Financial literacy class introduced in McNaughton High School in Moosomin

·3 min read

Students at McNaughton High School in Moosomin are being offered the opportunity to further their knowledge when it comes to financial literacy through the Financial Literacy 20 course being offered for the first time this semester.

From loans to credit scores, teachers Paul Stillman and Tegan Matichuk are helping students in Grade 11 and 12 prepare for adult life.

“It’s looking at how we can make our knowledge and understanding not just the mathematics side of finance, but more so moving into the decision making and goal-setting sides of finance,” Matichuk explained.

“We’re looking to give kids a bit of a foundation into things like credit, and investing and saving, and even a little bit into the idea of renting versus owning.”

She says the course is not just informing kids through a curriculum, but also answering the questions the students might have. She noted that the students have asked many questions about saving and long term financing for items such as vehicles and houses.

“It’s not that it’s never been taught, but it’s hard for students to take the mathematics of finance, which has been taught since grade 9 where we calculated interest,” she explained. “The mathematics has always been taught, but we’re expanding that and looking into how it impacts your wellness and your lifestyle.”

She added that in the course they not only just talk about the numbers involved when it comes to finances, but also how it might impact your mental health as well as ways to work around that impact.

Matichuk noted a difference in questions being asked between the Grade 11 class and the Grade 12 class. She noted the Grade 12 class asking questions about the immediate future, about paying for college or university while the Grade 11 class focused more on questions regarding loans for vehicles or for houses.

The course not only covers finances themselves, but also dips its toes into the potential careers based around financial jobs, according to Matichuk.

“We’ve kind of sat down and did a bit of surveying with our students to see which areas and which modules they were wanting to learn the most about,” Matichuk explained.

After having surveyed the class, the students expressed the most interest in investing and saving with budgeting being another large concern of theirs. Matichuk explained that thanks to the survey, they are more well prepared with what they need to teach their students.

So far around 44 stu sdents have signed up for the course, but due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they have had to split the class in two with one half being taught by Matichuk and the other half being taught by Stillman.

“We’ve divided for a couple of reasons. Because of our COVID protocols we’re keeping our Grade 11 students together and our Grade 12 students in Mr Stillman’s class,” Matichuk added.

Despite being the same course, Matichuk notes that they are two completely different classes due to the difference in concerns between the Grade 11 class and the Grade 12 class.

“It does give a different perspective, because Grade 12 are five months potentially from moving away from home, going to university, or joining the work-force full time,” she said.

This is the first semester the Financial Literacy 20 course has been made available.

Spencer Kemp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator