"Only 8,000 students - about 0.5% in Israel are studying financial education this year"


by Ifi Reporter Category:Financial Nov 14, 2021

Only 8,000 students (about half a percent of students in Israel) are studying financial education this year, according to a report by the Knesset's Research and Information Center (KRIC) ahead of a discussion on the subject to be held on Monday in the Knesset's Education Committee.

The report, prepared by Dr. Eliran Zard for the committee's chairman, MK Sharan Hashakel, also shows a new hope, that in the 2009-2010 school year, before the Corona crisis, only 24,000 students studied the profession. These numbers are very low, despite That it is a profession that is considered by many to be one of the most important in preparation for life in the 21st century.
Financial literacy deals with the ability to make decisions in areas such as consumerism, working with banks and insurance companies, taxes, credit and more. Among the areas it includes: use of money, understanding financial documents, savings and credit, investments and risks, consumer regulation and caution against fraud and counterfeiting.
Researchers have found that gaps in financial literacy may increase social disparities. The OECD has also established an international organization for the promotion of financial education. In at least 16 countries in the organization the subject is integrated into the curriculum and in some of them it is considered a compulsory profession, whether as part of another profession or separately.
Israeli students were recently tested in this area in the PISA tests in 2012. Their average score was 476, significantly lower than the average of the developed countries which stood at 500. As usual there was a large gap between the score of Jews (503) and Arabs (395). In contrast, an international survey conducted by S&P in collaboration with Gallup and the World Bank in 140 countries in 2015, placed senior Israeli citizens in fourth place among the developed countries in the field of financial skills with a rate of 68% with financial literacy.
In 2011 the government made a decision to increase financial education and in 2012 the Ministry of Finance published a national strategy to promote financial education. Despite this, there is no government body that actually centralizes the issue of financial education. According to the MMM report, financial education in the education system is currently taught as part of elective studies or an additional curriculum only, and not as a compulsory field. Most programs are for five hours only. The most significant program in the field is provided as part of the social sciences for tenth-grade students in the amount of 30 hours.
The number of students exposed to these programs in the 2018-2019 school year, the last with a state budget, was only about 24,000 students. In the following two years, the number dropped to 6,000 to 8,000 due to the corona crisis. It is much more difficult to understand why This year, too, the number of students studying financial education stands at only 8,000 and has not returned to routine.



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