How do we save publicly funded education

Who does not know the phrase “We learn not for school, but for life”. But does school really make you fit for life? The verdict of a high school graduate was devastating and caused a stir. “I'm almost 18 and have no idea about taxes, rent or insurance. But I can write a poem analysis. In four languages, ”tweeted the then 17-year-old Naina from Cologne in 2015. All over the world, politicians called for a more practical way of imparting knowledge in schools, especially more education on the subject of finance. But when it comes to financial education, there is still a lot of catching up to do - and not just for students.

Around half of Germans actually find their financial knowledge quite passable. This was the result of a study by the German Institute for Retirement Provision (DIA), which deals with sustainable capital investments. According to this, 56 percent rate their general knowledge of investing as good or very good. However, if you ask more precisely about financial education, the result is different.

When asked what is meant by sustainable capital investment, only 14 percent were able to give a correct answer. There was also a small part who thought they knew, but was wrong. The vast majority did not know what to do with the term. Conclusion: “Your own financial knowledge is probably often overestimated,” says Klaus Morgenstern from the DIA. In reality there are deficits in terms of financial literacy. "We also know from other surveys that many cannot handle basic terms such as inflation properly."

But knowledge of finance is essential these days. For example, old-age provision: if you want to live well in old age despite the falling statutory pension level, there is hardly a way around timely investment. But: “Consumers can only make confident investment decisions on the basis of solid financial knowledge,” stresses Morgenstern. He calls for more financial education offers.

Once again the example of old-age provision: employees pay into the statutory pension insurance without thinking too much about it. Anyone who wants to save for their retirement years away from such compulsory systems must be active in planning their finances. Solid money decisions are based on financial literacy - and you have to have that first.

Frank Wiedenhaupt also sees a need for action in matters of financial education. He has been working as a debt counselor for more than 20 years and is now in charge of the first publicly financed debt and insolvency counseling for the smallest self-employed of the Berliner Stadtmission. "The world has become more complicated," says Wiedenhaupt. “Noticeably more and more young people are coming to the debt counseling centers. A common sentence then is: 'If only I had known that earlier.' "

For the schools, Wiedenhaupt suggests: “You could go through a mobile phone contract in German lessons. In math, you could go through a debt collection letter or you could do interest calculations. Or ask the question whether a prepaid cell phone is cheaper than a contract. ”It makes sense for teachers to bring external experts into the classroom.

Morgenstern does not only see schools as having an obligation to provide financial education. “There is a lot of talk in public about the responsible citizen. But we only get this if the necessary tools are available at many levels to obtain adequate information about finances and investments. "

Would you like to expand your financial knowledge, for example in the areas of financial investments or retirement provision? Go ahead! You can do this online, for example here.

Deutsche Börse Group has a variety of offers: for preschool children, for young people and for people at work. “Good financial education is part of economic education,” it says on their homepage. Without this basic knowledge there could be neither economic maturity nor economic responsibility and independence.

  • The Capital Markets Academy of Deutsche Börse Group imparts knowledge about finances, stock exchange trading and the various securities. Explanatory films, video lectures and learning programs - the Capital Markets Academy offers such a free online offer to newcomers and experienced investors here.
  • The Deutsche Bundesbank offers various teaching materials for schools on the subject of financial education - from the school book “Understanding Money”, which is devoted to the “savings motive for old age provision”, to short films on topics in the field of finance such as “Investing money” and the role play “ECB Council -Simulation".
  • The Association of German Banks has also put together teaching materials for schools on the subject of financial education: from saving and investing to the pillars of old-age provision. "Even for teachers who have to give a substitute hour and have no experience in financial education - the school desk program offers the full range," it says there.

Not enough tips yet? Then take a look at the information in our stock exchange lexicon.