The “strategy” of financial education of young people in the process of acceleration

What is a bank overdraft? How much does a loan cost? How much does a savings account with 100 euros remunerated at 1% bring in over a year?… Questions on which several thousand schoolchildren aged around 13 will be asked to reflect in the days to come, in class, with one of their teachers, as part of the “Educfi passport”, an educational sequence of a few hours aimed at providing them with the basics of personal finance.

According to the Banque de France, 2,156 classes of 4and, in the thirty academies of national education must indeed experiment before the end of the school year this Educfi passport, which is presented in the form of a quiz. That is nearly 50,000 students.

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And most will do so as part of the tenth edition of Financial Education Week, which runs from March 21-27. During the 2020-2021 school year, this passport was tested in 74 classes in five academies (Nancy-Metz, Dijon, Créteil, Rennes, Limoges), by around 2,200 students.

“Escape game” at the SNU

The initiative is led by the Banque de France, operator of the national financial education strategy launched by Bercy in 2016, at the instigation of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which took over the subject in the early 2000s and encourages its member countries to improve the financial culture of the general public.

In detail, this French financial education strategy has several pillars, one of which specifically targets young people.

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“The Educfi passport focuses on the budget, the balance between resources and expenditure, the bank account, precautionary savings and savings to finance projects, or even insurance. We try to arouse the first reflexes. We do it in [classe de] fourth because it is an age where young people are already sensitive to these subjects but do not have the pressure of the certificate »explains Stéphanie Lange-Gaumand, director of financial education at the Banque de France.

Despite the rise in power of the system observed for the current school year, it, tested for the first time in 2019, still only concerns a small part of fourth-grade students – around 7%, according to the Banque de France. . Will it be generalized in the years to come to all students at this level? It is considered but nothing is acted: “It will be up to the ministers to decide within the framework of the operational committee of the strategy [l’instance de pilotage, où siègent, notamment, les ministres de l’économie, de l’éducation nationale et des solidarités]»replies Ms. Lange-Gaumand.

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However, young people now have several opportunities to come into contact with questions of money within the framework of the national strategy for financial education, she specifies: in fourth grade first, if the Educfi passport is deployed in their class, then between the ages of 15 and 17 if they participate in the Universal National Service (SNU), and finally through interventions in the local missions (organizations which support young people in their social and professional integration). “We believe that these three meetings will ultimately help to avoid financial mishaps”adds Ms. Lange-Gaumand.

At the SNU, financial initiation takes the form of an escape game, explains the Banque de France. If, in 2021, approximately 14,000 young people had been educated in this context, on two hundred sites, nearly 50,000 should be in total in 2022, according to the institution: 2,700 during February stays and 46,000 during UNS sessions scheduled for June and July.

Scam Prevention

From March 21 to 27, the tenth edition of Global Money Week takes place, the “world money week” – an initiative of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) renowned in France since 2019, more modestly, Financial Education Week. In this context, the Banque de France is launching a MOOC, an online course on money and means of payment. It will be accessible free of charge from March 21 to May 14 (registration possible until May 12 here). “Targeting an audience at the end of high school, students and adults, this MOOC addresses in particular the issue of payment fraud and how to avoid it, how to react if you are a victim, etc. »explains Stéphanie Lange-Gaumand, of the Banque de France.

The prevention of bank scams will also be the subject of a forum organized on Wednesday March 23 in Evry-Couronnes (Essonne) by the Prévention Océane association and broadcast live on the Instagram account @stop_arnaque. This association bears the first name of a 17-year-old girl who committed suicide after being the victim of a stolen check scam. “We often ignore it, but young people are very targeted, especially on social networks, by check fraud”emphasizes Ms. Lange-Gaumand.

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