Financial literacy is the need of the hour in today's ever-changing world. However, despite being a critical life skill under NEP 2020, financial literacy in schools has never been given considerable importance. With RBI's financial literacy program for school education, this hurdle can be overcome easily.
Financial Literacy & Importance
Financial literacy refers to the ability to understand and apply financial concepts and abilities in your daily life. Budgeting, investing, credit management, and financial management are all fundamental financial skills that everyone should possess. In other terms, financial literacy is the ability to handle one's finances.
Financial literacy is an important life skill to have because it increases your financial capability. Students should be taught about saving, budgeting, and financial planning from the beginning of their academic careers. However, it is never too late to learn about it. Financial literacy can be developed by understanding its components.
Financial Literacy Inclusion in School Curriculum
Now that we have established what financial literacy is and why it is important, let’s dive into the inclusion of financial literacy in the school curriculum.
With RBI’s financial literacy framework developed for schools, most of the states have accepted to include financial literacy in their curriculum except for three states. It is a huge step to expand financial literacy in India starting with young minds in school.
Financial literacy in Indian schools will help students in the following ways:
- Understanding savings
- Manage money
- Making purchasing decisions
- Understand taxation
Here’s how the inclusion of financial literacy in schools will help students.
- Help students understand expenses and manage the same.
- Sensitize students to manage their finances with the knowledge gained from financial literacy in school.
- Understand the importance of savings.
- Comprehend taxation and standard rates for various products and services.
- Assimilation of new tax system concepts.
Financial Literacy in India and NEP 2020
NEP 2020 is a revolutionary change in the Indian education system. It focuses not only on academics but also on life skills that are useful in the day-to-day life of students or individuals. One such critical life skill is financial literacy.
NEP 2020 has covered financial literacy in India under “Adult Education and Lifelong Learning.” As per National Education Policy 2020, “At the level of society and the nation, literacy and basic education are powerful force multipliers which greatly enhance the success of all other developmental efforts. Worldwide data on nations indicate extremely high correlations between literacy rates and per capita GDP.”
The framework developed by RBI is one step closer to implementing NEP 2020 in schools successfully. There are five types of programs defined by NEP i.e.
- Foundational Literacy
- Critical Life Skills like financial literacy, digital literacy, commercial skills, etc.
- Vocational Skills
- Basic Education
- Continuing Education
We can see why financial literacy in India is vital as it has been included in the new academic framework in India.
RBI Financial Literacy Framework
While there are a lot of concepts under financial literacy, financial literacy in the school curriculum will include basic concepts. This financial literacy program is for classes from 6th to 10th. Let’s understand what might be included in this new financial literacy framework.
- Income, Expenses, and Budgeting - In this module, students will be taught about needs and wants. They’ll also learn about managing their expenses and how to cut down on unnecessary expenses. Another important concept that will be taught is budgeting.
- Saving - Saving is extremely important as it helps to meet goals and will be useful in the future. Students will learn how to save their money for short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals.
- Introduction to Banking - Here the students will learn how the banking system works and various types of accounts offered by them like-
- Savings account
- Current account
- Recurring Deposits
- Fixed Deposits
- Basics of Investment, Insurance, and Pension - These are some important yet complex topics to understand. The students will be taught the basics of investment like the stock market, mutual funds, etc.
- Education Loan - An education loan is a great way to cover study costs. Learning about student loans will give students some insights into how a loan works.
- Financial Sector Regulators - Every financial institution is regulated by some authorities. Students will be taught about these regulatory bodies and how they work.
Financial literacy in India has not been given enough importance. India’s financial literacy rate is just 27% as per the SEBI survey. This is the apt time to include financial literacy in Indian schools’ curricula. This will help not just students but also adults to make the “Adult Education” project successful. This curriculum by RBI will be included in school boards soon. It has been designed especially for classes 6th to 10th. This will surely ensure that the literacy rate in India will improve exponentially and will be one step closer to holistic development.
Suggested Read: NEP 2020 - A Path-Breaking Shift From Rote Learning