Following the opening of registrations for this year’s annual Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) Investment Challenge, the bourse is calling for catalyst teachers to volunteer to mentor participating high school teams.
The JSE Investment Challenge, which runs from March to September, is an educational programme designed to introduce pupils and students to the fundamentals of investing in the JSE.
Teams that participate in this competition are given R1 million in virtual funds to invest in various portfolios, to outperform the portfolios of other participating teams.
The challenge is open to all South African high schools and higher learning institutions.
High schools may enter one or more teams, and a team must consist of four members from Grades 8 to 12 and a teacher must supervise each team.
University students must form a team and all members must be registered with the same institution.
Each team must have a minimum of two and a maximum of four members.
Ralph Speirs, CSI Officer at the JSE, says last year the JSE Investment Challenge attracted 18 542 high school learners and a further 3 523 university students, putting the total number of participants at 22 065.
Giving back to communities
“A number of learners who participate in the annual Investment Challenge are typically from schools in disadvantaged communities, and the purpose of the programme is to bring financial literacy to these communities,” says Speirs.
“We, therefore, call upon unemployed graduates to become catalyst teachers or mentors, to guide learners in the programme.”
He explains that ideal candidates should be unemployed graduates, who have a passion for investments.
Their field of study is immaterial, but what is important is commitment and an interest in making a difference.
“Suitable candidates will also benefit from acquiring new skills, as they will first undergo a training course with the JSE to become catalyst teachers,” says Speirs.
“While this is not an offer of employment, successful candidates will receive a stipend for the duration of their participation as catalysts teachers during the JSE Investment Challenge.”
Additionally, the JSE is calling for students from tertiary institutions to become ambassadors in the campuses to drive registrations and attract other students to participate in the challenge.
As an incentive for their work, the Investment Challenge campus ambassadors will receive a stipend.
Creating financial literacy
The JSE is amplifying its efforts to ensure that the Investment Challenge reaches every corner of the country, to drive financial literacy, and expose the youth of South Africa to the exciting world of finance and investment.
“As the continent’s biggest stock exchange and a responsible corporate citizen, the JSE would also like to play an active role in creating a financially literate society,” says Speirs.
“What better way to achieve this than to allow South African youth to gain real-life skills in investing and trading on the stock exchange while participating in an exciting game with great prizes up for grabs?”
He explains that through the JSE Investment Challenge, the stock exchange also aims to demystify the working of the JSE and grant participants an opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of investment and learn how the stock market works.
“What’s also central to the JSE Investment Challenge is the opportunity it creates for the catalyst teachers, or mentors, to not only better themselves by acquiring new skills, but also the ability to take this knowledge back to their communities and ultimately improve the lives of others,” says Speirs.
“Aside from just providing mentorship to participating learners, this is truly an opportunity to do something of national importance that can have a lasting impact on communities that need it most,” concludes Speirs.
Graduates that are interested in being catalyst teachers can send an application to firstname.lastname@example.org and students that are keen to be campus ambassadors can send an application to email@example.com by 30 April 2022.