As adults, we sometimes forget the life experiences we have that help us to make informed decisions. At the same time, we also need to remember the world our current school-aged students are growing up in is so different to ours. There has always been a need for young people to have a sense of financial literacy but in today’s world where there is less cash, rarely the opportunity to count and check change, digital banking and a bombardment of advertisement encouraging young people to spend, the landscape is more complicated.
It was great to see our Year 11 and 12 Boarding students involved in a financial literacy seminar in late May. There are certainly calls within our broader community for more education in this area. The question to consider is how do we build a strong financial sense in our students so they make informed and sensible decisions in the future? Certainly, raising awareness of this in our school system and working with students in seminars like this helps.However, as a society we need to go further.
Understanding the dangers of debt, developing money management skills, being able to evaluate different investment options, recognise the benefits of saving, ensuring our students have a strong sense of protecting themselves from online scams and making good decisions about financial technologies, are all necessary skills. While financial literacy is embedded into some curriculum areas, we will be looking at other ways to ensure this important area is integrated into our offerings. I also encourage parents to talk about this with their children more frequently and provide them with opportunities to engage with and learn from experience, in the real world.
Understanding Mathematics in practice in our rapidly changing world is essential to financial independence and success. It is a vital life skill that can empower young people to achieve their future goals.