The main topic of the roundtable was the above-mentioned pilot project of the Ministry called FinPis, which will be conducted in 34 schools throughout Serbia and eight preschool institutions, and will involve working with 1,260 teachers, as well as 15,000 children of pre-school and elementary school age. The representatives of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, Dr Gordana Stepić, Minister Advisor and Vesna Nedeljković, Assistant Minister for Pre-school and Primary Education, spoke about the planned and organised activities within the FinPis project. While thanking all the participants and partners in the project, they emphasised that the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development recognised the importance of including financial literacy in the education system, bearing in mind the complexity of the financial environment in which young people are growing up and the fact that the decisions they make in the future will not only influence them and their immediate surroundings, but also the broader social community. Since there were no financial education programmes in schools in Serbia, the Ministry, with the support of VISA, launched the first pilot project for the systematic inclusion of financial literacy in the education system, including all children, from preschool age to secondary school. FinPis implies teaching through creating an environment for the development of functional knowledge in this field, as well as programmes/subjects through which financial literacy, as a multidisciplinary competence, can be engaged and developed. The handbook on Financial Literacy will be soon available for students and teachers at the website of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, featuring the tasks and exercises formulated after the model of the PISA test in this field, whereas the project’s implementation is planned to start in May this year.
Vladimir Djordjević, CEO of VISA for Southeast Europe, addressed the participants expressing his enthusiasm for being part of this project and underlining that this is an excellent example of successful cooperation between the public and private sectors. For over 20 years VISA has been the leader in developing innovative and free financial literacy programmes for effective learning about the fundamentals of personal finances, including budgeting, saving, responsible spending and the wise use of new technologies, FinPis being the largest and most complex project this company has launched in the domain of financial literacy in Southeast Europe. He finished his presentation announcing the educational and entertaining digital financial literacy platforms in Serbia, where visitors of all ages will have the opportunity to improve their financial knowledge and learn about the important topics in the field of finance. Moreover, through popular communication channels, such as FinPis online games, children will be enabled to learn through entertainment, and four volunteers among the gathered students had the opportunity to test the game on the spot and win a symbolic gift.
Namely, besides the representatives of the FinPis project partners, the event was attended by the students and teachers from the three first-ranked classrooms with the highest number of points won in the national round of the European Money Quiz, which was played via the online Kahoot! platform on Friday, 16 March 2018. The Association of Serbian Banks has been actively engaged on this project, initiated by the European Banking Federation, since September 2017. In a strong competition of 77 classrooms from 51 schools across Serbia, the students from the VIII-1 classroom from the Elementary School Duško Radović, Belgrade won the nationals. The VIII-4 classroom from the First Elementary School Kralj Petar II, Užice ranked second, while the third place was won by the I-5 classroom from the First Belgrade Grammar School. The representatives of all three classrooms received tablet computers as gifts from VISA, while the two representatives of the first-ranked classroom, together with their teacher, will be traveling to Brussels at the expense of the Association of Serbian Banks, to take part in the second round, i.e. the European finals of this competition, organized by the European Banking Federation on 8 May 2018.