Federal curriculums, Geld im Unterricht, financial education survey
Key actors in financial education and financial literacy
In Germany, schools and education policy are the responsibility of the 16 federal states. The country has no centrally designed, standardized school curriculum, but 16 different ones. The state education ministers have determined that economic and financial education is an essential element of general education and an integral part of a school’s mission to educate. Schools are required to cover the topic, but how they do so is up to each federal state. Normally, financial education is integrated into the syllabus of subjects such as civics, social studies, consumer education or political science and economics. In the 2016-17 academic year, Baden-Württemberg was the first federal state to place a subject called ‘economics, careers and studies orientation’ on the curriculum of all non-vocational schools.
Association of German Banks & members
All the German banking industry associations offer programs and information on financial literacy, usually through their websites. The Association of German Banks has championed the promotion of economic and financial literacy in German schools for nearly 30 years. It has created an extensive programme called Schul | Bank expressly for this purpose. A wide range of teaching material for economic and financial education can be downloaded from www.schulbank.de. Quizzes on economics, finance and money management round off the program. The ‘Geld im Unterricht’ (Teaching about money) portal offers teaching modules for direct use in the classroom on bank accounts and cards, saving and investing, and loans and financing.
Every three years, the Association of German Banks commissions a youth survey on the economic and financial culture of young people. The last survey was carried out in July 2015. Results of this edition are available here.
Since the financial and debt crisis at the latest, financial education is an issue that has enjoyed a great deal of attention in Germany. This goes for consumer organizations and consumer protection groups, all financial industry associations, as well as individual businesses and banks.
1) The German Foundation for Consumer Protection, for example, has established an Alliance for Consumer Education, whose objectives include promoting financial literacy in schools. The alliance is made up of trade associations, businesses and consumer bodies; the Association of German Banks is also a member.
2) The website “Unterrichtshilfe Finanzkompetenz”, which is sponsored by debt counselling services and banking industry associations, is dedicated to teaching financial capability and contains extensive information about financial matters. There are also numerous regional initiatives by individual businesses, associations and consumer groups.
Example of good practice
Every year, the Association of German Banks organizes the SCHUL/Banker competition – a bank management game played by over 4,000 students. [2017 findet das Finale des Wettbewerbs im Rahmen der European Money Week statt.]
Financial education part of curriculum? No
PISA financial literacy ranking (OECD, 2012): did not take part