Hakkari School enters the European Money Quiz finals for the second consecutive year

Hakkari School in Lempäälä gets to represent Finland in the European Money Quiz for the second year in a row. The EMQ is an annual contest in financial knowledge for middle school students, organised by the European Banking Federation and national banking associations. It traditionally takes place in Brussels, but this year, due to the coronavirus situation, it takes the form of an online competition. The finals will be held on 29 April. Finland’s representatives are Niko Rajamäki and Elias Hämetvaara.

The class who gets top score in the Zaldo financial education online programme gets to enter the EMQ finals. Hakkari School came first – not only this year, but also the year before. The Zaldo programme contains free of charge material designed for all grades from 4th to 9th, and is produced collaboratively by Finance Finland, Junior Achievement Finland, Finnish Financial Ombudsman Bureau, Finnish Foundation for Share Promotion, and Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra.

”Economics is given much focus throughout middle school at Hakkari, and for example history classes that cover various crises have also discussed their economic aspects”, says Pate Nikulainen, teacher of history and social studies at Hakkari School. Nikulainen seems to be quite the successful teacher, because in addition to his grade 9 students getting top scores in Zaldo, his 8th graders also got 2nd and 3rd places in the Taloussankari (”economic hero”) contest finals last year.

Elias Hämetvaara and Niko Rajamäki, Finland’s EMQ representatives

We’ll get through this!

Each school sends two students from the winning class to the finals. The Hakkari 9G class chose Niko Rajamäki and Elias Hämetvaara, who scored the highest points in the Zaldo test.

Hämetvaara says economics isn’t his favourite subject in itself, but social studies in general is – largely because of the quality of teaching. ”It’s entirely thanks to Pate. He can be a very inspiring teacher”, Hämetvaara says.

Of the upcoming finals, Hämetvaara states that one thing is certain: they won’t be finishing at the bottom. ”Last year’s final questions seemed pretty simple”, Rajamäki adds.

Last year the finalists got to travel to Brussels for the competition. This year, due to the coronavirus situation, the Brussels event is replaced with an online contest. Hämetvaara and Rajamäki admitted that this was a bit of a bummer, but not the first of its kind.

”We were also supposed to take a school trip to Brighton, as is tradition for 9th graders in our school”, Rajamäki explains. Their class is partially taught in English. ”But we’ll get through this!” Hämetvaara adds with conviction.

Finland’s team placed in the top 10 last year. The winner was Slovenia, followed by North Macedonia and Germany. This year’s final will be streamed live on YouTube.

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