Schools should teach fi­nance

91% of stu­dents say they would ben­e­fit from les­sons

The Witness - - YOUR MONEY -

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.

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