KUALA LUMPUR: Financial literacy efforts still need a lot of improvement, especially at the school level so that the people are not financially illiterate, said Deputy Finance Minister I Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan (pix).

Ahmad Maslan said at the Financial Literacy Programme ‘Kembara Bijak Wang 2023’ (KBW2023) that he hoped the introduction of the subject ‘Finance and Entrepreneurship’ could be a subject, especially in secondary schools so that every youth gets the opportunity to gain exposure and be educated on finance management and entrepreneurship before completing the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM).

“In a Cabinet committee meeting on youth a few months ago, chaired by (Deputy Prime Minister) Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) had officially recommended the proposal that entrepreneurship education should be started in secondary school so that eventually youths who only have the SPM, consisting of 60 per cent of them, can have a better livelihood.

“If there is no financial knowledge and financial health, those who only have the SPM will earn a low salary and end up in the B40 group,” he said here today.

Between 400,000 and 500,000 pass the SPM every year, he said, adding that only 40 per cent will continue their studies to the STPM (Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia), vocational or technical, diploma and degree level and above.

Ahmad Maslan said if the youth have knowledge of finance and entrepreneurship, the country will also be able to create a nation of entrepreneurs and achieve financial independence.

He thus hoped that the National Strategy for Financial Literacy (2019-2023) would continue to increase the level of financial literacy among the people, especially the youth, promote responsible financial behaviour and a positive attitude towards financial management.

The KBW2023 programme, organised for the fourth time since 2019, is the result of a collaboration between the Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) and HSBC Malaysia aimed at improving financial literacy by taking a digital approach and offering activities as well as fun challenges and experiences.

This year’s programme involved 3,202 students from local universities, polytechnics, community colleges and MySkills Foundation. -Bernama

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