Covid-19 underscores importance of money skills in students

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Auckland, November 18, 2020

Kelston Boys High School Head of Commerce Bryan Megson helps Year 13 student John Talaid and others with a Sorted in Schools resource (Photo Supplied)

NCEA exams start this week but John Talaid is not stressed.

He has almost all the credits that he needs to gain Level 3 thanks partly to a course in financial education.

The Year 13 student at Kelston Boys High School in Auckland plans to head to university with the aim of becoming a Marine Biologist and thanks to a course provided by Sorted in Schools feels better prepared to cope with the long-term costs of tertiary education.

Focus on financial responsibilities

Talaid, 17, completed the course as part of a Financial Skills class. It focused on the financial responsibilities and consequences of tertiary study funding options, such as student loans, apprenticeships and working while studying.

“It was good to find out what we are in for. The course was straightforward and useful. We learned about budgeting, how we can prepare for short and long-term costs and our responsibilities in paying back student loans,” he said.

The course also gave Talaid and his classmates credits toward their NCEA qualification; it is aligned to unit standards and has NZQA accreditation.

Useful resources

Talaid’s Teacher and Head of Commerce Bryan Megson said that the Sorted in Schools resources are useful in teaching students’ important life skills they may not receive at home.

“They present real life situations the students can relate to and make financial education relevant – they love using Sorted’s budgeting tool, seeing how it changes depending on how they’re spending and saving,” he said.

An independent evaluation of Sorted in Schools released this week backs up the students’ and teacher’s experience. The New Zealand Council for Educational Research determined that in the wake of Covid-19, “the need for a Programme such as Sorted in Schools, which builds on the circumstances, strengths, needs and aspirations of every student, including Māori and Pacific, is greater than ever.”

Image from Sored in Schools website

Promoting positive behaviour

The Report found that the Programme was positively impacting students’ knowledge and attitudes about money, and, two years after its introduction, there were early signs that it was promoting positive behaviour, with students thinking and talking more about money, and using what they had learned.

Teacher satisfaction with the Programme was also high, with teachers reporting increased confidence in teaching financial capability and intending to continue to use Sorted in Schools. The Programme is now being taught in 62% of secondary schools.

Head of Sorted in Schools at the Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC) Nick Thomson agreed with the report that the Programme’s strong foundations had seen it continue to grow in use during a challenging year.

“The economic impact of Covid-19 means that building strong financial capability among young people, their families and whānau is essential to help people not only reach their life goals, but for New Zealand’s economic recovery,” he said.

Talaid and his classmates are happy that they have been given a ‘heads up’ on some of the things they need to think about in their financial future.

“Money makes the world go round, so it’s better to understand it,” he said.

About Sorted in Schools

Launched in 2019, Sorted in Schools, Te whai hua – kia ora is a free financial education Programme with a vision to equip all young New Zealanders for their financial future. Available for students in Years 9-13, it is fully aligned with both the New Zealand Curriculum and Māori Medium Education.

It can be taught by teachers as part of day to day classes in diverse subjects, educating students about money management, saving, debt, goal setting, KiwiSaver, insurance, investing and retirement. Sorted in Schools not only teaches young people how money works, but also how to make it work for them, instilling good attitudes and habits early.

NCEA resources released in 2020 are aligned to unit standards and have NZQA accreditation, enabling students to gain credits toward their NCEA qualifications.

Te whai hua – kia ora is a free financial education Programme specifically designed for Māori Medium Education. Rather than a direct translation of the English resources, Te whai hua – kia ora is uniquely culturally contextualised in a te ao Māori perspective, focusing on financial wellness for whānau rather than simply being good with money. They draw on traditions and stories about Māui Tikitiki āTaranga, Te Ika-ā-Māui, Kupe, Hoturoa and Te Rauparaha.

Source: Commission for Financial Capability. The above story has been sponsored by

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