Students to get lessons in 'financial literacy'

Financial literacy would become part of the schools maths curriculum under a Labor plan released ahead of the federal election.

The proposals would see some 6,000 teachers receive face-to-face training from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission on the financial issues that can catch young people out.

Lessons would encourage young Aussies to compare student finances by helping them evaluate interest-free offers, choose the right mobile phone plan and balance the fixed and variable elements of a budget.

Among other tips, children would be taught about how to handle credit cards and the operation of rewards schemes.

According to, about a third of 18- to 24-year-olds have a credit card and are driving the growth of debt in this area.

Commenting on the $10 million funded programme, prime minister Julia Gillard said: "Part of the financial literacy components of the maths curriculum will provide young people with the skills they need to manage these kinds of contracts [mobile phone], so they can make informed choices and responsible financial decisions as young adults."

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