Ramallah, March, 27th,2013, thousands of students, both children and youth, participated in the activities of the second banking week; which was organized by the PMA, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, the Association of Banks, the Palestinian Banking System and UNRWA. This was achieved through a series of mutual visits conducted by various student groups to bank branches on the one hand, as well as visits to various schools by a number of bank representatives, on the other.
87,000 students from various districts in the West Bank and Gaza Stripfrom over 1600 schools, were visited by bank representatives in their schools; while 232 bank branches received visits from various student groups. Bank branches have allotted students one hour per day for visiting purposes. The students, accompanied by their teachers,visited bank branches and were introduced to the services offered by these banks. They were welcomed by bank representatives who graciously provided detailed explanation regarding banking mechanisms. Utilizing this focused awareness program aimed at raising students' banking awareness, and strengthening the banking culture among youth and children. This effort has also included the distribution of 170,000 instructional brochures in schools and bank branches. Activities of the Banking Week were comprised of several recreational and educational events held by participating banks for the children.
Natalie Nakhleh, a sixth grade student of "The International School" in the city of Ramallah, expressed her admiration for engaging students in the Banking Week's activities where she said, "After my bank visit I became enthused to open up a personal savings account, so as to save part of my pocket money. I barely knew anything about banks before this visit; however, my participation in the banking week's activities has taught me many things that I could take advantage of. In addition, reading this week's instructional brochure distributed to us in schools and my bank visits, helped me to identify with them directly. "
Amer Abdul Karim, a student in one of the various schools in the district of Ramallah said, "During our bank visits we've been able to discover the difference between commercial and Islamic banking institutions, and how to utilize this information when choosing a bank in the future. We've also been able to learn about the Banks' role in safekeeping and investing citizens' money. This is in addition to learning about the various banks' procedures such as the mechanisms of using an ATM machine, something we were previously unaware of. "
Teacher Ms. Reem D'abis, reiterated the importance of students' participation in extracurricular activities, she said, "Our students have been accustomed to participate in extracurricular activities that are organized in the city, so as to enhance their connection with their environment and surroundings. One such activity has been the Banking Week,where we've tried to introduce students in general, and eighth graders in particular, to the economic significance of a banking system. This was in addition to introducing them to some banking terminology, which could prove helpful to them in their future lives.
Visiting bank Managers and Employees have been welcome in return by school children. Their interaction with students was through the exchange of a myriad of banking views and knowledge. Students' participation in the Banking Week's activities has been a direct result of their previous massive participation in the "Design the Banking Week's Logo" Contest, as it was organized several weeks prior to the launch of the Banking Week's activities.
Mona Abed Rabbo, an eighth grade student in "Our Lady of the Annunciation School for Roman Catholics" said, "I've been introduced to the Banking Week through our school; I became intrigued to learn more about Banks and decided to tour one of them. I've become acquainted with Bank Departmentsby visiting these departments and learning about their various tasks and responsibilities. I would like to repeat my bank visit in order to open a personal savings account under my family's supervision, as I've become motivated to save. "
On the other hand, bank Employees emphasized the importance of maintaining the organization of such a global banking event on yearly basis; as countries all over the world celebrate this Banking Week aimed at children and young adults. Bank Employees have graciously provided the necessary information regarding banks and the services which they provide, to the visiting children and youths. Additionally, they've clarified the benefits which students have reaped from Bank Employees' visits to their schools; as these visits seemed to aidstudents in gaining the required awareness with regard to the diverse Bank Services, the difference between checking and savings accounts, as well as other relevant matters. The positive results achieved through the organization of this Banking Week, were emphasized by Banks' Staff.
It is worth mentioning, that the Second Banking Week's activities were held for a whole week; they began on Saturday, March.16th.2013 and were concluded on Thursday, March.21st.2013.
The participating children were pleased to take part in the Second Banking Week's activities, as these events are fundamental in providing them with the necessary knowledge regarding banks, banking issues and the services which they provide. This will eventually lead them to the optimum planning for their futures.