When saving was the norm

MyFin24 is a user-generated section of Fin24.com. The stories here come from users.

Fin24 user Moegamat Sedick Soeker writes:

It was with great excitement that I saw Fin24 advertise for contributions to celebrate Heritage Month.

It got me thinking about how we as teachers many years ago encouraged our pupils to save, a culture that is now, in my humble opinion, non-existent.

I taught at Rosewood Primary School, the eighth primary school that opened its doors in the Bonteheuwel area in January 1963, with a complement of seven teachers.

As the years progressed, the roll increased and so did the teachers.

In the early 1970s or later, the school joined the Post Office Savings Club. 

If I remember correctly, the Post Office Savings Club was introduced in 1969 and we first had to test the waters before we could make a commitment to our pupils.

But all our children, mostly from sub-economic houses in Bonteheuwel, were keen and excited to join the savings scheme.

The first teacher who was in charge of this task was Mr Lionel Wilkinson. Approximately 100-150 pupils joined the savings scheme.

Pupils first had to buy stamps, each costing 5 cents. They had to fill their card with 20 stamps, which made their card worth R1.

If they had an amount of R1 or more, they did not have to buy stamps any more. They were then issued with a pink post office savings book. 

From then on we could have their savings deposited straight in to their savings book.

The pupils were encouraged to save at an early age. Rosewood was one of the top schools out of all the primary schools which joined the scheme.

When Mr Wilkinson went on his three months' leave he showed me the ropes, and many more pupils joined the scheme.

I feel schools must make every effort to start a savings scheme, despite the poor state of the economy or high unemployment rate.

Parents will buy cigarettes rather than saving the money. If only they will take heed of the warnings on the packets: smoking causes lung cancer! Smoking kills! 

 - Fin24

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