Partner of the Week: SERNAC

SERNAC (Servicio Nacional del Consumidor – National Consumer Service) is the Chilean organisation in charge of protecting the rights of consumers with a focus on informing, educating and protecting citizens. Given the background of the country – linked to high levels of financial illiteracy, debts and low household savings – financial education plays an important role in its mission.

Since 2015, SERNAC has developed and implemented PEEF (Programa Escolar de Educaciόn Financiera – School Programme for Financial Education), which is offered at schools all over the country, reaching 261.917 students in their 6th grade of primary to 4th grade of secondary level. The aim is to raise critical citizens, aware of their rights while making informed and responsible consumption choices at different stages of their life. As a result, they learn how to prioritise resources and differentiate desires from needs, becoming citizens who understand that individual decisions have a collective impact, on the environment, economy and social development.

The PEEF programme underlines the need to generate a transformation in financial dynamics. It uses a socio-constructivist methodology, allowing the alignment of pedagogical actions with the development of meaningful learning. This will eventually transform the cognitive structures of students, accomplishing life-long learning, durability and applicability of the knowledge. In line with this, there are three methodological principles; the development of financial skills that allow for conscious and responsible actions; the development of participatory instructional strategies that allow for student’s empowerment; and the orientation towards a critical approach to financial services and products.