For Financial Education of the Public – Concentrated Efforts of Institutions

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2017 06 01

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In order to improve financial literacy of the population, five public authorities have agreed on implementing together the Financial Education Plan for the Public by 2021.

The Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Bank of Lithuania, the State tax Inspectorate and Sodra acting together will aim at improving the skills of the population in saving up for the future, encouraging a rational choice of financial products and services as well as fair payment of taxes. The Plan has been developed on the initiative by the Ministry of Finance.

Better financial and tax literacy helps to reduce financial exclusion of the population, household indebtedness risk and contributes to stability of public finances.

The results of the international surveys carried out by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) revealed that the Lithuanian pupils and adult residents especially lack financial literacy knowledge and skills.

The international OECD PISA survey showed that financial literacy of the Lithuanian fifteen-year-olds is below the level of their peers in other countries.

The Financial Education Plan for the Public envisages that the Ministry of Education and Science will include financial and tax literacy in formal education programmes, create possibilities for teachers to upgrade and to maintain the qualification in the area of financial and tax literacy.  So far in the Lithuanian schools financial and tax literacy has been taught on an irregular basis, and the quality of education depended on the teacher’s motivation, involvement and interest in this topic.

The Bank of Lithuania will lead a campaign on financial education of consumers encouraging the residents to make a rational choice of financial products and services and to save up for the future. The Ministry of Finance, the State tax Inspectorate and Sodra in their own turn will inform the residents on public finances, benefits of taxes and social insurance contributions. In order to coordinate the efforts of the institutions, a Coordinating Committee for Financial Education is being set up.

Minister of Finance Vilius Šapoka:

Financial literacy is important for all of us in every stage of life. In raising and teaching children, saving up for their studies, taking a housing loan, choosing financial products, saving up for the old age, it is important to efficiently plan our income and costs. The more we know about personal finance management, the better decisions we may take for ourselves. Therefore, I am very happy that the action plan by all of us will really contribute to enhancing financial literacy and more stable future for the people of our county.  

Minister of Education and Science Jurgita Petrauskienė:

For that the residents had sufficient financial skills and assessed the importance of financial literacy as a very significant personal and citizen’s competence, the OECD recommends starting financial education as early as possible – preferably still at school. So far we have had individual initiatives to transfer this knowledge to pupils; however, there have been no systematic approach. And it is obviously shown by the PISA results: financial literacy of the fifteen-year-olds of the country is significantly below the EU average, worse results than in Lithuania are observed only in Brazil, Peru and Chile. Therefore, we take actions and in the coming years, in cooperation with the partners, we will include the provisions of financial literacy in the general education programmes, teaching it in Mathematics, Technology, Geography, Language, and Citizenship lessons. We hope that having implemented these measures we will see a significant breakthrough, and we will not be at the bottom of the table with the lowest mark.

Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania Vitas Vasiliauskas:

Technological progress and rapid integration of financial markets constantly offer new financial services and ways of their provision. It is natural that sometimes it is complicated to understand all of them, adequately assess advantages and the risks assumed. Although the majority of the population make use of one or the other financial services and products; however, not always they make decisions having assessed all the circumstances. Our available data also shows that only less than half of households save up for the future and more than one fifth borrow for consumption. All this means that financial education of consumers is necessary, and we will implement it by both offering people practical measures and spreading financial knowledge.