The Ministry of Education and Science, Youth and Sports (MESYS), in close collaboration with the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched a seven-year experimental research and teaching project on improving financial literacy of Ukrainian students. The pilot course in Financial Literacy is now being offered for the 2012-13 academic term in 68 schools (including colleges) in 14 different regions, mainly to 10th grade students. The academic materials for the new course (Curriculum, Textbook, Student Workbook, and Teachers’ Manual) were developed by the NBU Banking University and the USAID Financial Sector Development Project (FINREP), and reviewed and approved by the Ministry.
The purpose of the Financial Literacy course is to provide a younger generation of Ukrainians with better understanding of practical financial issues such as saving, investing, borrowing, and also evaluating the cost of personal financial services such as insurance, credit for major purchases, and electronic cards. The course also includes financial responsibilities (taxes, credit payments) and consumer rights. The course is divided in 4 major chapters - personal finance, savings and investment, credit and borrowing, and personal and family budgeting - and consists of 31 lessons.
During the second (spring) semester of the 2011-12 academic year, elements of the course were taught on a pilot project basis in 13 schools in five different regions of Ukraine. The experiment received exceptionally positive evaluations from teachers, students, and independent experts. This led the Ministry to authorize a seven-year experimental elective course.
Olena Shcherbakova, Head of the Department of Monetary and Loan policy of the National Bank of Ukraine, emphasized that increasing financial literacy among the public is important for ensuring the effective development of Ukraine’s financial market, stability of the banking system, and smooth functioning of banks. “We need a major breakthrough in raising financial literacy of the public. The NBU will actively support the implementation of financial literacy programs because it is clear that stability of the national currency and the banking system depends upon public awareness of financial and banking issues. We need to accomplish an adequate level of financial literacy and responsibility among the public in a relatively short term.”
“We are pleased to take the lead in introducing the Financial Literacy course as an elective for the 10th grade, and to facilitate its teaching by participating schools,” said Borys Zhebrovskiy, Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Youth and Sports of Ukraine. “The Ministry’s cooperation with the USAID FINREP project is also important. It will allow us to prepare and support the teachers, and to monitor and evaluate the results of the first year of teaching the course.” He also pointed out that all students enrolled in the course would be given an Entry/Exit knowledge exam to measure learning progress.
USAID Mission Director E. Jed Barton stated that one of the lessons of the global financial crisis of 2008-9 was that it became clear that education is important for building strong foundation for consumers’ confidence and trust in a modern financial system. "We believe that in today’s complex world, financial literacy is a core life skill that individuals must develop to be able to access financial markets, protect themselves from financial risk, and pursue their well-being, whether it is in the United States or Ukraine. By introducing the Financial Literacy course at the high-school level we are laying the foundation for building an informed and empowered citizenry."
Last updated: December 09, 2013