JSE's Student Education Drive Grows

May 31, 2007 at 12:00 AM EDT

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“The JSE/Liberty Life Investment Challenge, now in its 35th year, is undoubtedly one of the most focused and far-reaching educational youth programmes in South Africa.  The Challenge is aimed at introducing South African high school and university learners to the world of high finance. Last year a total of 7 048 school learners and 1 232 university students entered the challenge, many of whom came from less advantaged schools and institutions,” said Maureen Dlamini, Senior General Manager: Education at the JSE.

The challenge allows learners to buy and sell virtual securities on the JSE and also teaches them to manage a virtual portfolio of R1 000 000.  Prizes from the game are generous and are given to winning teams at an awards ceremony at the conclusion of the game.  The team that wins First Place receives R25 000,00; Second Place: R20 000,00; and  Third Place: R15 000,00 in securities.

“In an attempt to improve the performance and participation rates of less advantaged schools the JSE has partnered with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) in a collaboration that will see 15 SAICA students mentoring the learners in the game. The mentors, all students at the Universities of Fort Hare and Limpopo, have been chosen from students who will themselves be participating in the University Investment Challenge. They will be servicing schools in the Alice, East London and Polokwane areas,” continued Maureen.

The SAICA mentors will look after up to 5 schools each and will spend 2 hours a week with each mentored school.  The mentors will also undergo training and assessment at the JSE.  Those who make it through the assessment process will visit the schools to ensure that the school children are actively participating.  If there are any problems that are affecting the participation of the learners the mentors will bring these issues to the urgent attention of the JSE Education Division.

“Mentors helping the youngsters from these schools are making a valuable and sustainable contribution to their communities and gaining invaluable knowledge and exposure for their own financial futures in the process,” concluded Maureen.