Josh Matlow, a Toronto city councillor and former school trustee, praised the Ontario government initiative to educate students about managing money.
By Kate Allen
The province is set to unveil a new, multi-million dollar program on Monday aimed at teaching kids how to manage money.
Aimed at students in grades 4 through 12, the Ministry of Education’s financial literacy initiative will be integrated into the curriculum this coming September.
The Ontario Securities Commission is providing almost $2 million in funding for new resources, including training for teachers and video and electronic activities for classrooms. The ministry will also be working with the Investor Education Fund, a non-profit educational arm of the OSC, to develop the program.
Josh Matlow, a Toronto city councillor and former two-term trustee for the Toronto District School Board, said he was “very excited” about the plan.
“Learning how to save and budget — these are basic, basic skills,” he said, adding he hopes to see financial literacy become part of the core curriculum.
“It teaches our students a basic skill to be successful in life.”
Matlow said the current system of educating kids about finance is “very ad hoc” — aside from outside groups that offer workshops in schools and components of elective courses, there is nothing to offer students a workable knowledge of the financial system.
The new program will offer learning sessions and workshops for teachers scheduled throughout the summer.
The initiative grew out of recommendations made in a report by the Ontario Working Group on Financial Literacy, a committee formed in 2010 to address the state of financial literacy among students.
The report, published last October, recommended that financial education become a compulsory part of the curriculum as soon as possible.
Matlow said the recession helped urge him and others to take a look at the state of financial education after “it became very clear that there were some basic fundamental skills and knowledge that a lot of society was missing.”
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