IFEC Financially Literate Schools Programme equips the next generation with financial knowledge and virtues

7 July 2022

Jointly organised by the Investor and Financial Education Council (IFEC) and Centre for University and School Partnership, Faculty of Education, the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), the Financially Literate Schools Programme (the Programme) supports primary school students in developing proper financial management concepts and habits by combining financial literacy and virtues in education. Around 20,000 students from 26 schools have participated in this Programme and we target to reach a total of 40 schools in the 2023-24 academic year.

The Programme is based on the IFEC Hong Kong Financial Competency Framework which defines a set of skills, attitudes, motivations and behaviours for primary schoolchildren, by combining five virtues: prudence, temperance, honesty, diligence and responsibility. The Programme provides school-based support for embedding financial education elements into core-subject and non-core subject curriculum, inter-school professional sharing, enhancing home-school collaboration and adopting a whole-school approach to advance students’ financial literacy levels and virtues.

Speaking at the Financially Literate Schools Programme Yearly Dissemination Event today, IFEC Chairman Mr Victor Dawes said, “Financial education should start as early as possible, according to the recommendation of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. As such, schoolchildren are one of our key target segments in offering financial education. Together with the support from CUHK and participating schools, we aim to adopt an integrated approach to create an atmosphere of being financially savvy while maintaining good virtues at schools to improve students' financial literacy levels and virtues, in order to equip them with the necessary skillset to stay competitive in the 21st century.”

Professor Terence Chong Tai Leung, Programme Co-Director, CUHK said, “The Programme enters its second phase between 2021-2024: other than supporting another 20 Financially Literate Schools, we will also launch a new self-learning platform together with a programme theme song which aim to further promote financial education to the school sector as well as to the general public.”

Positive programme evaluation results

Encouraging feedback was received from our evaluation with the participating schools and students. Some 73% of teacher respondents reported that they were confident to integrate financial education into their core-subject and 80% for non-core subject curriculum activities.

The evaluation also found that an overall of 15% or more students have improved their attitude and behaviour across different aspects of money management, which is not observed in the control group composed of students from non-participating schools. For instance, among lower primary students with less desirable spending attitudes at the beginning of the Programme period, nearly one in four (24%) showed improvement after participation. All these build a solid foundation for the Programme to extend its reach and widen the scope.

New initiatives to enhance the programme impact

The Programme has been launched for four academic years since its establishment in 2018. Other than providing support to schools for school-based financial education curriculum development, the following initiatives have been introduced:

  • An online financial education self-learning platform designed for teachers, parents and students : it provides learning and teaching resources such as short video clips, reference book list and lesson plans on financial literacy for learning and teaching anytime, anywhere. Moreover, a self-learning financial literacy interactive online game, “My Dream School”, will be launched in 2023 for students to enhance their financial literacy and virtues.
  • Establishing “Financially Literate Ambassador Schools” to disseminate good practices: past participating schools are invited to share with other schools on how to integrate financial literacy and virtues into their school-based curriculum to instil students’ financial attitude and behaviour towards saving, spending, borrowing, protecting belongings, and the values of money.
  • A programme theme song for promoting financial education: Composed by Maestro Anthony Lun, lyrics written by Mr Paul Knight and presented by renowned artiste Mimi Lo, this new song aims to remind students on the importance of responsible spending and saving with its impressionable melody and lyrics.