The basics of a budget. Payment methods. The calculation of interest on a credit or savings account. So many subjects to which schoolchildren from a handful of classes of 4e will be educated by their teachers by the end of May. After two hours of teaching, and after taking a quiz, they will be given a “financial education passport”, in the spirit of the road safety certificate.
“This experiment, started in 2019 in three colleges of the Créteil academy, is widened in 2020 in five academies, and it will then be necessary to decide on its generalization, says Mark Béguery, director of financial education at the Banque de France. As part of citizen training, it is important that students are made aware of budgetary and financial issues at least once in their schooling, regardless of how they talk about money or not in their family, whatever socio-professional category and income level. It’s a safety net. These lessons are all the more important when the growing dematerialization of means of payment can lead to an additional difficulty in touching on these questions, and that banking and financial products can be subscribed without even crossing the door of an establishment. “
The initiative is being carried out as part of the “national strategy for financial education”, launched in 2016 by Bercy and steered by the Banque de France. A first action was carried out at the end of 2017 with the publication of educational files intended for primary school teachers and mathematics teachers at the college. “These materials were downloaded 10,000 times in 2019, an increase compared to 2018, but there is still a lot to do for them to gain notoriety”, notes Mr. Béguery.
How to explain this all relative craze? “These modules deal with subjects that are not included in the programs, which are already very busy, replies Pascale Micoleau-Marcel, from the association La Finance pour tous, partner of the project. There is also a strong reluctance on the part of some teachers to discuss these subjects. I remember attacks by one of them against an educational kit that we had made for primary school, one of the exercises was aimed at showing the difference in cost between buying cash and on credit and he accused us paradoxically of inciting children to credit! “
A banker at school?
“The projects of mini-companies led by teachers at the college also sometimes trigger caricature reactions from certain other teachers “ regrets Stéphanie de Vanssay, from the Teachers’ Union-UNSA, stressing that there is no consensus on the entry of money into school. On Twitter, a teacher annoyed by this type of action thus denounced, in late January, a “School serving Medef”, evoking “kids (…) guinea pigs of ultra-liberal fads ». ” There is in itself no taboo on money at school, the question is rather how it is approached, Judge Francette Popineau, spokesperson for the Snuipp-FSU union. We start in kindergarten by playing the merchant, then we learn to fill checks, we finance with the students a sea class project, we work on conversions, we talk about poverty. Where it gets stuck is when companies use the school to get a message out, to encourage capitalization or to borrow, when the banks offer to come to class. It’s the red line. It should not be about preparing the child for individual enrichment but about raising money in the context of collective projects. “
Bringing the banker into school is precisely the principle of the operation of the French Banking Federation “I invite 1 banker (e) in my class”, which has existed since 2015. Workshops are organized in CM1 and CM2 around a board game on budget issues. “It’s not for bankers to teach finance, there’s a job for that, it’s called a teacher, protested Rodrigo Arenas, co-president of the Federation of Parents’ Councils (FCPE). We wouldn’t ask employees of McDonald’s to give school nutrition lessons! Stakeholders in schools must be labeled by the ministry. “
The French Banking Federation (FBF) emphasizes that bankers “Enter the class only at the request of the teacher and it is always the latter who leads the game, the banker intervening only in support. He also signs a charter committing him not to mention any bank or any product. “
A labeling of financial education devices, in schools as elsewhere, should however be operational in the coming weeks, set up not by national education but by the Banque de France. “The idea is to promote those who meet the criteria of the financial education strategy, especially the non-commercial nature”, specifies Mark Béguery. Another decision which could also facilitate the entry of financial education actions into schools: Money Week, an international event during which awareness-raising actions are carried out in educational establishments, and which has hitherto been tranhooly-news.comd in France by ” Money Week ”, is renamed“ Financial Education Week ”for its 2020 edition in March. Hush this word that I cannot hear …
Another initiative is also on the way to reach young people. “Two hours of financial education should be included in the universal national service, tested in 2020 by 30,000 young people of 15 and 16 years old on the whole territory, it would be a counterpart to the passport, two years later, it would allow us to go into more detail “, specifies the Banque de France. Action carried out this time outside school.