Victorian Government To Scrap Dollarmites After 90 Years
It's the end of an era! After 90 years, one of Australia's most well-known school banking programs is coming to an end.
While the Commonwealth Bank's Dollarmites program is as much a part of every Aussie's childhood as vegemite sandwiches, the Victorian Labor Government has pulled the pin on the program after 90 years labelling it as "low quality".
Over the years the Dollarmites program has come under scrutiny by parents, schools, and consumer advocacy groups such as Choice, the Australian Education Union, Financial Counselling Australia, and nods in the annual CHOICE Shonky Awards. And who could forget the Fairfax investigation revealing that thousands of Commonwealth Bank (CBA) staff fraudulently manipulated Dollarmites youth accounts for personal financial gain back in 2018!
According to State Education Minister James Merlino, the findings of the banking royal commission and the economic damage of COVID-19 has highlighted a need for financial literacy in our schooling systems. "Victorian students deserve high-quality financial literacy free from commercial interests", says Merlino.
This coupled with findings from corporate regulator, ASIC that there is limited evidence that school banking programs create lasting money-smart behaviour in students, has given the Victorian Government all it needs to officially give Dollarmites the boot, which will come into effect from Term 1 2021.
What's Next For School Banking?
The Andrews Labor Government plans to replace bank-run schemes with academic school-run programs that'll teach students valuable financial skills in line with the Victorian curriculum.
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