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Here's what's being taught in terms of financial literacy at schools in Ontario


Starting in September, Ontario high school students will have to pass a financial literacy test.

Financial literacy and home economics will be part of a "back-to-basics" approach in the classroom, said then-Minister of Education Stephen Lecce said at an announcement on May 30.

The component will show students how to do things like create and manage a household budget, save for a home or an asset and protect themselves from financial fraud. The financial literacy requirement will be developed by educators and financial literacy experts at TVO, in partnership with TFO and EQAO, the government said.

Teachers were already engaging in financial literacy when the government brought it into the curriculum in 2020, but it wasn't "as formal as it is now," Reg Lavergne, the program and learning innovation team superintendent at the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB), told CTV Morning Live Wednesday.

"So, between Grades 1 and 9 there is part of all of our math learning that's based on financial literacy. It starts with helping the youngest ones, understanding what money is, what it looks like. How do you use it? As they get older, how can you use it in different ways? Different ways of paying for what you want," he said.

Currently, children are getting math learning, which includes the factors to consider for budgeting, such as interest rates, the differences between needs and wants, savings and more complex factors, including foreign currency exchange rates.

Lavergne adds that the goal is to help them maximize the value of their money while planning to make big purchases. Knowing the above factors helps them achieve this goal, he adds.

"It's really important that learning in the classroom is connected to their life and their lived experiences and helping them understand how it connects them to their pathway goals, as they’re moving forward," he explains.

For a more robust education process at home, he says, parents can include their children in discussions about money and have discussions with them about finances.

"So, maybe you’re doing the weekly groceries, and so you have a conversation with your children about how much money are you allocating for groceries," Lavergne says. "Bring them along for groceries, have them keep track of how much they’re spending along the way."

Parents can also help their children plan how to save to buy a new game, or explain when to take a loan and what impact that has on their credit, he added.

When the new financial literacy requirement comes into effect, students will have to obtain a score of 70 per cent or higher to graduate. Those who don't pass will be able to attempt the component once more within their Grade 10 math course before they have to cover the material through "credit recovery", an option which helps students who failed a course successfully complete the concepts.

Starting in September 2024, students entering Grade 9 will need to earn a Grade 9 or 10 Technological Education Credit in order to obtain their diploma.

Starting that year, the EQAO math test in Grade 9 will comprise 10 per cent or more of a student's final math mark. The province says this standardizes a practice currently used by many teachers already.

With files from CTV News' Joshua Freeman Top Stories

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