by Linda Straker
Ten teachers from Carriacou and Petite Martinique who manage their Schools Savings Unions (or Junior Cooperatives) were the first to benefit from a financial training programme organised by the Grenada Authority for the Regulation of Financial Institutions (GARFIN), as it undertakes initiatives aimed at developing a structured format for the organisation and supervision of Schools Savings Unions.
“This is all part of GARFIN’s initiatives aimed at strengthening the supervision of all Schools Savings Unions”, explained Mr Angus Smith, Executive Director of GARFIN.
The training which was held on 17 March 2015 at the Resource Centre in Carriacou discussed, among other things, the roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders, financial record keeping and reporting, and the By-Laws of the Schools Savings Unions. The programme also looked at the overall organisation and development of Schools Savings Unions. Teachers in Grenada will also benefit from similar training exercises during the upcoming term.
Following the training session, the team from GARFIN inspected the books of the Carriacou and Petite Martinique Schools Savings Unions to assess their levels of record-keeping and their compliance with the By-Laws of the Junior Cooperatives.
Mr Denis Felix, Manager of the Nonbank Credit and Money Services Supervision Department in GARFIN explained that GARFIN is now in the process of developing a formalised framework for the effective supervision of the Schools Savings Unions. This training programme is part of that framework. Greater focus is now being placed on the Junior Cooperatives as effective supervision of the other sectors in the non-bank financial sector has been developed over the past few years.
Data from GARFIN indicates that there are 85 schools throughout Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martnique with Schools Savings Unions, with close to $1 million in savings from some 6,000 students.