A Swift Current resident has launched a petition for Financial Literacy to be a graduation requirement in Saskatchewan, in hopes of setting young people up for success as they enter adulthood.
Cindy Lowe has been a financial educator for more than 20 years, with a background in banking and business education.
"The petition is meant to allow the community (parents, employers, students), to give feedback on what they think regarding the Financial Literacy class to graduate," she said. "It's one thing for me to say it's important and I hear this every day, but it's another for people to actually support that initiative and proposal."
Lowe said she often saw a lack of saving and investing money when she worked as a banker in the 90s.
"The problem is, we're still not teaching people how to manage credit, to live within their means and budget," she expressed. "Add in inflation, where the cost of living is growing and it's hard to keep up with. So, people are turning again to debt. And debt grows and can swallow a person."
The class can teach them about fraud, economic factors, budgeting and investing, and respecting credit – all things that are valuable lessons as they transition from being in high school to adulthood.
While Finance 20 and 30 are currently offered in the province as an elective, Lowe said they're not common courses that students choose to take.
"We saw less than 5% [of students enrolled] in the school year 2020-2021," she stated. "I really believe that they don't realize how much they don't know about finance until they finish the course. And then when they finish the course, the feedback overwhelmingly is 'Wow, I learned so much and I'm so glad I had this in high school.'"
The petition, launched on March 11 and already surpassing 1,000 signatures, can be found here.