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(TCSI): A new partnership will pilot the digitization of financial education content in Solomon Islands.

The partnership between Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP) and Catalpa International was launched in November last year.

Catalpa is striving towards improving education outcomes for young women in rural technical centres (RTCs) and is building an interactive mobile app called Olgeta that will leverage text-based learning as well as informative videos and module related assessments focused on future-ready skills such as leadership, financial literacy and digital marketing.

PFIP provided Catalpa with financial education material used for the financial literacy skills, which will be piloted in two rural training centres (RTC) within Guadalcanal from January 2020 to June 2020.

The selected centres, the Mary Mazzarello Development Centre (MMDC) and the Divit RTC are both for young women and have around 60 students and three teachers.

“Catalpa is eagerly anticipating the rollout of Olgeta digital learning pilot that will bring courses on financial literacy, leadership and digital marketing to students at these two rural training centres. We are excited to work with partners like the UNCDF Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme to increase exposure to high-quality, relevant, and locally created content, ultimately increasing students’ future-ready skills”, said the Education Technology Specialist of Catalpa Kara Chesal.

The aim of integrating financial education in the Olgeta app is to equip young women with proper money management skills needed to make sound financial choices that will benefit not only their personal lives but the country’s economy as well.

The financial education component will cover basic understanding on how to budget, bank, save and on the various financial services and institutions present in the country.

Whilst formalizing the partnership with Catalpa International, PFIP’s Programme Manager, Bram Peters acknowledged the support of Australian Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) and stated the importance of the partnership.

“Expanding the reach of our financial education work through the Olgeta App is aligned with our Financial Education priorities and this app will help bring future-ready skills to more Solomon Islands women,” the PFIP Manager said.

Catalpa International specializes in human-centred design, creative approach to problem-solving that starts with people and arrives at context-specific solutions. The group’s research process focuses on empathy and understanding in order to inspire new ideas, using a combination of observation, in-context interviews, qualitative research and quantitative analysis.