Financial literacy is a core life skill for participating in modern society. Children are growing up in an increasingly complex world where they will eventually need to take charge of their own financial future.
National surveys show that young adults have amongst the lowest levels of financial literacy. This is reflected by their general inability to choose the right financial products and often a lack of interest in undertaking sound financial planning. Even from an early age, children need to develop the skills to help choose between different career and education options and manage any discretionary funds they may have, whether from allowances or part time jobs. These funds may entail the use of savings accounts or bank cards.
The OECD's Principles and Good Practices for Financial Education and Awareness recommend that financial education start as early as possible and be taught in schools. Including financial education as part of the school curriculum is a fair and efficient policy tool. Financial education is a long-term process. Building it into curriculums from an early age allows children to acquire the knowledge and skills to build responsible financial behaviour throughout each stage of their education. This is especially important as parents may be ill-equipped to teach their children about money and levels of financial literacy are generally low around the world.
PISA assessment of the financial literacy of students - In 2012, the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) made financial literacy an optional component of its framework. PISA already tests the attainment of 15-year-olds in mathematics, reading and science across 65 countries. The financial literacy assessment due for release in the second half of 2014 will result in a unique international benchmark on the level of financial literacy of young people. The rich data collected will enable detailed investigations of the main factors associated with financial literacy levels and will help to identify policy measures that can be employed to improve levels in the future.
APEC endorsement - Finance ministers at the 2012 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting adopted a policy statement recognising the importance of financial education in schools and encouraging APEC members to make use of the OECD's High-level Principles on National Strategies for Financial Education, Guidelines for Financial Education in Schools and other methodologies and tools. The statement also encourages APEC economies to consider the participation in the Financial Literacy Measurement Programme for International Students Assessments (PISA) in 2015.
DOCUMENTS AND LINKS
Financial Education in Schools: Challenges, Case Studies and Policy Guidance (2014, forthcoming)
OECD/INFE work on national strategies for financial education
High-level Principles on National Strategies for Financial Education (pdf)
Advancing National Strategies for Financial Education, A Joint Publication by Russia's G20 Presidency and the OECD (2013)
OECD PISA Financial Literacy Assessment
OECD Recommendation on Principles and Good Practices for Financial Education and Awareness (pdf, 26KB)
For further information
Ms. Flore-Anne Messy
Tel: +33 1 45249656
Mr. Andrea Grifoni
Tel: +33 1 45 24 83 53