Last week, Quebec’s education minister Sebastien Proulx introduced a plan to incorporate a mandatory economics course starting next September in Quebec high schools. This course aims to provide students with a working knowledge of financial literacy, including credit scores, loans, budgets, and simple contracts. This decision has sparked a heated debate over the necessity of financial literacy, including questions such as at what age it should be introduced.
Although the plan does not extend in Ontario, this step towards incorporating real life skills into high school courses raises the question of how their understanding of a range of finance related topics will be effected. As many students move onto some form of post secondary education after high school, the question of OSAP, financial loans, credit cards, and budgeting all come into play. These young adults are also at a pivotal moment of their lives, having just turned 18, creating the ability to be legally bound in contract. By teaching these students the difference between good and bad debt, or providing them with the tools to understand their rights and refusals in basic contract law, it seems Proulx’s plan could create the opportunity for a generation of savvier, more conscious citizens.
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