Interactive financial literacy platform helps year 7 and 8 students learn about money

Students at Kowhai Intermediate School in Auckland were the first to experience the new digital platform.
Students at Kowhai Intermediate School in Auckland were the first to experience the new digital platform. Photo credit: Supplied.

A new, interactive financial literacy platform is helping intermediate school students learn practical money skills.

Available free from year zero to year eight, ASB bank's GetWise financial literacy programme offers free online learning resources, designed to complement the school curriculum. On Thursday, students at Kowhai Intermediate in Kingsland, Auckland were the first to experience a new, interactive financial learning platform designed for year 7 and 8 students.  

The platform includes augmented reality content, allowing students to imagine themselves making purchase decisions in a 3D, sci-fi setting.  Launched as part of a facilitated workshop, groups of students were given a booklet containing instructions to complete a virtual shopping trip on an imaginary planet, 'Thutera'.

Students were given a budget of $160 to buy three items, weighing up prices and quality. Existing items could be swapped for cheaper ones. Extras could be purchased individually, or through a 'combo' deal.  The goal was to teach students to stop and think before making a purchase and to be aware of the influencers in making a decision.

Principal Louise Broad said for students to understand financial literacy, they must build on their knowledge each year.

"They need to be able to manage their money, income, risks, set realistic financial goals and make sound economic decisions," she said.

Having partnered with Ernst & Young to work on a digitally- focused version of GetWise, ASB chief executive Vittoria Shortt said the goal was to increase financial literacy among young Kiwis. Starting early would enable them to reap the rewards through their lifetime.

"Every Kiwi kid should be able to learn the basics of money management and making good financial decisions...learning good money management skills from a young age helps set kids up for a better financial future," Shortt said.

Commission for Financial Capability retirement commissioner Jane Wrightson said the GetWise programme compliments the Sorted in Schools programme, which caters for secondary students.

"The earlier children start learning how to make good decisions with money, the better equipped they’ll be to reach their life goals, and eventually arrive at retirement in good financial shape," Wrightson said.

ASB GetWise is free for primary and intermediate schools and includes facilitated, interactive workshops and resource packs to help teachers with classroom learning.

As at the end of October, just over 70 percent of all New Zealand primary and intermediate schools had participated in the programme. 

The GetWise programme is available free. Parents, teachers and students can find out more information and sign up here.