A Letter to the Transforming Education Summit
The Transforming Education Summit took place on the 16, 17 and 19 of September 2022, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. This high-level event responded to the global crisis of education, and 5 thematic areas were discussed by experts, youth, and civil society. In the context of the second thematic track “Learning and skills for life, work and sustainable development”, Aflatoun and its network partners have been actively advocating for increased visibility and recognition of financial education as a key priority within the global Transforming Education Agenda. For example, many Aflatoun partners approached their Ministries of Education to highlight the issue. Aflatoun also engaged with the different lead-agencies involved in the organization of the event. Among others it included a letter to the Special Adviser of the UN Secretary General on the Summit which was co-signed by 121 partner organisations from 70 countries across the globe.
“Ahead of the upcoming Transforming Education Summit, we ask you as co-Chairs and Special Advisor of the TES Advisory Committee to: (i) Increase the visibility of financial education as a key priority within the Transforming Education Agenda through the inclusion of the topic in Partners Sessions and other fora in preparation, during and post-TES; (ii) We are also asking you to communicate to the SDG 4 High-Level Steering Committee to include financial education as core 21st century competency/skill in the official documentation of the Transforming Education Summit; and (iii) We would welcome a dedicated technical discussion with the authors of Track 2 to ensure all stakeholders agree on the role of financial education, in combination with other life skills, to transform education around the world and ensure learners access relevant and quality education which empowers them with the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes required to address individual, economic and societal demands.”
Read the full letter here.
Our Session at the Transforming Education Summit: “Financial Literacy: A universal 21st Century Skill – Lessons Learned from Low- and Middle-Income Countries”
After the letter was received, Aflatoun International was invited to organise a session on the Solutions Day, at the Transforming Education Summit. During the session, titled “Financial Literacy: A universal 21st Century Skill – Lessons Learned from Low- and Middle-Income Countries”, speakers presented the latest evidence on the effectiveness of financial education and shared experiences from a number of countries that are implementing financial education in their curricula. Moreover, the session addressed the role that different stakeholders have in the process of implementing financial literacy programmes, as well as discussions on the development of learning materials, capacity-building, roll-out, and policies.
The five key takeaways were:
1. Financial Education has to be part of the transforming education agenda;
2. Financial education works – It is effective;
3. Countries are actually increasingly integrating financial education in their national curricula;
4. Financial education can be measured using a simple internationally comparable indicator;
5. Financial education is especially powerful when combined with other life skills.
Participants agreed that there is an urgent need to bring attention to the topic, in order to include financial literacy among the fundamental skills needed by youth in the Transforming Education Agenda.
“Financial Education has to be part of the Transforming Education Agenda […] children need to understand how economies work. There is the need to combine climate, and digital with Financial Skills in order to obtain responsible resource management in a holistic approach.” – Roeland Monasch, CEO Aflatoun International
Watch the recording of the session here.
The speakers from the session were: Lama Yazbeck, Pia Bernadette Tayag, Annamaria Lusardi, Jacques Emmanuel Mexil, Joseph Job Maurice, Bénéwendé Bonaventure Segueda, Muhannad AL -Jarrah, Oscar Valverde, Roeland Monasch.
Financial Skills Recognised in the Transforming Education Agenda
Upon the conclusion of the Transforming Education Summit, a vision statement was issued by the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres. In this, the Secretary General called for decisive and timely action to transform education. The document assesses how the current crisis affects everyone and has devastating consequences on climate, equality, poverty, politics, conflicts and societies.
Nevertheless, the statement reveals the solutions to transform education. Among these, for the first time Financial Skills are included as part of those key new set of skills that every child and young person needs in order to face the challenges presented in today’s world and to make good decisions for their future.
“Learn to do:
First and foremost, this calls for education systems to embrace the concept of life-long learning, with more flexible pathways and financial policy incentives to allow people to re-engage with education systems several times throughout their lives. Different avenues should be made available including non-formal routes, catch-up and bridging programs, accelerated learning, and the use of digital platforms. Learning to do calls for a focus on a whole new set of skills, including digital literacy, financial skills, and emerging technical and STEM skills.”
Now that financial skills have been officially recognised to be of uttermost importance for youth, it is time to bring more attention as to how implement quality Financial Education widely and reach children and youth across the globe.