BC Students: One step ahead

It’s back to school, as thousands of students begin another year of studies. Here in BC, our high school students are one step ahead of the rest of Canada. Why? Because five years ago, the BC Ministry of Education introduced a course teaching financial life skills for its new Planning 10 program.

To support the program, we took the initiative to design a comprehensive teacher resource called The City: Financial Life Skills for Planning 10. Working with teachers, students, curriculum writers and financial experts across the province, we quickly discovered that one of the biggest challenges was how to make financial education interesting and relevant to 14 and 15 year olds.

The result is an interactive, activity-based resource using eight fictional lifestage characters whose stories represented a wide range of financial experiences. As part of our program, we provide free webinar training to teachers, usually twice a year. This is an important component because we know that many teachers find the subject matter quite daunting to teach.

Last year, the Canadian government identified financial literacy for Canadian youth as a priority. To support this important goal, we agreed to license The City to the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada so that an on-line, interactive program in English and French could be made available to all Canadians.

So if your children are starting Grade 10, tell them about this program. Explain to them how important it is to learn how to manage money. Tell them it is an important life skill, as important as learning Math, English or History.

Understanding important financial concepts like budgeting and saving, credit and debt, insurance, taxes and investing will arm students with the basic tools they need to navigate through the financial realities of adulthood.