Ottawa, May 29 (Canadian-Media): According to the financial literacy results of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) by worldwide survey measuring competencies among 15-year-olds, released last week, Canadian youth ranked among the world’s top-performing students in terms of financial literacy.
In October 2016, Canada ranked third (tied with Norway) internationally on overall levels of financial literacy, according to the OECD/INFE International Survey of Adult Financial Literacy Competencies.
Seven Canadian provinces, funded by Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), reportedly participated in PISA’s Financial Literacy Assessment in 2015: British Columbia; Manitoba; Ontario; New Brunswick; Nova Scotia; Prince Edward Island; and Newfoundland and Labrador.
It was reported that Canada will again participate in 2018.
“Preparing students with the knowledge and skills to make responsible informed decisions about personal finances…That’s why our government has made it a priority since 2011 to provide Ontario’s students with a variety of opportunities to build their financial literacy skills. The Ontario curriculum will continue to be enhanced with embedded learning about financial literacy,” said Mitzie Hunter, Ontario Minister of Education.
Canadian 15-year-old students, reportedly, achieved a mean score of 533 in financial literacy, 44 points above the OECD average.
Canadian students surpassed the OECD average in performing tasks associated with advanced levels of financial literacy. Overall, Canada ranked second, tied with Belgium, out of all 15 countries and economies participating in the PISA financial literacy assessment.
“I am very pleased by Canada’s PISA results. They demonstrate the importance of learning about money matters at home, at school, and through hands-on experience—such as earning money and having a bank account. These factors set the foundation for our youth to become financially responsible adults,” said Jane Rooney, Financial Literacy Leader, FCAC.
The survey focused on knowledge and skills gained, for the most part, in schools. Other contributing factors such as students with experience handling their own money matters or had their own bank accounts, on an average, reportedly scored higher in financial literacy than students who did not have one.
According to PISA, 78 percent of 15-year-old Canadian students held bank accounts. Four out of five Canadian students said if they did not have enough money to buy something they really wanted, they would either save up to buy it, or would not buy it.
Majority of Canadian students reported the good saving and spending habits formed earlier in life, motivated them in youth to develop positive behaviour in young adulthood and beyond.
An important element of FCAC’s financial literacy efforts is to encourage discussions between parents and their children.
PISA findings indicated that Canadian students who discussed money matters with parents once or twice a week scored highest in financial literacy.
“The PISA results show that our teachers and parents are doing an excellent job of educating young people about money. This is very good news, because financial literacy should not be an afterthought in education—it’s vital to planning the future and establishing a young person’s autonomy,” said the Honourable Doug Currie, Chair of CMEC and Minister of Education, Early Learning and Culture for Prince Edward Island.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)