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SBS News reports a lack of knowledge in financial literacy leads to poorer economic outcomes in life with this lack of knowledge affecting more females than males disproportionately.

The findings are based on the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) — which measures 15-year-olds’ ability to use their maths, science, and reading skills and knowledge to meet real-life challenges — which showed a drop in Australian children’s financial literacy between 2012 and 2018. Additionally, the latest Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey also indicated Australians’ average financial literacy scores were going backwards.

Factors such as subject selection in high school impacts girls’ access to the knowledge as currently, financial literacy is most likely taught within the maths or economics curriculum, subjects that appeal to more males than females.

To remove financial barriers, the federal government has reached agreements to fund public schools in WA with the funding tied to reforms to help students “catchup, keep up and finish school”. Federal Minister Jason Clare referred to this funding to address financial literacy, when approached for a comment.

FAPSTC advocates that standardized financial literacy be taught in schools more widely and consistently. In regard to training, the FNS10120 – Certificate I in Basic Financial Literacy, is ready for  adoption in high schools. The certificate covers developing and using a personal budget and savings plan, developing knowledge of debt and consumer credit, superannuation, the Australian financial system and markets, and taxation. The qualification does not lead to a job outcome but is complementary to training acquired later in a student’s career journey as it equips individuals with financial acumen to enter the workforce and manage finances with confidence. Read more here.

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