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For the seventh consecutive year, representatives of the supervisors and of the Ministry of Education are journeying together across the country to find and reward schools with outstanding projects in financial education for the Todos Contam Competition. This multi-day journey has one goal: to raise awareness among students, teachers and parents about the importance of knowing how to properly manage money.
On 25 February, Banco de Portugal, the Portuguese Securities Market Commission and the Directorate-General for Education went to the Algarve to reward two schools that won the 7th Todos Contam Competition: Jardim de Infância de Vila do Bispo for winning the prize for the kindergarten level, and Agrupamento de Escolas João de Deus, in Faro for winning the special award from the panel of judges.
Prizes were presented by Luís Máximo dos Santos, Vice-Governor of Banco de Portugal, as representative of the National Council of Financial Supervisors.
The Jardim de Infância de Vila do Bispo won for the first time an award in the Todos Contam Competition, thanks to a saving and investment project created to make a dream of its children come true: going to the circus.
At the award ceremony, which took place at Vila do Bispo’s arts centre, the Vice-Governor of Banco de Portugal congratulated Lina Nascimento, kindergarten teacher and mentor of the winning Todos Contam project, and the school district team, reminding them that schools play a key role in increasing financial literacy, which is paramount for the complete empowerment of citizens.
“Financial education is much more important than it seems at first glance,” the Vice-Governor underlined, explaining that customers who are better informed on the features and risks of financial products are an “essential” complement to the work undertaken by supervisors to keep the financial system stable and safe. “I would like to reaffirm Banco de Portugal’s commitment, by itself and as a member of the National Council of Financial Supervisors, to the ‘battle’ for more financial education and for our citizens’ increased financial literacy. This is very important for our choices to be wiser and for our scarce resources to be used more efficiently,” he said.
The ceremony took place in the auditorium of the arts centre of Vila do Bispo. Lúcia Leitão, chair of the Coordination Committee of the National Plan for Financial Education, and Ilda Figueiredo, representative of the Directorate-General for Education, also intervened and congratulated the teachers, parents, students and the community of Vila do Bispo, represented by the mayor, Adelino Soares, on the quality of the project they had entered in the competition.
Until 2015, most schools entering – and winning – the Todos Contam competition were from the north of Portugal. This changed dramatically when 23 schools of the Algarve rose to the challenge launched by the supervisors to gather over two thousand students at the Faro theatre for the Financial Literacy Week. Schools in the area have stood out in the competition ever since.
Like the kindergarten above, Agrupamento de Escolas João de Deus also received its first award in the 2018/19 school year, after being given an honourable mention in the 5th Todos Contam Competition. The project selected – “Take care of your piggy!” – includes a diverse set of initiatives intended to help students across all school years be more aware of how important it is to save and make informed purchases. It also included initiatives in Portuguese sign language for deaf and hearing impaired students who attend these schools, some of which travel around one hundred kilometres every day to take bilingual lessons.
At the João de Deus Secondary School, the Vice-Governor of Banco de Portugal gave the Todos Contam Competition special award to Carlos Luís, head of the Agrupamento, and to Anabella Vaz, the teacher responsible for the “Take care of your piggy!” project, before an audience of 200 students of all ages, some of which accompanied by a Portuguese sign language interpreter.
“This initiative, already in its 7th edition, comes alive in moments such as the one we are experiencing here today. This is what we work for”, said Vice-Governor Luís Máximo dos Santos, referring to the videos, play and dance performances the students had prepared to welcome the representatives of the supervisors and of the Directorate-General for Education.
Lúcia Leitão, chair of the Coordination Committee of the National Plan for Financial Education, and Ilda Figueiredo, on behalf of the Directorate-General for Education, also complimented the Agrupamento on the quality and creativity of their work towards improving future consumers’ financial literacy and education.
In her address, Lúcia Leitão warned students about how financial products today are more complex and increasingly more part of a citizen’s everyday life, starting at an ever younger age. “Schools need to develop not only students’ knowledge about financial products’ features and risks, but also their attitude and behaviour when faced with those products”, she underlined. Lúcia Leitão also stated that supervisors are always available to work together with schools in their financial education projects. “We will always be here, standing by you, teachers and students, to help you with your projects by whatever means you may need”, she promised.
The Todos Contam Competition rewards the best financial education projects developed by Portuguese schools every year. It is an initiative of the National Council of Financial Supervisors (Banco de Portugal, Portuguese Securities Market Commission and Portuguese Insurance and Pension Funds Supervisory Authority) and of the Ministry of Education, through the Directorate-General for Education and the National Agency for Qualification and Vocational Education and Training.
The 7th edition of the Todos Contam Competition appraised 53 applications from 91 schools of the majority of the districts in mainland Portugal as well as from the Madeira Autonomous Region, involving over ten thousand students.
Todos Contam webiste (in Potuguese only)