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Palestine Monetary Authority launches the Child and Youth Banking Week 2014 in West Bank and Gaza
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Palestine Monetary Authority launches the Child and Youth Banking Week 2014 in West Bank and Gaza

Palestine Monetary Authority launched on Sunday, March 16, 2014 the third annual Child and Youth Banking Week 2014 in West Bank and Gaza at Ramallah Cultural Palace in Ramallah and the Al Mathaf Hotel in Gaza, in collaboration with the Association of Banks in Palestine (ABP), the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education and the UNRWA Education Program. The launching ceremony took place in the presence of the management of Palestinian banking system, economic and academic figures and the participation of school students and their parents. The Banking week, which concurs with the Annual Global Child and Youth Banking Week, aims at promoting the banking and financial literacy and enhancing its dissemination across a wide range of social segments, particularly children and youth. It also aims at helping them to plan for their own financial and economic future wisely. 

The launching ceremony was inaugurated by Dr. Jihad Al Wazir- Governor of PMA, Mr. Mohammad Abu Zaid- Deputy Minister of Education and Higher Education, Mr. Jamal Hurani, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of ABP and Mr. Wahid Jubran, Deputy Chief of the UNRWA Education programme. An educational theatrical play entitled “Insuring Dreams” was performed by students from Yabad Girls Secondary School to introduce children and youth to the importance and benefits of saving and the consequences of frivolous spending. The play also focused on the role of the Deposit Insurance Corporation in securing deposits of citizens. The ceremony was distinguished by performances by special needs students. Children from the Friends Society of the Blind presented a Dabkeh folklore performance followed by the children of the Amal Charitable Society for the Deaf that performed excellently and were well-received by the attendance. For the purpose of encouraging children to get more involved with banking and financial issues, PMA launched an electronic educational game on Facebook that helps children and youth get acquainted with financial and banking terminologies. 

In his opening speech, Al Wazir said that PMA efforts as well as the efforts of its partners to promote the access of banking services to the widest possible range of social segments have lately been reinforced by signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Palestine Capital Market Authority for the establishment of a National Strategy of Financial Inclusion which aims at formulating the sound basis for the promotion and usage of the various financial and banking services by people from all social strata, in a way appropriate to their needs, and offered fairly, transparently and affordably priced.

Al Wazir added that the accomplishment of this goal requires additional efforts in raising awareness and the financial literacy levels of all social segments such that people are able to make better use of the banking and financial services within the framework rights preservation, transparency and disclosure of financial products and services, especially in view of the launch of the Palestine Deposit Insurance Corporation which will insure the deposits of 93% of depositors.

In his speech, Mr Mohammad Abu Zeid, Deputy Minister of Education and Higher Education, said that this meeting is one of the most significant events on the interaction between civil society institutions and the Ministry of education, especially that it affirms the organic relation between such institutions and the educational institution. It also translates a goal that the ministry has sought with all efforts to accomplish, which is the goal of raising a Palestinian generation equipped with education and knowledge and aware of the world around for which change and novelty have become its most distinguished features. Abu Zaid said that the Banking Week has a valuable educational and psychological dimension that affects the student by enhancing his/her sense of self-awareness and future responsibility. 

Mr. Hurani recalled the collaboration of all banks in spreading of the financial and banking awareness among children and youth by the implementation of a direct explanatory method to basic banking concepts and the promotion of the culture of saving during the banks visits to schools. In addition, during the Banking Week, banks devoted an hour a day to meet children, youth and their parents in the various bank branches to practically introducing them to the financial and banking concepts, encouraging them to open saving accounts and initiate a practical relationship with banks and financial dealing. 

Mr. Jubran stressed the fact that the motive of the UNRWA Education Program for cooperating with PMA was the desire to link education with society and life and to provide variable educational opportunities and resources for the students to use in order facilitate their lives and fulfill their current and future needs. Moreover, it was necessary to raise their awareness for the requirements of work, development and life. The participation in these activities opens the door for students to get to know banking services and to learn to deal with banks with awareness and efficiency. It subsequently links these lessons with the students needs and employs them in the preparations to boost the students’ ability to make use of available banking and financial services and better bear the burden of their financial responsibilities in the future. 

On the other hand, a parallel launching ceremony was organized in Gaza Strip on Thursday, March 13, 2014, in the attendance of Dr Jihad Al Wazir Governor of PMA, Mr. Hazim Abu Ramadan ABP Representative in Gaza, Mr. Farid Abu Aathra- Chief of the UNRWA Education Programme. The ceremony included artistic performances presented by special needs children.

It is worth mentioning that banks operating in West Bank and Gaza Strip will receive the invitees and visitors from youth and children to be introduced to the nature of the banking work. Banks will also supply them with informative bulletins concerning banking education, whilst employees at the banks’ branches will be answering any queries or questions with regard to the bulletins’ content or any other banking issue. The Banks employees will be visiting schools in the various governorates to present to students necessary briefings on banking issues, bank dealing, the societal role of money, financing and loans, different ways of saving and investment and other basic information which contribute to the banking knowledge of both individuals and society. The events of the Banking Week will also include an awareness campaign of the significance of the establishment of the Palestine Deposit Insurance Corporation to introduce children and youth to this corporation which insures their savings and deposits with banks and protects the deposits of small depositors.
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