Speech - Address By Ms Low Khah Gek, CEO, Institute of Technical Education, at the Signing of Agreement With The Development Bank Of Singapore, on 9 January 2019, at 3.30 pm, at Board Room, Block A, Level 7, ITE Headquarters

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  • Publish date:09 Jan 2019

Mr Chee Hong Tat Senior Minister of State

Ministry of Trade & Industry and Ministry of Education

Mr Jeremy Soo

Managing Director and Head,Consumer Banking Group, Singapore DBS

Mr Sameer Gupta

Executive Director and Head of Business Analytics & Customer Management

Ms Priscilla Joseph

Vice-President, Consumer Banking Group – Customer Management Friends from DBS

My ITE Colleagues and Students Ladies and Gentlemen


Today, we are excited to embark on a new journey of collaboration with DBS, to review and re-design a financial literacy programme that will benefit our 28,000 ITE students.

Refreshed Financial Literacy Curriculum

Since 2014, ITE has introduced financial literacy as part of our Lifeskills curriculum. Today (five years on), we are very thrilled to have the support and partnership of DBS to help us refresh our Financial Literacy curriculum. We will leverage DBS’ strong data analytics capabilities to provide us insights into the spending and saving habits of the Youth-to-Adult population.

Through this partnership, we will now have new and authentic ways to engage with our students to help them understand their current spending patterns and habits. We will also use the data analytics of the older adult segments to help our students understand how their spending needs and demands change as they move into different stages of their lives.

Let me share a few observations from DBS’ analytics of ITE students. These observations have revealed that there is much scope and potential to teach our students to be more financially savvy:

  • Our ITE students mostly receive their allowance in cash and so they do relatively less cashless transactions. As a result, the tracking of their financial status is manual – they check their wallet but do not use online data to look at their overall spending and saving over time. We can teach them online banking and data tracking
  • 51% of our students managed to have savings each month. Our students’ income are mostly from the allowance given to them by their parents or from some part-time work. The fact that half of them managed to save is good. We will nevertheless work with all our students to help them understand their spending habits and more will have savings and to be able to save more.
  • What do our students spend on? The data shows that they mostly spend on food. Among their expenditure, 35% are for supermarket grocery/snacks, 25% for dining and 15% for other retail shopping. Our students are teenagers who are always actively and always hungry. We cannot begrudge them spending on food but we can teach them other financial tools to plan longer term for their future.

The staff of ITE and DBS have started to co-develop the refreshed financial literacy curriculum and case studies. They have also conducted student focus group sessions and ideation workshops. Some of the useful ideas that emerge include strategies to:

  • enable students to recognise their own financial profiles
  • help students analyse their spending patterns over time
  • identify when and how students could avoid unnecessary expenditure
  • explore different options to save
  • understand different ways to grow their money

ITE and DBS will also incorporate new digitalisation ideas for the delivery of the lessons such as the use of analytics tools, personalisation (“Financial GPS”) tools as well as for the students to acquire digital banking skills and tools.


On behalf of ITE, I would like to express our appreciation to Mr Jeremy Soo, Mr Sameer Gupta, Ms Priscilla Joseph and our friends from DBS, for your strong commitment and partnership. Together we will equip ITE students with strong financial literacy and savviness to enable them to make good financial choices and decisions in life, which in turn will lead them towards a brighter and more secure future.

I thank SMS for gracing our MOU signing ceremony this afternoon and helping us to assert the importance of financial planning and management.

Thank you.