The Financial Services Implementation Unit (FSIU) in partnership with the Ministry of Education, is pressing ahead with plans to strengthen financial services education in the Territory to improve the future industry related skills of the BVI workforce.
The FSIU is collecting data at the secondary level through a survey being administered at the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) this week, to better inform its work on the Building BVIslander Capability Initiative as part of the BVI Forward campaign.
FSIU Implementation Specialist, Ms. Monique Hodge said the survey is designed to capture sample baseline data on the attitude and perspectives of Grade 11 students who have been exposed to at least one term of financial services education.
Ms Hodge said,“The survey will help to capture immediate instructional impact and current state of skills, which will in turn, better inform curriculum development or re-design where necessary. In the long term, we want to ensure that students acquire a basic understanding of the financial services industry and are made fully aware of the opportunities available within the industry.”
The survey seeks to gather information on the overall value of the course to students, their understanding of key concepts, course delivery and the general learning experience as well as their motivation to learn about financial services among other areas.
The Business Department at the ESHS is facilitating the actual administration of the survey. Head of the department, Mr. Douglas Johnson welcomed the survey saying the results will help guide teachers in the delivery of future courses on financial services.
Mr. Johnson said, “It would be useful to get feedback from students on their current knowledge of the industry and to be able to build on their interests now and future potential to establish careers in financial services.”
ESHS Principal, Ms. Sandy Underhill also welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with the FSIU on the capability building initiative.
Ms. Underhill said, “As teachers and administrators, we are always grateful when things are moving forward. I am especially pleased with this partnership to reform the financial services curriculum and I commend the FSIU for doing the necessary work because as we all agree, the financial service industry is a pillar of the BVI economy.”
Following the completion of the survey and analysis of results, the FSIU will host a Focus Group Discussion for business teachers, advisors and career counselors. The aim of this discussion is to gather data on the delivery of financial services course content as well as knowledge and comfort level on providing career advice related to the financial services industry.
The survey of secondary school students is the second data gathering exercise launched by the FSIU. The unit embarked on a survey in December last year that targeted companies within the financial services sector. The results are now being collated and analysed, at the end of which a report will be created which will facilitate evidence-based decision-making.
Data gathering and analysis are critical to the BVI Forward campaign. FSIU’s Data Analyst, Ms. Aida Biberic said there will be other surveys conducted in the coming months, including a similar assessment of students at other high schools and at the tertiary level as well as a population survey designed to get an understanding of the general perception of the financial services industry in the BVI.