Kids keen to learn money management

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, November 7, 2011
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Much loved by students, but of concern to many parents, money management courses are on the rise.

More than 10 primary schools in Shanghai's Pudong New Area are running extracurricular courses teaching children how to manage money this semester.

"The purpose of the course is to help develop students' awareness of better money management, improve their ability in mathematics, and solve financial problems in daily life," Peng Xuejing, a teacher from Shanghai Pudong No 2 Center Primary School, told China Daily.

The school began providing such extracurricular courses for students in grades two to five as early as 2007. The content of the course varies depending on the grade.

Peng said it is very popular with students, though some parents are worried about its influence on their children.

"Some parents think that the course is just about making money. And it will harm children's growth," Peng said.

"Actually, it teaches children to manage money and how to use money correctly. Now many parents give too much to their children and they are badly spoiled," she explained.

"I always give my son some pocket money. But he doesn't have any concept of managing money. Such courses may help him to learn to save money, and spend money wisely," said Feng, the father of a 10-year-old son.

"Of course, on the other hand, I don't want him to haggle over every cent. And talk about 'money' at all times and on all occasions," he said.

"Traditionally, Chinese parents don't like their children to talk about money too early, because they think money is the root of all evil," said Gu Xiaoming, sociology professor at Shanghai-based Fudan University.

It will be easier for children to make wise financial decisions in the future if they establish a positive attitude toward money at an early age and in a good way, he said.

Peng said the course teaches children the habit of spending money wisely. For example, students are asked to write down all their daily expenses, so they learn how many unnecessary expenses they have and are taught to take a bus instead of taking a taxi, which not only improves their environmental awareness but also helps save money.

"We also organize activities in supermarkets, showing them how to choose economical products and not be influenced by the marketing of products," she said.

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