Junior high school students may be obliged to take financial management classes starting in the 2011 academic year, the Ministry of Education said yesterday.
Wu Lin-hui (吳林輝), a section chief at the Department of Elementary Education, said that the ministry and the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) would introduce the lessons in September at six junior high schools in Taipei and Miaoli on a trial basis.
The ministry hopes to expand the classes to all junior high schools by the 2011 school year, Wu told a nationwide meeting of education bureau directors in Hsinchu yesterday.
The ministry said that many credit card holders had become seriously indebted because they did not know how to manage their finances.
Most teachers tend to focus on teaching students to save money, but students need to learn to manage their money against financial risks, Wu said.
The classes would focus on teaching students to tell the difference between things they need and things they want and discourage them from borrowing money to buy unimportant items.
“Students may be tested on their knowledge of financial management in the high school entrance examination in the 2014 school year at the earliest,” Wu said.
He said the commission was also working on creating financial management lessons for elementary schools.
The FSC plans to complete a compilation of teaching materials and textbooks for the classes this year, Wu Chung-chuan (吳崇權), deputy director-general of the Insurance Bureau, told a media briefing yesterday.
Wu said that the commission had already collected teaching materials and textbooks on financial studies for the use of faculty and students in junior and senior high schools late last year, which could be easily incorporated into the curriculum when the ministry gives the green light.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of International Cultural and Educational Relations proposed a white paper on the nation's international education to promote student awareness as a global citizenship.
Bureau director Liu Ching-jen (劉慶仁) told the meeting that the ministry would encourage schools across the nation to take part in more exchanges with schools abroad, cultivate students' multilingual skills and boost their international competitiveness.
Liu said the ministry had included learning and understanding of different cultures in the curriculum guidelines of primary and junior high schools.
Additional reporting by JOYCE HUANG
Peng Fu-yuan (彭富源), director of Miaoli County's Department of Education, urged the ministry to propose a timetable for promoting international education.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JOYCE HUANG