Chief Executive Officer of the Colombo Stock Exchange Mr. Rajiva Bandaranayake highlighted that President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Concept on “Capital Market Clubs” for schools is a future investment.
He further emphasized that President Wickremesinghe has taken a very timely decision to promote financial literacy among the school population which is the most appropriate group to promote.
Chief Executive Officer of the Colombo Stock Exchange Mr. Rajiva Bandaranayake expressed these views while participating in the ‘1O1 Katha’ program produced by the Presidential Media Division recently.
Mr. Rajiva Bandaranayake further said,
We hope to introduce the stock market to students more formally through ‘Capital Market Clubs’. In the first phase of this program, 100 schools that have shown the best results in the commercial sector according to the A-level results will be selected and 100 capital market associations will be established in them. This is expected to give the students a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the capital market. This allows students to gain knowledge as well as practical study.
Even though banking knowledge is imparted in schools, the level of knowledge about the capital market and financial literacy is low.
Therefore, it is hoped to expand the knowledge that is limited to the commercial stream beyond that, i.e. to provide some knowledge about the capital market to students in any field such as arts, science, mathematics, etc. through these clubs. We intend to create a new dimension of financial studies in children, through this program.
In addition to workshops and seminars, we try to provide more practical knowledge. This program is implemented to improve the knowledge and understanding of the capital market of the current generation of students when they become socialized in the future. Accordingly, this also prepares them for socialization. In particular, they are encouraged to become self-entrepreneurs and be involved in the development of the country effectively.
This program has several components. Students are encouraged to develop practical knowledge by conducting workshops for knowledge and understanding as well as holding a competition.
In particular, it is planned to allocate a Rs. 100,000 per school as their capital and schools will be allowed to make a profit using that allocation. The best-performing schools will be rewarded as well.
As mentioned by the President, we are taking necessary steps to reward the top 10 students and their teacher in charge of the best-performing school with the opportunity to travel to Singapore to enhance their knowledge by observing and studying the Stock Market.
These works are carried out under the direct supervision of the President’s Office, the Ministry of Education, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka and the Colombo Stock Exchange.
As a country, we have to face some economic difficulties today due to the lack of financial literacy among the majority of us. In comparison with other countries, we are not in a satisfactory position regarding the financial literacy of school children and that should be improved. The future generation will certainly tend to contribute more effectively to the country’s economy. Also, it must be said that financial education is a very important factor for personal success.
Small and medium enterprises now have the opportunity to join the stock market and obtain capital to improve their businesses. This knowledge helps to take advantage of that opportunity. The capital market is widely used in developed economies like India. The market capitalization of the stock market is calculated as a percentage of the gross domestic productivity.
It is about 25% in Sri Lanka. In India, it is between 80%-85% and 100% in Malaysia. Accordingly, it is a good example that the contribution of the stock market has a very high impact on the economy of a country. The stock market of our country should also be brought to the same. For that, financial literacy must be at a high level. These capital market clubs are trying to create a platform for that.
As the stock market is conducted on a digital platform, it is easier for today’s youth to handle it. Because all these activities are at a distance of two fingertips. All the operations in the Colombo stock market can be done from anywhere in the world through a mobile phone or a laptop. President has decided that it is best to popularize this at the school level because of the closeness between school students and digital technology. That idea is very timely. We have a strong belief that this will be successful.
Students need to think in a new way and they should not wait for the government to provide jobs as done traditionally. With digitization and technology, limitless global opportunities are available to today’s youth. Through this, we expect to provide them with guidance.
Entrepreneurship should be brought to students. We must say that we are fulfilling that responsibility through this program.
Videos of the ‘1O1 Katha’ program conducted by the President’s Media Division with the Chief Executive Officer of the Colombo Stock Exchange Mr. Rajiva Bandaranaike can be accessed through the following link: https://youtu.be/5aTmSb2Sj_4?si=5Rm5p1Mn3Oxp0ch–
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