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Early inclusion of finance and investment sessions in the education curriculum

Written by: Atulya VK

As a child, when did you first come across the concept of taxes and investment? Was it through school, college, economics classes, or just observing your parents? Most of the time, it is a self-process of discovering how these things work rather than it being taught to you, right?

Even though schools might try to incorporate all of these aspects into the curriculum, sometimes the factors of managing finances and taxes don’t get enough attention. The maths class would definitely provide a basic introduction to

how loans and interests work, but a much more focused session should also be conducted to familiarize them with the depth of these concepts. The private and prestige institutes might have their own ways of covering these topics, while the government schools and public schools might be so focused on covering the basic subjects that aspects of finance might get overlooked.

Money is an integral part of society because of its ruling power and potential, as most of the activities performed are highly dependent on its availability. It definitely acts as a medium to fulfil our needs, but it is also equally important to understand how to manage it. Otherwise, it will find a way or another to slip out of your hands despite your efforts. In today’s world, the most beneficial game worth learning to play is investing. As a source of income, it could favour anyone with adequate luck and investing skills, but considering all of its pros and cons, it still works miracles when done with experience and in-depth knowledge of the stock markets. Numerous successful individuals, like Elon Musk, Richard

Branson, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett, have attributed part of their success to their investment strategies and financial acumen, illustrating how successful investment strategies, diversification, and a deep understanding of markets have significantly contributed to their overall success and wealth. Their approaches to finance and investment have not only bolstered their personal fortunes but have also reshaped industries and, in some cases, changed the world. Therefore, following are some ways the education system could be inclusive of such aspects:

Early introduction: Along with being consistent and working hard, the education system should also give an idea about smart working and being wise. The students could be introduced to basic economic concepts like budgeting, saving, and the importance of money management right from middle school, which would be very beneficial for them in the future. Through a good grasp of these aspects right from an early age, they would understand their parents’ concepts of managing their expenses, and it wouldn’t come as a blow later on in their life.

Fixed sessions and courses: If the schools can’t fit another subject into their time schedule, then certain fun and engaging fixed sessions can be conducted twice a week where the students could learn about finance through productive games and interactive methods. And apart from the basic session, students who are interested in learning more can enrol in the specialized courses that will be included in their schooling schedules. These courses would provide a more in-depth knowledge of the concepts of personal finance, investing, and finances, which would progress in complexity as the students advanced through different grade levels.

Stocks and investment: Investment is a major concept that should be introduced earlier on, it would immensely benefit the students to know about its perks and growing importance in the world. As the famous quote by Warren Buffett goes “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die”. Investment will help you do just that, as the knowledge and time that you put into it earlier on will help you learn about the mindset and skills required in the investing game of stocks. This would give you a head start over others to figure it out, sharpen your skills, and develop a business mindset.

Practical assessment: As a method of evaluation, the teachers could give assignments that require the students to manage a hypothetical budget, invest in stock market stimulation, or create a business plan. This would help to understand their perspective on the topic and how they would’ve tackled the situation. This would also give them a hands-on experience of how things actually work and enhance their learning and practical application in the process. While the teachers could also correct them in situations of a bad outcome of their decision and guide them to think with an alternate approach that would bring about a positive change in the end results. Therefore, the assessment plays an important role in knowing the students’ understanding of the concepts and offering support to those who may need additional help or guidance.

Conducting guest lectures: It’s always a great idea to invite someone who is well acquainted with the concept or the industry. It could be a former student, a financial expert, a professional or a representative from a financial institution who could share the latest trends, updates, and changes in the financial world. Professionals could also offer guidance on the potential career paths, skill sets required and the day-to-day realities of working in the industry, helping the students stay on par with industry developments and prepare them for the dynamic nature of finance and investments. Such seminars would also encourage the students to ask questions and clarify their doubts, thus providing different perspectives and insight beyond their textbooks.

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