Primary school students to learn finance

Illawarra students as young as 10 will learn about budgets, finance and the future of the Australian economy as part of the new national school curriculum.

For the first time, a business course is being developed for year 5 and 6 students, as outlined in the Shape of the National Curriculum: Economics and Business paper, released by the federal government this week.

According to the paper, primary school students will be encouraged to develop "enterprising behaviours" and research business issues in their local area.

They will be taught about budgeting, career opportunities and what makes businesses successful.

For now, 11-year-old Krystal Solevski's idea of budgeting is saving enough of her Christmas and birthday money to buy her favourite clothes and sports gear in the sales, but already she can see the value of learning business and economics at school.

"I think it will give kids a head start for high school and help us know how to save money," the Figtree Public School year 6 student said.

"And it will help us to be more advanced with money when we're older."

Krystal's parents, Elizabeth and Tom, applauded the government's focus on financial matters, saying it would better prepare their daughter for high school and beyond.

"If they get an introduction that suits their age and vocabulary in primary school, it will help them when it comes to choosing subjects later on in school," Mrs Solevski said.

"And it will be a big help as they grow up, move out of home and have to be able to pay their bills."

Education Minister Peter Garrett said starting business lessons in primary school would prepare students for employment and help them manage their own money.

"Economics and business are fundamental for a productive economy," Mr Garrett said.

"This curriculum will equip the next generation of entrepreneurs, innovators and business people to continue to grow the Australian economy, as well as take advantage of the global business opportunities the Asian Century will bring."

The national curriculum will be introduced to NSW schools from 2014.

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