Rights & Money

Ontario Schoolchildren to Be Taught Personal Finance

Subjects covered will include saving, investing, credit, debt, and taxes

By Erika Morris


After remaining unchanged for 15 years, Ontario’s mathematics curriculum is both “going back to basics” and introducing the concepts of money, saving, and spending to students in Grades One to Eight.

Premier Doug Ford said in an announcement that the new curriculum aims to equip “our next generation of leaders and community builders with the math skills they need to build a bright future for all of us.”

Starting in September, from Grades One to Three, students will learn to identify money and calculate change for simple transactions. Beginning in Grade Four, they will learn different methods of payment along with the concepts of spending, saving, earning, investing, and donating. Taxes, budgets, credit, debt, interest, and financial planning are all part of the later grades’ curriculum.

The importance of computer literacy is also being recognized: students will learn such things as basic data storage units and computational thinking using relevant examples.

The Ontario government has said it will be adding new resources for learning to support how students use math in their everyday lives. One goal is to help students learn to think critically.

The changes come after two years of consulting with parents, educators, academic, and math experts.

Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party has been promising changes to the curriculum for a long time as Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) standard test scores have been steadily declining over the last five years. The EQAO test will be suspended while students get used to the new curriculum.

The curriculum changes are coming at a time where schools are already struggling to adjust to the pandemic, which will add stress to teachers already trying to adapt to online learning. Education Minister Stephen Lecce said, however, that the changes are necessary as the curriculum has been the same since 2005.

Photo: iStock/monkeybusinessimages.