On 21st June 2019, the project on Economic and Financial Education for children of Universal Wonderful Street Academy (UWSA) is finish. During almost one year, since August 2018, this process was led by Juan David Huertas Ramos, a Colombian lecturer. According to him, “Project’s key element is education and it could not to be other one, because education plays a vital role in the development process”.
Professor Huertas has hold the thesis that “Economic and Financial Education for children should be a key element of Global Development”, for that reason he was created GLECONDUCATION (Global Economic and Financial Education Project). This project is a summary of his own personal reflections around development that he had between Lima, Bogota and La Paz during 2015 and 2017. Professor Huertas considers that “children are the most important player socially, for that reason he believes that development public policies and social projects have to be designed for children and not against them.
In this way, he exposes that “Education have to be the most important element in Public Economy if Development is the goal, because education is an economic process that guarantee the long term of public policy effects. Education is not just about pedagogy as some people think, education is the process through which people learn to socialize, acquire knowledge and improve their skills to resolve social and individual problems. In this way, Economists asks to be educated about the kind of citizens that economic system requires to achieve the level of development and wish education has the mission to educate them for that public objective”.
In this way, Professor Huertas clarify that “Gleconducation pretends to empower children abroad. The only way to do that, must be economic and financial education. I hope those children that today receive economic and financial training, will take rational decisions when they become adults tomorrow according to their own circumstances and general economic conditions. Gleconducation is a long term project because development is not an overnight process”. This initiative results innovative because is not usual teach children on economics and finance.
Traditionally, those fields are for specialized professionals, but Professor Huertas remarks clarity, “Why not educate in economic or financial issues to somebody if everybody have to manage money from their early years until their death? Why not educate in economic or financial issues to somebody if everybody have to take economic and financial decisions day by day? Human life is about the management of resources, taking decisions, applying knowledge and use skills (soft and hard) to resolve situations and transform “problems” in “opportunities”.
Economics and finance are in every moment of our lives, even in the love people share. To be more specific, people say children are our future, are they not? So, Why not educate our future on economics and finance?” Additionally, he assess “economics and finance are disciplines for people, also for children. Those disciplines must to be applied in the real life, not just in the theory”.
In order to explain more about this topic, Professor Huertas develops his idea saying that “Economics cannot be just about theoretical and complex models with sophisticated mathematics. I believe, Economics is about real life. In this way, I consider that economists go beyond theories, because every economic player should to understand what happened around his/herself economically. The economic game consist of resolving problems using own skills, for that reason economics must generate education programs that improve human abilities”.
Professor Huertas explain “economic and financial education for children must to be recognized as a vital part in the financial inclusion abroad. Financial inclusion is the process that consist in promoting the participation of all economic players in financial systems as clients, investors, etc. In other words, financial inclusion pretends to democratize financial products such as insurances, micro insurances, bank accounts, loans, investment products, micro credits and so on.
But, financial inclusion is not an exclusive process of financial institutions. Financial inclusion have to be led by states because financial services are public services, as a consequence financial inclusion would have to be considered in the public agenda, and in the same way the economic and financial education for children”. Professor Huertas indicates that development is a process that demands the participation of every economic agent, even children.
Professor Huertas concludes policy makers over the world would include Economic and Financial Education as essential element in public policies because Economic and Financial Education for children should be a key element of Global Development. The next world war should be against poverty, because poverty degrades the Human Dignity. And economic and financial education for children can be the most successful tool in this objective because poverty conditions have their base in minds or wrong ideas about money and the economic system”.