K&H Group has pursued the same corporate social responsibility objectives for years. One of them, financial education, has been a long-time mission for us.
In Hungary, more than one and a half million pupils/students attend primary or secondary education. The future of this country, they need to be prepared for the challenges of life by today’s adult generations. K&H Group’s contribution to this effort is the “K&H Ready, Steady, Money!” financial competition, organized every year since the 2010/2011 school year. Since its beginning as a simple contest focused on factual knowledge and information, it has by now grown and expanded into a series of activities spanning the entire year with a corresponding amount of educational material provided for the kids as well as their teachers and families.
Since 2014/2015 the competition (most recently announced for the sixth time, in the year 2015/2016) has had four rounds, two of them online; the regional semi-finals are organized at eight different locations across the country and the final is held in Budapest. Preparation is aided by a freely downloadable cartoon series dubbed “C(r)ash Course” and an abundance of materials for the teachers. As part of the Bank’s mentoring programme, the teams are offered the opportunity to visit a bank branch in their vicinity or invite a branch employee over to their school to talk about current issues. The teaching aids, compiled and put at the teachers’ disposal by the Bank free of charge, fill a very real gap: although National Curriculum 2012 calls for financial awareness raising and the promotion of financial information, corresponding methodologies and teachers’ handbooks have not been centrally provided.
In 2014/2015, K&H Group turned its attention to schools in the most deprived regions and their staffs and pupils. Teachers traditionally play a more-formative-than-average role in such communities as children from poverty-stricken backgrounds often lack not only the means but also the proper role models in their own families. During the 2015/2016 school year we made the most of the European Money Week programme to organize financial training sessions for teachers in Békéscsaba and Szeged on “Financial Awareness Day”. The courses were held by a teacher-trainer specialist joined by a bank employee. But even before those training sessions for the teachers took place the teacher trainer on the programme had given some entertaining financial lessons to the pupils of two underprivileged villages, Kamut and Forráskút.
We organized the “K&H Colour, Steady, Money!” drawing competition, an event designed to complement the “K&H Ready, Steady, Money!” financial competition, in the year 2015/2016 for the first time. While the financial contest is more focussed on facts and information and explores logical connections in the realm of finances, the drawing competition is meant to appeal to children’s fantasy in an attempt to relate them to the same world in a different way. The nearly 700 drawings that have been sent to us are a very clear sign of how much fun children find in allowing free flow to their creativity and imagination.