The young, in France, to master the money matters ? Do they have bases that allow them to make informed choices in terms of purchases, budget, credit, savings, investment, insurance ? Not really, if one believes this study, which compared, in 2012, the financial literacy of teens of 15 years. Our countries were awarded a score (486 points), slightly lower than the average of the thirteen countries of the OECD participants (500 points).

To try to advance our students, an initiative is about to be launched : in the coming weeks, educational materials must be made available to teachers to encourage them and help them to deal with classroom topics linked to personal finance. They were initiated in the framework of the “national strategy of financial education”, launched at the end of 2016 by the ministry of Economy.

A strategy to three feet

This strategy, driven by the Bank of France is based on three pillars : the support of vulnerable groups financially, the support of the financial skills of the French throughout their life (an information portal, Mesquestionsdargent.fr was created) and the development of education in these matters for all children, the school, through a partnership with the national Education ministry. It is within this third pillar that have been developed learning and teaching materials, not yet disclosed, because in the process of validation by the department.

“They were developed in the first six months by various working groups which we were part of,” explains Pascale Micoleau-Marcel, of the Institute for the financial education of the public, the editor of the site, The Finance for all. “With teachers, inspectors, educational trainers, we have created a score sheets for the primary and the college.”

math puzzles

“It is at this stage of content that is targeted to teachers of mathematics of the college and to the professors of the schools. The modules of math associate a year illustrated by a question of money (ex : the cost of a loan, interest on a savings account passbook) to one or more worksheets on the subject.” For the primary, ” said Ms. Micoleau-Marcel, content-cutting have also been developed, around it, for example of literature for children, or projects in class to practise the holding of a budget.

Certainly, a number of teachers have told us that they treated already these subjects during their course, either by creating their own exercises, either based on existing tools, such as those of The Finance for all. But in the end, “due to the lack of material well-identified”, the financial education today “is based a lot on the appetite of the teachers on the subject,” stressed the authors of the report that served as a basis for the development of the national strategy, the fact that the elements of financial education are involved to a point in education, “at random intervals”, “optional []”. By luck, in fact !

Still nothing systematic

as Soon as the holidays of all saints, the students should therefore, a priori, to hear a little more talk about money at school. A priori, because everything will obviously depend on how teachers will be taking over the hardware. Their use will still not mandatory, there is no new material, nothing has been added to the programs.

“The challenge has been to provide a key resource in hand that can be used by teachers as part of their programs, add new topics,” explained us a contact in the department. It will be up to trainers to promote these resources with teachers during academic education. It is also intended to raise their awareness during their initial training.

“The Bank of France will also mobilize as early as this fall its directors to participate actively in the promotion of these resources,” adds Stéphane Pie, in charge of this program at the Bank of France.

assessment

The dissemination of these media is perceived by the actors of the national strategy as a first step. Other materials that the math could be affected in the years to come.

The main challenge remains, however, to measure the impact of the initiative on the knowledge and skills of financial and budgetary students. How to know if it boosts their level ? Can we imagine the creation of a certificate validating their knowledge base on these topics, a bit like the road safety issues ? An evaluation scheme should be devised in the coming months.

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A : the question “do you think that financial education and budgeting should be taught in school ?”, 75 % of respondents answer “yes” – 11 % in primary school, 35 % from the college, 32 % in high school. They are 85 % say they have never benefited from this type of instruction (Fifg, 2016).

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