Schools should teach finance
91% of students say they would benefit from lessons
A SURVEY among nearly 2 500 South African students shows that 91% of them would feel more confident about their finances if they were taught about financial planning while at school.
The 2017 PPS Student Confidence Index (SCI) was conducted among students in their fourth year or above, studying at a university or university of technology towards a professional degree, such as engineering, medicine, law or accounting.
According to Nico Coetzee, executive: PPS Financial Planning, a subsidiary of the PPS Group — the financial services provider focused on graduate professionals, it is not surprising that the majority of future professionals see the benefit of being taught about financial planning while at school.
“This is probably because these students are now entering into the adult phase of their lives. They now have to take responsibility for their personal finances. Most of them can no longer rely on their parents or family members for financial guidance or assistance.”
Most of them are beginning to search for career opportunities.
“Some of them want to own or already own assets, such as a car or property. Many of them will soon receive bills, for example rent and electricity.”
They are beginning to realise that having some form of financial literacy education at a basic school level would have been beneficial, said Coetzee.
The results of the survey are mirrored by a recent study conducted by the National Financial Educators Council in the U.S., which surveyed 5 123 young adults between the ages of 18 and 24.
The study showed 50% of the respondents said that a subject on “money management/personal finance” at high school would have benefited their life most.
Internationally, some countries have integrated some form of financial education into school curriculums.
In England, for example, it became compulsory for all state schools to include financial education from September 2014 in maths and citizenship lessons.
The Seattle Times reports that financial literacy is to be included as part of the school curriculum in Washington state in the near future.
South African schools should also start considering including some form of financial literacy education as part of the curriculum, said Coetzee.
— Business Editor.