Election 2023: Labour's financial literacy policy welcomed, but fears curriculum is already overcrowded

Labour's financial literacy policy appears to be a double-edged sword with an expert saying it is needed, but the Principal Federation is concerned the curriculum is already overcrowded. 

On Sunday, Labour announced if re-elected it would make it compulsory for all schools in Aotearoa to teach financial literacy to combat low levels of money and budgeting skills among school leavers. 

Strive Community Trust, an organisation that provides services to combat social, economic, educational and cultural needs, is dealing with about 600 students who have left school.

Strive's chief executive Sharon Wilson Davis told AM 95 percent of students come through "with not a clue around money management".

"[This] of course leads to all sorts of problems through their life if they don't get on top of it."

Strive offers financial literacy programmes for the students who come to them and Wilson Davis says the announcement policy is "really good news". 

"I'm sure the whole of New Zealand would be pleased to know that this is going to be implemented finally," she said.  

She told AM's Ryan Bridge that the young people of Aotearoa are the future and it is vital "to ensure that these tools are there for them".

But can Aotearoa's curriculum handle it? 

New Zealand Principal Federation president Leanne Otene said it's widely agreed young Kiwis should be prepared to enter the workforce with an understanding of how to manage their money. 

But Otene is concerned about the implementation of the policy into the curriculum because some schools are already doing financial literacy and integrating it into their maths programmes. 

"It's coming at a time when our schools are stretched at the moment with the curriculum refresh, NCEA changes. All of those things are impacting on the curriculum and it's becoming rather overcrowded."

Otene believes some things in the curriculum need to be subtracted before others are added. 

"There seems to be this additive model. We just keep adding and adding to our curriculum because we think that's how we might improve it. And that's not the case. No one's saying that this isn't important, but it is how we integrate it into our curriculum that will make a difference."

Watch the video above for more.