Published on 10 June, 2007. By John Reynolds
Questions on finding a bargain and other money matters will soon be vying with differentiation and algebra problems for a place on the Leaving Cert Maths paper.
The financial regulator has established a working group to include personal finance on the Junior and Leaving Cert curriculum, possibly as early as next year.
Transition Year pupils already tackle questions on income tax, PRSI and telephone and electricity bills as part of their Maths studies.
The working group, which includes the Irish Banking Federation, the Institute of Bankers in Ireland, the Pensions Board, the Department of Education and Science and the Department of Finance, will make recommendations for a national strategy on financial education that includes similar elements.
“Many people in their 20s and 30s tell us they wish they’d been educated so they could have made better financial decisions along the way,” said Monica Joyce, co-ordinator for the Money Advice and Budgeting Service in South Mayo.
“This will help them to be smart with their money and include practical advice on saving money, shopping around for the best deal on significant purchases, prioritising their spending, keeping a spending diary and knowing the difference between a need and a want.”
A spokeswoman for the Department of Education said: “We’re currently identifying key competences in personal finance that people need at different stages of their lives and how these can be matched against the various levels in the national framework of qualifications.”