In February, the FSC and OECD co-hosted an international symposium on financial education to share opinions and experiences of member countries on the issue. Domestic financial experts gathered once again at Symposium to Facilitate Financial Education on September 2 to discuss how to strengthen financial education for students.
“What struck me most,” said FSC Chairman Shin Je-Yoon in his congratulatory speech during the event, “was that other countries are educating students about financial issues since they were small. It is time for Korea to do the same.”
Finance is very closely linked with our everyday life. We are faced with making financial decisions in every important moments in our life; from making loans to buy home, to buying insurance policy to prepare for unexpected accidents and pension products for post retirement life. Since such decisions inflict crucial impact on our life, to be equipped with profound financial knowledge is very important.
Moreover, as the structure of financial products are getting more and more complex, investing in those instruments without perfect understanding may lead to massive loss and make one prone to financial frauds. One might end up in losing everything he or she earned.
Despite the government’s committed efforts to raise financial awareness, it is true that our financial education system falls behind compared to that of the advanced economies such as the UK and US.
UK, will mandate students from 11 to 16 to complete financial education courses starting from this month. In the US, the government has set “Early Starts for Financial Success” as 2013 and 2014 financial education goal. Korea added financial issues in high school economics but the financial education still doesn’t reach out to elementary and middle school students.
“I believe it is necessary to add financial subjects in curriculums of elementary, middle and high school,” mentioned Mr. Shin.
“We need to teach young students not only financial knowledges but also healthy attitude and habits related to finance.”
Financial education will enable students to make reasonable and wise financial decisions when they grow up. Moreover, reasonable financial practices of each individual will contribute to stabilizing national economy and financial system.