Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc., personal finance and debt experts, are one of many people tackling the topic of financial literacy. It’s something Hoyes Michalos covers regularly on their podcast Debt Free in 30, including a recent episode featuring a member of the Toronto Youth Cabinet Prakash Amarasooriya.
Prakash Amarasooriya launched a petition to urge the Ontario Ministry of Education to bolster their Grade 10 career studies course with vital basic financial skills. Within less than one month, the petition had been signed by nearly 900 people.
With that much support within such a short period of time, the question that resonates is does financial literacy belong in high schools?
Amarasooriya thinks so. “Every day I would notice people coming into the bank and living in this kind of what I call a cycle of poverty. They would be living in their overdraft credit card advances and just paying off interest every month and just the bare minimum payments.”
An Investor Education Fund study found that 9 in 10 high school students have at least one financial product. The study revealed that the number of students who thought that financial literacy should be taught increased from 57%-69% between 2009 and 2016. The same study found that 1 in 4 do not feel their schools are doing an adequate job in teaching financial literacy.
Hoyes Michalos meets with individuals every day who find themselves in financial trouble, sometimes due to poor use of credit. The podcast addresses the question that with so many young people using financial products, how can they be expected to succeed financially without the education to do so? “I think the most important skill when it comes to financial literacy is critical thinking, being able to think critically about the repercussions of their financial choices” says Doug Hoyes, Licensed Insolvency Trustee and show host.
The petition launched by Prakash proposed changes to the grade 10 careers course to include topics on how to budget, mortgages, down payments and amortization periods. They would also include learning about decisions involved in leasing, financing and buying a car.
Adding financial literacy into an existing course is “the path of least resistance” says Amarasooriya.
For more information please visit: http://hoyes.com/blog/financial-literacy-ontarios-curriculum.
About Hoyes, Michalos & Associates, Inc.
Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc., a consumer proposal and licensed insolvency trustee firm with offices throughout Toronto and Ontario, helps people in financial difficulty. Further information is available at www.hoyes.com
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