By Andy Sambidge
Visa survey reveals widespread support for money management to be taught in schools.
More than 90 percent of teachers working in the UAE believe that pupils need to be taught more basic financial literacy skills, the results of a Visa survey reveal.
The money management skills are essential for young people and the fundamentals of money management should be taught in schools, according to the poll.
The results come a week after the publication of the second annual Arab Youth Survey which showed more than a quarter of Arab youth have some form of personal debt, the majority of it owed on credit cards.
The survey, which was carried out with 2,000 youngsters in nine countries, found that 26 percent of young Arabs had some form of personal debt.
At 52 percent, Saudi Arabian youth were the most indebted in the Middle East. Two thirds of Saudi respondents’ debt was due to credit cards, which was the case in most of the countries surveyed.
In the latest Visa survey, more than 100 teachers from across the UAE were polled in the lead up to GESS, the region's premier education show.
Seventy-three percent of respondents said that schools did not currently teach basic money skills as part of the curriculum.
However, when asked if they thought financial understanding was important for young people to acquire, 92 percent believed it should be made compulsory for all school leavers.
A further 95 percent said that they would like to start teaching financial literacy in their school and incorporate it into the curriculum.
Unveiled at GESS 2010 in Dubai, Visa's dedicated financial literacy website in the Middle East - www.mymoneyskills.me - is a core part of the company's global commitment to reach 20 million people worldwide with financial literacy information by May 2013.
Right, hereâ€™s how to do it. Money is a substance, a thing to which we can refer by the use of the demonstrative phrase "this so-and-so", readily acceptable in exchange by everyone in a given geographical area and is sought for the purpose of being re-exchanged. The Holy Koran says in Verse 161 of Surah An Nisaaâ€™: â€œThat they took usury, though they were forbidden; and that they devoured menâ€™s substance wrongfully;-we have prepared for those among them who reject faith a grievous punishment.â€ When one party gives something of value and the other party pays him with something, in this case paper, of no value, and when one partyâ€™s wealth is created out of thin air, while the other party has to slave and earn to pay off the ill-gotten credit or loan, is this not devouring of other peopleâ€™s wealth? There is moreover a Hadith of Prophet Muhammed (Peace and Prayers be upon Him) in the Sahih Muslim which teaches: â€œAbu Said Al Khudri reported Allahâ€™s messenger as saying: â€œgold for gold, silver for silver, wheat for wheat, barley for barley, dates for dates, and salt for salt. (When a transaction is) like for like, payment being made on the spot, then, if anyone gives more or asks more, he has dealt in riba, the receiver and the giver being equally guilty.â€ This Hadith of Prophet Muhammed establishes two things: ONE â€˜moneyâ€™ in Islam is either precious metals such as gold and silver, or commodities such as wheat, barley, dates and salt. TWO when gold, silver, wheat, barley, dates and salt were used as money, their value was â€˜insideâ€™ and not â€˜outsideâ€™ the money. Hence, it is established that â€˜moneyâ€™ in Islam must possess intrinsic value. (Imran N. Hosein, â€œExplaining the Disappearance of Money with Intrinsic Valueâ€, paper delivered at the International Conference on the Gold Dinar Economy, held in Kuala Lumpur on 24 and 25 July 2007, p. 1)