Financial Literacy is defined as “possessing the knowledge, skills, attitude, and abilities on financial matters to make effective and responsible decisions confidently and to make appropriate use of financial resources.” Financial Literacy is a worldwide challenge, as according to Standard & Poor’s Global Financial Survey, only 33% of the people worldwide are financially literate. Compared to this worldwide picture, the financial literacy rate in Pakistan is much lower. As per the Brookings Institution1, Pakistan is positioned at 16 among 26 nations with the lowest financial literacy ratings, with only 13% having formal bank accounts.
Recognising the urgent need to improve Financial Literacy (FL) amongst the masses, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) took the initiative to support and enhance the financial literacy ecosystem in Pakistan. As a result, two programmes were launched in the past decade, i.e., a National Financial Literacy Programme for the poor and marginalised men and women across the country – implemented by the State Bank of Pakistan; and the National Financial Literacy Programme for Youth (NFLP-Y) implemented by the National Institute of Banking and Finance (NIBAF). NFLP-Y was designed to strategically target and educate 20% of the more literate population, such that this 20% would generate 80% of the growth in the economy in the future. It targeted three age groups, i.e., 9-12, 13-17, and 18-19, through selected schools, colleges, and universities. The importance of FL for children and young adults is substantiated by the fact that financial attitudes, habits, and norms develop between the ages of 6 and 12. In this age bracket, students usually fall in grades 1 to 5. It was realised that FL could have a lasting impact on children and youth if they are taught about money and healthy money habits at this early age.