21-05-2024 15:19

New financial skills programme already in great demand

A new volunteering programme where Nordea Estonia employees visit schools and educational institutions to share their knowledge has already given more than 1,400 students basic financial skills and tools to spot fraud and financial crime.
Financial skills training Estonia
Marjo Leino, Jelena Forsby-Impiö and Heli Meklin visited The Tallinn Finnish School (TASK).

Nordea Estonia’s financial skills programme was launched earlier this year as part of the bank’s community engagement activities. At Nordea, all employees are given the opportunity to use 16 working hours a year on volunteering through several local programmes, and the new programme in Estonia is already much in demand. 

So far, Nordea has been invited by 45 schools across Estonia, and around 1,400 students of different age groups – from kindergarten to high school/upper secondary school level – have received tuition. Lessons have been conducted mainly in Estonian, but also in Finnish and Russian.

The programme consists of two tracks. One focuses on basic financial skills and what you need to know to manage your own finances. The children learn about expenses, budgeting, savings and the basics about accounts and cash cards. The other track focuses on financial crime prevention and how to detect different kinds of fraud and navigate safely online. 

Inquisitive crowd

Jelena Forsby-Impiö visited The Tallinn Finnish School (TASK) together with her colleagues Heli Meklin and Marjo Leino and was met by an inquisitive crowd:   

“The children asked great questions and were not afraid to throw in a joke or two! The younger kids were particularly interested in financial crime prevention, whereas the older ones were more eager to learn about how to handle their personal finances – which is understandable as many of them will soon be taking another step towards independence. The entire session was held in Finnish and our crew did a great job with translating and rearranging the material from Estonian. We had loads of fun and look forward to more cooperation with TASK in future,” she says.  

Argo Leetmaa from his tour to Viljandi.

On tour in Viljandi

Argo Leetmaa, who works with financial crime prevention, went on a veritable tour where he covered all major upper secondary level schools in the Viljandi area. 

“My first presentation was at Suure-Jaani Gümnaasium. As a warmup I did two presentations in a row for mixed groups of 8th-11th graders. My second presentation was at Viljandi Riigigümnaasium for an auditorium of 125 students! I have to say that for a moment this gave me the feeling of being a “real lecturer“ at an educational facility and I asked myself if that might be something I want to do more of in future,” he says with a smile. 

“Although my work requires quite frequent presentations to my team or value chain, doing it for groups of young people from various backgrounds and on a topic they know little or nothing about was an interesting challenge. An additional benefit (which might be related to my age) is that being around young people is actually quite energising and before the presentation I also took the opportunity to have small discussions about their near-future plans,” Argo adds. 

Financial literacy a crucial aspect of education

Sirli Kont, art teacher at Gustav Adolf Grammar School, who was visited by Nordea, shares her experience with integrating financial literacy into her curriculum: 

Sirli Kont, art teacher at Gustav Adolf Grammar School.

"Every March, during Rahatarkuse kuu – the month of financial insights – I incorporate guest lessons and assignments focused on financial literacy in my art classes. In Estonia, financial literacy is a crucial aspect of education, demanding attention in today's society. By intertwining it with art, we not only revisit an important subject but also stress the significance of financial acumen in creative pursuits,” she explains, adding: 
“Throughout these sessions, we've hosted various guest speakers, including representatives from different banks. One standout approach came from Nordea, which shed light on financial crimes and offered a fresh perspective. While my students possess fundamental knowledge of saving and investing, exploring financial crimes proved both intriguing and essential for real-world application.” 

 “We're currently taking part in the competition run by Finantsinspektsioon (the Estonian Financial Supervision and Resolution Authority) where our task is to design a board game based on financial knowledge. Thanks to the valuable insights gained from Nordea's guest session, our students have produced remarkable work. Please keep your fingers crossed for us in t

Financial skills