Financial Literacy

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the International Network on Financial Education (INFE) defined financial literacy as “a combination of awareness, knowledge, skill, attitude and behaviour necessary to make sound financial decisions and ultimately achieve individual financial wellbeing”.

Elaine Lenzo, Senior Officer at Currency Operations spoke to us about the initiatives undertaken by the Central Bank of Malta to promote financial education among students and youths from an early age, as the knowledge and skills acquired by them at that stage will serve them in good stead as they progress through life.

Elaine Lenzo

1.      What is the role of the Central Bank of Malta in financial education?                                        

The Central Bank of Malta together with the Eurosystem national central banks are the issuing authorities for the euro banknotes and are tasked with maintaining public trust in the euro.  This is done, among other things, by ensuring the integrity of the euro banknotes in circulation.

One of the initiatives is the promotion of financial education among professional cash handlers working in financial institutions, retailers and casinos.  Moreover, with the collaboration of the Ministry for Education and Employment, the Central Bank Offers information sessions on euro currency to all schools from all three sectors: State, Church and Independent schools.  We believe that the Central Bank can be a stepping stone for young students to acquire this skill, appreciate the work behind our currency and be able to check their euro banknotes and coins to ensure that the currency they get is both fit and genuine.

2.      In what ways does the Central Bank reach out to youths and young children?                          

On a yearly basis, trainers from the Central Bank visit various schools around the islands to deliver an information session on currency matters. Sessions are hands-on: specimen genuine banknotes and counterfeit banknotes are distributed among the students in order to learn how to distinguish between them. In addition, the sessions provide students with information on the design of the banknotes, the cash cycle and the European Central Bank. During 2019, sessions were given to 590 Secondary school business students.

Physical tools are provided to the students, such as Feel, Look, Tilt cards which highlight the security features mentioned during the sessions. Apart from that, posters on euro currency are sent to the schools for their classes. 

The Central Bank of Malta, in collaboration with the Ministry for Education, introduced the ‘Money matters’ programme in the national curriculum for Year 6 students, certifying the teachers involved with this module. In 2019, this programme was offered to 660 pupils.

3.      As Malta’s community becomes more and more diversified, what are the initiatives being taken to reach foreign students in Maltese schools?

During 2020, an information leaflet was launched highlighting the main security features of the euro currency.  This leaflet is written in both Maltese and English and its visual interpretations make it easier for children to understand the characteristics of both banknotes and coins. In addition, cut-outs of euro banknotes and coins are provided with the leaflet in order to familiarise students on the use of the euro currency and their financial skills.

Financial Literacy

Did you know?


There are 73 nationalities (not counting Maltese) currently attending classes in year 7 and Year 8 at State schools, 59 of which lie outside the euro area.

Date uploaded: 24/4/2020