Colombia_small.GIF Colombia: Banco de la República en las aulas

Date of creation: 2006

Sector, Sponsor,  Responsible body(ies):
Public: Banco de la República (Central Bank of Colombia).

Students of primary and secondary schools, teachers, and general public.

Description (Aim & Needs):
The objective of the program is to enhance children, youngsters and general public's understanding of basic economic and financial topics in order to contribute to the development of economic and financially responsible citizens. Nations benefit by having an economically literate population, one that is able to understand and evaluate critical events. Teaching economic literacy gives children and youngsters the tools they will need in the future to understand their economic environment and to interpret the events that can have a direct or indirect influence on their lives. It implies identifying the concepts needed to understand the complex real world in which we live and to teach them in a way that enables people to apply them and to express an opinion. This understanding is particularly important for democracies that benefit from the active support and participation of their citizens. In effect, economic knowledge has a direct and valuable impact on people's opinions about economic problems. And, public opinion exerts an important influence on many decisions regarding public policy, including economic policy, which is critical for development.

Tools & Programmes:

1. Videos for children and youngsters: one video for children "El fantasma de la inflación" (The inflation ghost) and another for youngsters "El dinero, la inflación y la política monetaria" (money, inflation and monetary policy) whose objective is to teach basic economic concepts such as money, inflation, the objective, functions and decision-making process of a central bank.

2. Booklets for children: Stories through which children can learn basic concepts in Economics in a playful way. All the booklets come with a teacher guide. The titles are:  "¿Qué es el dinero ? (What's money?)", "¿Qué son los bancos ? (What are banks?)", "¿Qué es un banco central ? (What's a central bank?)", "El fantasma de la inflación (The inflation ghost)", "El pago mágico (The magic payment)" and "Don Republicano: el guardián del dinero (Don Republicano : the money guardian)."

3. Booklets for youngsters: Developed in a modular fashion in order to help teachers in conveying the key concepts of economics. The titles are: "El sistema económico (The economic system)", "El dinero y la política monetaria (Money and monetary policy)", "El papel del gobierno y la política fiscal (The role of government and fiscal policy)", and "La globalización económica (Economic globalization)."

4. Essay contest "De la banca escolar a la banca central" ("From the school bank to the central bank"):  This contest is intended for students of the last two years of high school. The objective of the contest is that students think about basic economic concepts from a personal and quotidian perspective. The Bank has established a partnership with the first five Economics schools in the country to evaluate the essays. From 2006 to 2008, 21,600 students from all the Colombian states participated in the contest.

5. Contest "Jesús Antonio Bejarano" to college students: This contest is intended for college students who are majoring in Economics. The aim is to promote the scientific and social development of the country in the economic area. In 2008, 230 college students participated in the contest.

6. Interactive Monetary Exhibition: Through 12 interactive modules that include videos, multimedia and games, the exhibition teaches in a didactic and playful fashion topics such as: history, design and care of banknotes; barter; money; inflation; economic system; Central Bank's history and functions; and a simulation game of the decision-making process of monetary policy. As a complement of the exhibition, the visitors can see the printing process of banknotes in real time. Between 2007 and August 2009, the exhibition has received 17,684 visitors.

7. Economic education on the Bank's webpage: Since 2006, the navigation menu of the webpage has the option "Para estudiantes y maestros (For students and teachers)" where all the educational material is available to download. Between 2007 and 2008 this page was visited 74,434 times and the most visited link has been the essay contest.

8. Visits of students: Since 2000, the Bank receives the visit of student groups from schools and universities who are interested in learning what the Central Bank is, its functions, the tools the Bank has to control inflation, how monetary policy works, among other subjects. Between 2008 and 2009, the Bank has received visits of 2,364 students.

9. Program "Finances for change": Since 2008 and in partnership with Citi Foundation and Foundation Dividendo por Colombia, the Bank started to participate in a pilot program on economic and financial training for high-school teachers in public schools in the cities of Bogotá, Medellín, Cartagena and Cali. In these training sessions, teachers learn basic concepts of economics and finance, using tools of "active pedagogy" to make them more attractive and appealing to the students who, at the end, will be taught with this approach. In addition, monitoring visits and evaluations before and after the trainings are made. Since this program started, more than 400 teachers have been trained which have a direct impact on more than 18,000 students.

10. Education campaign on banknotes: The objectives of this campaign are: to prevent banknote counterfeiting by informing people about the accurate identification of the security characteristics of banknotes; to reduce costs of banknote replacement by promoting a better use and handling of monetary species; and to increase awareness among Colombian population about the cultural, historic and artistic value of our banknotes.

Resources/Available Material:
All the available material is published on the Bank's website:

Website: or
Menu on the left : « Para estudiantes y maestros »

Diana M. Mejía
Director of Institutional Communications
Banco de la República (Central Bank of Colombia)
Carrera 7 # 14-78, piso 9
Bogotá, Colombia
Tel: (571) 343 0519
Fax: (571) 334 5915