Less than half of all teachers working in the area of financial literacy have formal training or qualifications in the area, according to research released today by the Commission for Financial Literacy and Retirement Income.
Commissioner Diana Crossan, in announcing a pilot programme aimed to give 15 teachers at Whitireia Polytechnic a higher education in personal finance, said there was an identified gap in the professional development of New Zealand tertiary teachers when it came to money matters.
Research, sponsored by Visa, found that just 47 percent of financial literacy tutors had received training or professional development, and what they had received was not exclusively linked to financial literacy.
Crossan said the knowledge gap signalled a problem that needed to be addressed if the country hoped to raise financial literacy levels.
Crossan said the pilot programme was first of its kind in New Zealand. If successful, the Commission would like to see similar training introduced to other tertiary education providers.
Visa New Zealand's Sean Preston said the partnership with the Commission for Financial Literacy and Retirement Income was a good fit.
“Financial literacy gives people choice, financial protection and enables them to be informed when making financial decisions. We are excited about our partnership with Whitireia Polytechnic and believe formal programmes such as this are a vital step toward achieving a more financially savvy New Zealand.”
To assess the effectiveness of the training, on-going evaluations will be done to measure any shifts in financial literacy in both students and tutors. Tutors who participate in the programme will be tasked with integrating what they learned into teaching programmes.
The full findings from the CMLRI's report can be found on their website www.financialliteracy.org.nz.