RIYADH: The Ministry of Education will introduce a course in financial literacy for the upcoming academic year, as experts told Arab News it will help students have a “better financial future.”
Ibtisam Al-Shehri, the official spokesman for public education, told Arab News: “The financial literacy course targets first-year students of all tracks. Students learn financial skills and how to avoid making wrong financial decisions."
The course is based on six main axes: Investment, savings, consumption, income, credit and debt, risk management and insurance, she said.
“Introducing financial literacy in secondary school curricula is one of the right decisions taken by the Ministry of Education to enhance the financial awareness of students at this stage,” said Dr. Hassan M. Somili, head of the department of advertising and marketing communication at Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University.
“It is very important for students to handle money and manage their expenses independently. (The) financial literacy course is expected to deal largely with many important terms such as financial planning, savings, the basics of accounting and other financial topics that contribute to helping young people understand … financial dealing, which may reflect mainly on their financial future,” he added.
Talat Hafiz, a former secretary-general and spokesman of the Saudi Banks in Media and Banking Awareness Committee, said: “Building financial literacy in any society, especially at an early age, is essential to ensure that the society will be developed economically and financially.
“In a country such as Saudi Arabia, which is … a member of the G20, there is a critical need for raising the public awareness of financial knowledge. The Financial Sector Development Program, (part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030), not only sets a target to enhance and improve public ability related to financial management and planning, but also raises the level of the financial knowledge,” he added.
“I believe that Ministry of Education is making a good decision and (is) on the right track of building financial literacy at an early stage for Saudi nationals, which will prepare them for the next phase of their life.
“Being (a) financial expert, financial analyst, accountant, SME owner and other related financial jobs would help Saudis manage their financial needs wisely during their lifetime and avoid any financial crisis.”