with the Ministry of Education’s Highly Immersive Programme (HIP). With the theme ‘Reading More and Reading Better’ teachers and students were asked to submit an entry that showcased either a lesson or an idea that enables young people in their school or community to improve their English proficiency through reading. Pn. Myzatul Sarah binti Yusof from SK Desa Cempaka, Negeri Sembilan won the honoured title of FINCO Outstanding Teacher 2021.

Meanwhile teams from SK Kapulu, Sabah, SMK Taman Semarak, Negeri Sembilan and Kolej Tunku Kurshiah, Negeri Sembilan submitted the winning ideas in the primary and secondary student competition categories.

FINCO Chairman, Tan Sri Azman Hashim said “Good English proficiency and financial literacy are both enablers for young people, particularly those from underprivileged communities, to become more financially inclusive in the future and, in turn, to contribute to the country’s economic prosperity.

The financial industry, through FINCO, remains committed to long term investment in sustainable and impactful educational initiatives. As well as funding, financial industry volunteers have worked alongside teachers to ensure that students have the support they need to develop skills both within and beyond the national curriculum.