The Monetary Policy Committee Schools Challenge 2020 started the first round for in Mpumalanga onthe 8th of February at Emnotweni. The national competition is a South Africa Reserve Bank (SARB)initiative endorsed by the Department of Basic Education and aims to stimulate interest in economicsamong high school learners, put theory into practice and to learn how the SARB makes interest ratedecisions.
Schools from across the country have been competing in this event since 2018. “Severalyoung economists now working at the Reserve Bank had come through the challenge, added NwabisaNdzamo Reserve Bank Spokesperson.
Each school enters four pupils, who have to write a monetary policy statement. Thereafter, eachprovince is gradually added to the competition. Mpumalanga started participating in the event from
2016, working alongside Irene Mabena, the Department of Basic Education Provincial Coordinator.
This year, around 120 learners from across the province took part in the event. The challenge consistsof a workshop, where the pupils were taught how to structure the statement, and given data to use in
a simulation.Asive Dwayi, 17, from Despatch Senior Secondary, said she was learning that monetarypolicy was of huge importance because it affected things like inflation and unemployment.
Reserve Bank Spokesperson Nwabisa Ndzamo said the broad objectives of the challenge weretoimprove young people’s grasp of economics, to get them to consider a career in the field, and to helpthem understand how the Bank fitted into the economy and the wellbeing of South Africans.
“Toachieve that, the goal is to get the participants into the shoes of the governor of the Reserve Bank”said Ndzamo.
In August the top seven teams will be invited to Pretoria to the SA Reserve Bank itself, where they willpresent their statements to the three sitting deputy governors. At the beginning of September, thefinalists will be invited back to the Bank to an event hosted by SA Reserve BankGovernor Kganyagoand Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga where the winner would be announced.
Each pupil inthe winning team will take home R12,000 plus a study bursary which includes tuition, accommodationand a stipend, and the winning school gets R25,000.
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