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School Kids Impress with Financial Literacy

New Zealand Credit And Finance Institute

August 4 2011

School Kids Impress with Financial Literacy

TVNZ’s Fair Go presenter Gordon Harcourt never ceases to be amazed at the level of people’s naiveté and ignorance he encounters especially when investigating anything to do with high interest, high risk loans. However he was equally surprised by the level of financial literacy he witnessed recently among school children at Churchill Park School in Auckland.

The Year 8 class, who featured on Fair Go on 3 August, have been trialing a school resource developed and funded by the New Zealand Credit and Finance Institute and made available free to schools. Money Matters introduces children to the world of credit.

Gordon Harcourt says he was blown away by how engaged the school kids were with their learning.

“They were working in discussion groups and we literally eavesdropped on their conversations. They were actively engaged in the stuff and right up to speed with everything from the costs of running a car, to operating a credit card, to how credit is a good thing but how you have to manage it carefully. One kid had the understanding of third party insurance down pat.

”I don’t think these kids will ever appear on Fair Go for having a dud loan!”

David Young, the President of the New Zealand Credit and Finance Institute says the Institute has always believed that education is the key to financial responsibility. “We are heartened by the fact that the Associate Minister of Finance Simon Power is talking about the need for responsible lending but legislation will never get rid of a need and without education it won’t work.”

David Young says that feedback from schools who have been trialing the resource has been overwhelming positive.

“Teachers are telling us that the students are engaged in the learning because they feel very grown up learning about financial concepts and about things they will need to know for their future and not too distant future either. They are also learning a lot about their parents’ situations and what they may be managing.

“We want to see a lift of financial literacy in this country because we recognise the social and economic benefits that will flow from it. Our school resource, pitched at Year 7 and Year 8 students, is a small step in that direction.”

Money Matters covers many topics including ‘Saving Money’, ‘Setting a Budget’, ‘The Cost of Buying and Running a Car’, ‘Credit’, ‘Hire Purchase’, ‘The Plastic Fantastic’,’ Investment Risks’ and ‘What’s a Mortgage?’.

The NZCFI welcomes approaches from schools who would like to receive class sets of Money Matters.


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