2012 PISA financial literacy results put spotlight on NZ

Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell has welcomed the 2012 PISA results that shine the spotlight on financial literacy levels among fifteen year olds in New Zealand.

Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell has welcomed the 2012 PISA results that shine the spotlight on financial literacy levels among fifteen year olds in New Zealand.

Speaking at the global launch of the OECD PISA financial literacy assessment of students, Ms Maxwell said, ‘The PISA results give us some clear insights into where we need to concentrate our efforts. Broadly New Zealand is tracking well on financial literacy levels for the fifteen year olds tested by PISA, with competencies above many of our OECD counterparts. However, it identifies that Māori and Pacific are over-represented in the group with the lowest levels of financial literacy. It also highlights a difference between boys and girls in understanding financial fundamentals.’

Ms Maxwell said, ‘At the beginning of the year, we signalled the Commission would have an increased focus on low income and vulnerable New Zealanders. The PISA results support that strategic focus.’

The Commission has also been working on initiatives to support the teaching of financial literacy within the curriculum, delivering programmes such as the Upper Harbour Schools Cluster, a pilot programme involving seven schools and Massey University who are working collaboratively to integrate financial literacy education into their curriculum.

Ms Maxwell said the continued close collaboration between agencies such as the Commission, the Ministry of Education, Young Enterprise Trust and schools is important.

A great example of that collaboration was the launch in April of the Financial Capability Progressions Toolkit which provides a suite of materials designed to help educators teach financial literacy across a range of classroom subjects.

‘Financial literacy is an essential life skill and embedding it in the school curriculum makes absolute sense. We want young people to leave school equipped to make good decisions about money from an early age,’ said Ms Maxwell.

The full PISA 2012: New Zealand financial literacy report can be found here.

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