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Bankers shed light on the mysteries of economics

BancoMedia aims to open up the world of banking to schoolchildren. Bancomedia

Schoolchildren and students have a new way to learn the complexities of modern economics. The Swiss Bankers Association and the Advesco System Learning Company of Schaffhausen have created a multimedia, practice-oriented programme for the teaching of economics in schools.

This content was published on June 21, 2001 - 19:01

The programme, called BancoMedia, aims to teach pupils in a clear and lively way the complex mechanisms and interdependencies of a global market economy.

"Nowadays, if you open a newspaper, if you watch television or if you listen to the radio, you hear about mergers, acquisitions and big transactions of money, and it's a complicated world," Swiss Bankers Association head of communication, Jean-Marc Felix told swissinfo.

"We think people need support in understanding what's going on in this world," he said.

BancoMedia is also aimed at helping to create a workforce in Switzerland than can maintain the country's attractiveness as a financial centre.

The programme, which comes on three Compact Discs and is supported by an online platform, discusses money and what you can do with it and also deals with business in general.

"Students learn how to start a company, they go through a whole business year with all the ups and downs, and in the end they have a first general assembly. That's the proof of the pudding when the shareholders will tell them if they did a good job or not. It's a game but at the same time it's serious" Felix said.

The programme also explains what role banks and stock exchanges play.

The BancoMedia website provides topical exercises and supplementary information relating to the three teaching sections, as well as comprehensive glossaries and other reference works.

It also provides teachers - they have their own password - with model tests, case studies, homework, graphics and additional information designed to make teaching more attractive.

A teacher in Baden who helped the Bankers Association in the SFr1 million ($561,170) project, Caroline Streif, told swissinfo that the programme could be very useful in teaching economics.

"I think it can be very helpful because it's a new tool. Instead of a book you have CD ROMs and the students can work interactively with them. It gives you more freedom as a teacher and since it is structured in a modular way, you can use it for different target groups," she told swissinfo.

BancoMedia, available in German only for the time being, is proving to be a success with the first production of 5,000 already exhausted.

The programme, which will also be made available in French and Italian, can be obtained free of charge from the Swiss Bankers Association.

swissinfo with agencies

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