BCR launches the second edition of the LifeLab, interdisciplinary financial education program for 10 schools in Romania
- BCR starts enrollment in the second edition of LifeLab – the program brings interdisciplinary financial education, from kindergarten to high school, to various subjects. Schools can register online until December 6 through the Money School platform.
- The Quality Research Institute (ICCV) within the Romanian Academy presented, on this occasion, the Public Policy Report on financial education in schools, supported by BCR;
- European data show us that 30% of Romanians are financially illiterate and only 13% have financial information and skills at a high level
The Quality of Life Research Institute (ICCV) launched the Public Policy Report “Financial education – between necessity and opportunity”, regarding the financial education of Romanians, together with BCR. During the same event, BCR also announced the launch of the second edition of the LifeLab financial education program in schools, in partnership with the Association of Private Schools.
“Financial intelligence is learned. We all need financial education, from small to large, and that is why our mission, at BCR and the School of Money, is to help Romania have a better relationship with money. Together with the Quality of Life Research Institute, we developed a public policy report on the subject of financial education in Romania, which shows us important data about the level of financial literacy of Romanians and challenges us to look for methods by which we can recover the current gap. One solution is represented by LifeLab, which we are glad is reaching its second edition this year. LifeLab is about interdisciplinarity, about how we can approach financial education to children’s basic subjects, through theoretical notions and practical exercises. If we contribute to children’s financial education from the start, the information will be assimilated more easily and interactively, and they will be prepared for adult life. We want to continue to collaborate with institutions and organizations from civil society to promote the need for interdisciplinary education,” says Nicoleta Deliu-Pașol, Director of Communication & CSR BCR
The report presents the situation of financial education in Romania, analyzes national and international models of teaching financial education and proposes public policy recommendations to increase the financial skills of Romanians.
“The purpose of the public policy report is to propose solutions for a better formation of financial skills among students, by introducing elements of financial education in the school curriculum, in all education cycles. We need an approach centered on skills training, teacher training, raising awareness of the importance of financial education, as well as continuing practical financial or entrepreneurial education activities. Through LifeLab, we are able to increase the level of financial education knowledge of students in participating schools, increase their interest in financial education and give teachers confidence in the ability to integrate financial education concepts into the lessons they teach,” says Claudia Petrescu, ICCV Senior Researcher
Where is Romania in terms of financial education:
- 30% of Romanians are financially illiterate and only 13% have financial information and skills at a high level, according to the 2023 Eurobarometer 525 data that measures knowledge and skills in the field of financial education;
- The 2023 BCR study on the degree of financial literacy among the adult, urbanized population in Romania, carried out by BrandBerry, shows a very low general level of knowledge and understanding of financial concepts and terms among the population;
- 76% of study participants said they were little or not at all optimistic when thinking about the future from a financial perspective.
A solution for increasing the level of financial education and preparing the generations for financial independence, as well as their responsibility regarding money, is the launch of the LifeLab educational project, which reached its second edition this year. Through the materials developed and with the help of the teachers involved in the program, LifeLab will also bring elements of financial education to classrooms in 2023, in all education cycles, in a varied series of school subjects, from kindergarten to high school. This year, the LifeLab educational experience will be available to 10 schools, and their teachers, principals, students and even parents will enjoy the benefits of the program. Until December 6, schools in the counties of Brașov, Mureș, Prahova and Suceava can enroll in the LifeLab program by filling in a simple form, on the School of Money platform, by following this link.
Conclusions from the pilot edition of LifeLab:
- LifeLab increased the level of financial knowledge of the 1,200 participating students, but also contributed to increasing their interest in subjects that included financial education elements. Students in the pilot program experienced an increase in knowledge of 19% (middle school students) and 15% (high school students).
- Participating students appreciated the integration of financial education elements within other subjects and considered this method of teaching more attractive. 93% of students want to learn about financial literacy in a practical way in school.
- The pilot project also had a positive impact on the 50 teachers involved. They gained more confidence in their ability to teach financial education – they attended 15 training courses and developed over 100 educational materials for their subjects.
- What motivates teachers to teach financial education: rewards such as credits or diplomas; expert-led workshops that help them develop their skills; the impact of this discipline on the students’ future.
The LifeLab pilot educational project was launched in September 2022 by BCR, together with FabLab and the Edupedu Association, in two schools in Romania: “Dinicu Golescu” National College, Muscel Camp and “Generală Nr. 1” – Poiana Mărului. The project aimed to introduce the elements of financial education in all education cycles, within the different school subjects. The adopted approach is an interdisciplinary one, thus the educational materials developed combining the notions of financial education with the subjects already taught at school, the content being adapted to each learning cycle (primary, secondary, high school). The hypothesis from which LifeLab started is that the development of financial skills in several subjects will lead not only to the increase of knowledge and skills of financial education, but also to the degree of interest of students towards the school activity.