INCEIF Kicks Off Islamic Finance Literacy Programme for Schools

Kuala Lumpur, 18 May 2018 – INCEIF recently hosted 120 Form Five students from Sekolah Menengah Al-Amin in Gombak, where they got the opportunity to learn the basic principles of Islamic finance, and picked up tips on how to spend wisely.

As part of `INCEIF and The Community’ initiative, the university has reached out to schools, starting with Sekolah Al-Amin, in its effort to spread awareness on the importance of financial literacy as well as to get to know a little more about Islamic finance. Despite Malaysia being one of the Islamic financial hubs of the world, the public’s understanding on Islamic finance is mostly limited to their interaction with Islamic banks or Islamic financial transactions.

INCEIF President & CEO Prof Dato’ Dr Azmi Omar, in welcoming the school children and their teachers on campus, said it was indeed a pleasure for INCEIF to transfer its Islamic finance knowledge to all levels of the society particularly the youth. In addition, the students got to learn the basics of financial planning.

“It is never too early for anyone to learn about financial planning, to familiarise themselves with what are the good habits and what are the things to avoid in order to be financially stable.  Therefore, starting young is the way to go and as educators, we should explore means to integrate financial literacy into curricula in schools,” Dato’ Azmi added.

In welcoming the students, he parted an advice that youths nowadays should really consider, “The ever evolving technology and being in a borderless world have given us more options today, especially for young people who are exposed to various platforms, such as the social media, gadgets and apps, that enable them to make full use of technology and leverage from it. Being tech savvy is a must if you want to stay ahead of the others.”

Prof Dr Zulkarnain Mohd Sori started the financial literacy programme rolling with interactive exercises by sharing the basic principles of Islamic finance which is guided by Shariah under muamalah (social and economic interactions between people). He also shared with them briefly the meanings of riba (unjustified increment), gharar (uncertainty) and maysir (gambling and game of chance).

Later, in groups of 20 each, the children were given scenarios around the concepts of riba, gharar and maysir to solve. They then had to chance to present their suggested solutions to the problems, and with inputs from Prof Zulkarnain, everyone went away knowing a bit more about the application of Islamic finance.

The second session, Why You Should Learn Money Skills, was conducted by Assoc Prof Dr Baharom Abdul Hamid where he listed the simple rules of achieving financial freedom from the moment one starts earning money. He reminded the children to always know between, “what you want and what you need. These days we hear so many stories of young people, some even in their 20s, declared a bankrupt mostly because they maxed up their credit cards to spend unnecessarily. That is certainly not how you want to start your adult life.”

One of the chaperoning teachers, Mrs Masitah Seikh Omar, thanked INCEIF for the opportunity given to the children as well the teachers to learn from some of the best academicians on Islamic finance. “Although the sessions were brief, I am personally encouraged to find out more about Islamic finance and its application in our daily lives. The programme is timely for these Form 5 students who will be sitting for their SPM this year and move on to the next phase in their lives. Coincidently, it was out-of-school activities week for them.  It has also given us, teachers, a boost in imparting the knowledge to others who could not make it to INCEIF today. One of my colleagues, who came today, is even thinking of furthering her studies in Islamic finance later on.”

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