SINGAPORE – If you choose to buy a home but don’t have enough savings, chances are you can’t afford furniture for it.
This was one of the scenarios faced by students at Guangyang High School when they tried out a new mobile app launched by the Central Provident Fund (CPF) board of directors on Friday, July 16.
Called âKickstart your future with CPFâ, the app is aimed at high school students, to teach them key concepts of financial literacy and how their CPF can be used, by simulating the decisions of adult life.
Students choose an avatar and complete activities such as building and furnishing their dream home. They also need to plan and budget for their moves. The choices they make lead to different results.
According to Ms. Cindi Ang, Senior Director of Outreach and Partnerships, CPF Board of Directors: âYoung people should learn more about financial literacy and CPF, as well as their spending habits. They should cultivate good savings habits from an early age. It is time to present this program now as it complements the school program well. “
Since high school students are getting personal learning devices this year, they would be able to access the app more easily, she said.
Even though such decisions would take years in real life for these teens, Ang said the app was meant to help them learn key financial literacy concepts and cultivate good saving habits.
Teachers from Guangyang Secondary School held a financial literacy class for Secondary 3 and 4 grades on Friday, explaining the basics such as how interests are perceived and how the CPF works.
Students then explored and played the mobile game on their own smartphones or on school iPads.
Afterwards, the teachers facilitated a discussion in which the students reflected on their spending decisions. Guangyang was the first school to try the app as part of a class.
âThey (the students) are the instant gratification generation. If they didn’t see the outcome, they wouldn’t find the CPF learning relevant. The game helped them visualize that,â Ms. Cindy Tan said, 30 years old, who teaches social sciences. in Guangyang.
Umaira Sherifa Mohamed Arief, a 15-year-old student, said: âThe program taught me to prepare for my future. The game is also effective because it reflects situation scenarios that have helped me visualize and understand how to plan intelligently for the future.
“The game emphasizes the importance of saving and helped me understand the importance of differentiating between needs and wants.”
Schools wishing to take similar courses can contact the CPF Board of Directors for resources. The app is also available for the public to download from the App Store and Google Play.