Bonteheuwel High School Learners Start their Financial Futures on the Right Foot

Close to 1,000 learners at Bonteheuwel High School have been empowered with financial literacy skills via Metropolitan’s teen-tailored Kickstarz financial education programme. Over the past few weeks, the grade 11 learners have been getting to grips with financial basics from how to read a bank statement and how to plan and follow a budget, to more advanced skills like how to build up a good credit record and stay out of debt. While this may sound boring to most teens, it has been anything but, with Kickstarz’s entertaining twist.

Tapping into this generation’s love for sneakers, Kickstarz gave the learners the chance to start their own fictional sneaker companies (each with unique names and logos) and design their very own pair of sneakers that they then marketed to the rest of the school. In doing so, and through several interactive lessons, they have learnt healthy financial habits.

After their peers voted for the best design, the top five teams had to present their businesses to a panel of judges who decided which was the best-performing one in the programme. All members of the winning team walked away with a real pair of sneakers, made using their very own design.

Since being piloted in 2016, thousands of learners from schools around the country have been empowered through the programme, with 99% of students now being able to create a budget, 56% displaying an understanding of financial terms and phrases and 99% being more likely to save money. In addition, 95% of parents felt that the Kickstarz programme was a good way to teach children about money management.

Metropolitan CSI Manager, Elsie Govender, says that in addition to financial principles, Kickstarz teaches other valuable skills such as teamwork and presentation skills, which are not necessarily taught through textbooks. “It is a practical programme and was designed with edutainment in mind. It engages learners in a fun way but also leaves them with valuable skills and a better understanding of how to manage and work with money.”

Additionally, with South Africa’s severe youth unemployment problem, Kickstarz offers learners an opportunity to consider entrepreneurship as a successful employment option.

“Our ultimate aim with Kickstarz is to enable young people to make better financial decisions and earn an income. If financial principles are taught early on, youngsters can learn to develop healthy habits that will only serve to ensure that they are financially successful in future,” concludes Govender.

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