Visa’s financial literacy program adds teacher training module

By Espie Angelica A. de Leon

After the successful run of Tanghalang Pilipino’s (TP) “Lukot lukot, Bilog bilog” in various Metro Manila schools the past year, payments technology firm Visa continues its partnership with TP, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), and Teach for the Philippines (TFP) for yet another financial literacy project to help further financial management education in the country.

A scene from “Lukot lukot, Bilog bilog” which was staged during the re-launch of Visa’s financial literacy program

Along with a second tour of local schools by the entertaining and informative stage play, a teacher-training component will be added to the program to educate the teachers themselves under TFP’s network. This was announced by Visa Philippines at the re-launch of its Financial Literacy Program at the Power Mac Center in Circuit Makati on September 12.

While “Lukot lukot, Bilog bilog” teaches students and young adults, the new component aims to reach out to the teachers and expand their knowledge on financial management. Part of their training will involve TFP trainors teaching them how to incorporate financial literacy concepts into their lesson plans. Furthermore, “Lukot lukot, Bilog bilog” will soon be part of their lessons as the theater production will soon have its digital version, thus turning it into a modern and handy in-classroom tool.

“Financial literacy is a key area of focus for us at Visa, and it is also aligned with the country’s priority – to equip all Filipinos with money management knowledge because it is such an important life skill,” said Visa country manager for the Philippines and Guam Stuart Tomlinson.

“In our discussion with the Department of Education, we realized that one of the things that teachers really appreciate is to have tools to augment their lesson plans,” said Pia Roman-Tayag, BSP’s head for inclusive finance advocacy. “This is one way which we can make it interesting for teachers and of course even more interesting for students so that the messages will really be retained.”

Representatives from Visa, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Teach for the Philippines, and Tanghalang Pilipino led by Visa country manager for the Philippines and Guam Stuart Tomlinson with cast members of the play

Since late 2017, the theatrical production has been making the rounds of schools in the metro, reaching close to 6,000 students and teachers. Government agency employees and the general public were also able to enjoy the play about two students who were about to take the admissions exam at a university. Along the way however, they faced situations where one of them was tempted to spend her money on unimportant things like clothes instead of using it to pay for their exam.

“We need more innovative tools such as plays and more multi-sectoral partnerships such as this to promote financial education in the Philippines,” Tayag added.

TP also staged the play for BSP employees as well as in the 14 other government agencies involved in the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion with which Visa’s program is aligned. Financial literacy modules were incorporated into the K-12 curriculum under the BSP-led national strategy.

FP for its part is integrating financial literacy workshops and educator training in its Life Skills program which will be conducted in 36 public elementary schools in 22 cities and municipalities around the country.

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