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Should financial education be a mandatory subject in school?
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June 3, 2012
6:06 am
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Financial education should be mandatory component of the school program. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Personal financial decisions have become so complex even adults feel overwhelmed by them. Still, we as young adults to face them without any previous training. In my view, it is important to understand different aspects of finance and I would therefore argue this skill should be taught in schools.

Making good financial choices is vital as it has major implications for all aspects of out life. Our success in private and work life can be highly dependent on finding viable financial solutions.  From saving for college to retirement or choosing the right mortgage or insurance the consequences of a bad decision can be disastrously and long-lasting. Therefore, we must aim to make informed and well-planned decisions.

Unfortunately, publicly available information on handling money can be of low quality or biased. When it comes to investing money we can not rely on parents always being good role models for their children. They may have never been trained in the subjects and struggle with it themselves. Moreover, a lot of the information in the media and advertisement is influenced by the interests of banks or insurance companies. Even if bank staff recommends an investment it may be risky and inefficient. It is therefore essential to enable people to make sound decisions independently.

However, the subject of finance can be complex. It does involve knowledge of mathematics, statistics and law in most cases. Then there are the more practical aspects and pitfalls that rather require common since and experience. While schools already teach academic subjects like mathematics and laws believe it is critical to show student how to combine and apply them to everyday problems. Also, there is an abundance of different financial products. Being able to categorize them and estimate risks can be helpful but requires some training.

For all these reasons, financial education would be a valuable addition to the school curriculum in my opinion. If people are more educated on the subject they can spot fraud and bad advise on investments more easily. Schools already teach many of the fundamental skills for handling money but they also need to educate students on the more practical aspects and contexts.

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