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Youth Saving

Youth Saving

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Efforts to strengthen the credit union sector at the school level here are deepening. One way of ensuring this measure is to encourage children to save and to spend money wisely. {{more}}

A series of workshops spearheaded by the General Employees Co-operative Credit Union (GECCU) wound up at the Colonarie Resource Centre and Sandy Bay Government school last Wednesday, November 17.

The drive involved the co-operative department in conjunction with the education ministry.

Those were the last of ten such events that saw the participation of most of the nation’s primary schools.

Sandra Davis, registrar of Co-operatives Societies, sees the effort as encouraging thrift among students. But she said the intention is to make sure that the spirit of co-operation is passed on to the next generation. The theme for the observation was, “School Co-operative – Grooming the Next Generation”.

Davis praised the involvement of General Employees Co-operative Credit Union (GECCU) and Kingstown Co-operative Credit Union (KCCU) for their support in the venture.

Selmon Walters, Minister of Social Development (under which co-operatives fall), delivered an address in relation to the drive at GECCU’s conference room last Friday morning.

Walters used the occasion to drive home to the students the importance of saving. He pointed out, though, that the primary aim was to get education, but he stressed that, “alongside that, get money”.

However, he was keen to indicate that, “When you get money, save it.

“You don’t have to buy everything,” Walters said. He also cautioned students to manage their money wisely.

“Your primary aim is to learn in school. Aim high and work hard.” He noted that too many students were going astray. And he urged them to “set goals and work towards them”.

The Social Development Minister observed that too many students were coming to the ministry for help to pay the examination fees.

“I want to see you have money in your books,” he added.

“Save and you will be on a good course to build a solid future,” Walters said.

While that was going on, another similar event was being staged at Troumaca.

Registrar of Co-operatives Societies, Sandra Davis, is optimistic about the expansion of the programme with some 83 schools under the co-operative banner.

She referred to the 12,000 students under the umbrella with $450,000 in savings. But Davis is not one to rest on her laurels and she is looking at increased membership and savings.

The primary schools are being used as a foundation for nurturing future credit unionists, and Davis applauded the idea of strengthening at the secondary school level.

She pointed out that by encouraging students to save, they could pay for their CXC examinations.

And the director is still not finished. She said she would like to see the students continue their spirit of co-operation and join the mainstream credit unions after they leave school.

Davis, however, is not pleased with the rate at which the schools’ co-operatives are advancing and she called for more sponsorship for the school cooperatives.

The year 2004 marks 25 years since the introduction of school co-operatives were first introduced.