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I’ll get to the point: YES.

Back in 2012 I wrote a column for the Financial Post titled: “Why you should study personal finance, not Shakespeare”

CLICK HERE for the full article.

Now this wasn’t a stab at Shakespeare, drama, English literature etc. It was a call-out for more practical education in our high schools.

Think about it, most of us go to school for 14 years straight before we head off to university, college, or trade schools. Many of us continue our educations for another 4-5 years until we are let loose on society. For the most part we’ve received almost zero formal education in personal finance even though personal finance will be a major component of our lives until the day we die (actually, in many cases, after our deaths).

When I think back, I remember being forced to read “the apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz”, “Hamlet”, and “Lord of the Flies”, all great books, but they didn’t teach me how tough it would be to pay off my first maxed out credit card.

It seems that the powers that be had their ear to the ground as I wasn’t the only person calling for change. Financial literacy is now an integrated component in the curriculum of students in grades four through twelve (see HERE for information from the Ontario Ministry of Education).

In fact, Ontario will be rolling out a pilot project at 28 high schools in the province aiming at revamping the Grade 10 careers course with the goal of integrating financial literacy into the curriculum. This should take place in the fall of 2018.

But is integration enough? Or would a mandatory, stand-alone course do better for our future generations? I’m no expert in education but I do have a hunch a full-length, mandatory course in personal finance would help. Especially now with the rapid decline in employer-backed defined benefit pension plans and easy access to credit among Canadian youth.

What are your thoughts on “Should High Schools Teach Personal Finance?”

Campanella McDonald LLP is a full-service accounting firm based in Oakville Ontario. The firm’s partners and staff concentrate on helping small businesses, independent professionals, and real estate investors maximize their bottom lines by providing specialized accounting, assurance, tax compliance, tax planning and financial advisory services.

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