“Only 100 rupees!” said the shopkeeper.
“No. I’ll take it for 80 rupees,” replied someone.
A lot of bargaining was happening in a hall of N.K.Singh Memorial English Preparatory Secondary School (EPS) that day. The little shopkeepers from the fifth grades had set up their fruit market in the school for a day.
Last year, EPS School implemented an in-school project for its fifth-grade students as an activity of the International School Award programme. Their project titled ‘My Personal Piggy Bank’ was about enabling the students to identify coins and currencies of three countries – Nepal, England and the United States of America, and developing their mathematical skills in relation with the use and saving of money in daily life.
“Teaching beyond the books is important to make learning fun. We designed this project with the same motive. My Piggy Bank is an integral part of our school’s curriculum, but embedded with Mathematics, Social Studies and Creative Arts courses that our fifth-grade students must study. This project also helped students to understand the national and international coins and currencies used worldwide,” says Anup Mukhiya, the School Principal.
What did the students do?
The students during the project period enrolled in various activities e.g. quiz contest on identifying coins and currencies and denomination of currency, class activities of making money of chart papers and silver foil to practice mathematics- addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, and took part in the orientation from the Nepal Investment Bank on the importance of saving money and about child saving account.
To understand more about how the currencies work and using mathematics in a practical setting, the students went to the fruit markets with their teachers and bought fruits to set up a one-day fruit market in the school premises. On the day of the fair, the school invited the parents to shop in the market and provided the first-hand experience to their children on transaction of money. The fair was eventful as well as a new learning experience for everyone. The students who roleplayed as shopkeepers also made their personal piggy banks to save their earning of the day.
What did the students learn?
They learned about international currencies and their values and could identify the coins and paper money of three different countries. The practical use of the money helped the students to link classroom math in a live setting, helping them sharpen their life skills and an understanding of the value of money.