Chinese primary school textbooks may soon include financial knowledge as the country starts a campaign to improve investors’ awareness.
China’s ministry of education and the country’s securities regulator said they would be working together to “increase financial knowledge” among China’s youths. Officials said the campaign to improve the understanding of the country’s securities and futures markets would begin with textbooks for primary and middle schools.
For years, authorities have been trying to improve financial knowledge as retired people or less experienced investors have lost their savings to risky investments or fraud. At least one person, a woman in Zhejiang Province, killed herself after losing about $40,000.
“This is very important for social harmony and stability,” said Gao Li, a spokesperson for the securities commission on Friday. As China finds new funding for cash-shorted companies and local governments, and opens the door to more foreign money entering its stock exchanges, it is looking to upgrade the financial knowledge level of Chinese investors.
Tech companies have launched financial knowledge apps for kids while schools in cities like Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen have introduced related lessons. In 2014, students in Shanghai scored the highest of any country on a financial knowledge test organized by the OECD.
Officials said they would also focus on improving the financial knowledge of teachers, encourage universities to offer related courses to all students, and find other innovative ways to improve the understanding of markets like internships or virtual trading. The country’s securities regulator said it would also be offering its own courses and lectures.