- Mitzie HunterMinister of Education, Ontario
- Kathleen WynnePremier of Ontario
Ontario elementary students MUST get financial literacy lessons too. Grade 10 is too late!
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Ontarians were told in 2011 that financial literacy is included in the curriculum in Grades 4 through 12. This wasn't true. Now the Ministry of Education is plowing ahead with a pilot program and stuffing it into Grade 10 because it is convenient and easy but there will be no concrete measures in place to evaluate their efforts. Experts world-wide, and the Ministry's own Working Group, steadfastly agree that financial literacy education programs should never be implemented without objective, reliable, quantified measures of the impact. And where is the financial literacy education that was promised to elementary students? Elementary students have a right to learn about money at the age and stage where perceptions, attitudes and behaviours are being formed. Ignoring the opportunity to start this essential education early is completely off-side with Canadian goals and the Ministry of Education's own Working Group recommendations.
MOVE THE FINANCIAL LITERACY COURSE FROM GRADE 10 TO GRADE 9 where international assessments can be used to measure Ontario's financial literacy education efforts. PISA conducts assessments of 15 year old students globally and implementing the mandatory program in Grade 10 is too late to benefit from this measurement infrastructure. There is no compelling rationale to offer the high school course in Grade 10 versus Grade 9. The ability to measure is a very compelling reason to offer mandatory financial literacy programming in Grade 9. Every financial literacy working group, task force and global expert calls for MEASUREMENT of educational programs. Without measurement there can be no long-term improvement - if you don't know something is broken why, and more importantly, how would you fix it! One-by-one teacher evaluations of program efficacy won't suffice and it is very short-sighted to implement programming that cannot be measured. We, the people, need to be able to compare the performance of Ontario's education system with other jurisdictions.
INCLUDE FINANCIAL LITERACY IN THE ELEMENTARY CURRICULUM because starting mandatory financial literacy education in high school is simply too late. Despite claims to the contrary new research has found that financial literacy is NOT included in Ontario's elementary curriculum. Again every working group, task force, think tank, and global financial literacy expert advocates early access to financial literacy education. Starting the education process early as young perceptions, attitudes and behaviours are being formed is critical to long-term success and economic inclusion - especially for vulnerable-sector constituents. Starting in Grade 5 or 6 would be optimal.
The absence of effective financial literacy education in schools drives up the cost of remedial programs as these young Ontarians mature. The consequences of a financially illiterate population are felt broadly in the areas of Poverty Reduction, Children and Youth Services, Training, Colleges and Universities, and Community and Social Services. By leaving elementary students behind the Ministry of Education is squandering the opportunity to preempt some of the long-term financial and societal consequences of a financially illiterate population. Action is required!
Please sign this petition or contact your MPP if you agree that elementary students cannot be left behind and that concrete measures must be in place for Ministry financial literacy educational initiatives. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 416.932.1300 should you wish to discuss this petition or to request a copy of the research paper entitled An Evaluation of Financial Literacy Integration into the Ontario Elementary Education System (Barry, Ek-Udofia, November 2016).
- Minister of Education, Ontario
- Premier of Ontario
Make financial literacy education mandatory for Ontario's elementary students. Move the high school financial literacy course to Grade 9 so educational efforts and learning outcomes can be concretely measured. Let's get this right once and for all!
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