Ontario, Canada launches plan to teach high school kids financial skills

A significant number of schools in many countries lack a basic understanding of the general financial concepts for younger kids. This is the kind of financial skills that teach children about bonds, stocks, savings, and checking accounts. But the pilot project of Ontario is aimed at 28 high schools that involve revamping of the Grade 10 career course that will lay the groundwork for financial literacy for children.

The project is said to run till June and will involve about 700 students. The new course will be designed on the basis of the feedback that will be provided by the students along with the input of their teachers. With this, students will be able to learn entrepreneurship along with digital literacy as well as career and life planning. The step was taken after repeated calls for mandatory money skills to be taught to children in schools.

This also included a campaign by the Toronto Youth Cabinet last year. It focused that children lack the basic knowledge from credit cards to even filing the tax returns. The money skills are thought to be the initial step towards modernizing the career curriculum. With the help of the knowledge, students will be able to get practical information but there is still a lot of work that is needed to ensure that teens leave school with basic knowledge.

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According to Amarasooriya, 24, he suffered a lot during his teen years because of the lack of financial literacy. His both parents lost their job and fearing his own future, he took on five part-time jobs. At present, he is working in a bank and helps young clients who are unaware of the difference between a checking account and a savings account.

In the words of Kimia Kamarhie, who teaches careers at Thornhill Secondary School, both money skills and digital literacy are critical tools for students at high school. These are the subjects most students are eager to learn because these are the life skills that students carry forward even after high school. The process can bring a lot of good results and boost financial literacy among students.

The executive director of Money School Canada Barry states that the elementary student should also not be left behind and co-authorized a study. The study concluded that the gaps are enormous between what expert task forces have called and what the ministry has put in place. But Amarasooriya agrees the earlier the better but getting financial literacy into Grade 10 careers is a logical fit and seems like the path of least resistance for making long overdue changes quickly.

The Article originally appeared on The Star