China / Government

Govt denies prodding students to invest

By ZHENG CAIXIONG (China Daily) Updated: 2015-09-03 07:47

The bureau of education in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, has denied it is encouraging students to invest in the stock and securities markets after a pilot project that took the lead in establishing finance and wealth management courses in primary and middle schools starting this fall.

"We never simply encourage students to directly purchase stocks or other security products, but we hope to popularize financial knowledge and guide the students to acquire correct wealth and consumption concepts and cultivate a good habit of money management through establishing the special course," said a statement released by the city's education bureau.

The statement was published at the end of August after questions were raised about teaching students to buy and sell stocks.

More than 10,000 students from 36 primary and middle schools in Guangzhou, will study the financing courses starting this new school term beginning in September.

According to the statement, the primary students will be taught about money and money's functions, while junior high school students learn about banks and wealth management.

The course for senior high school students includes financial and economic crises.

The textbooks have been compiled by local university professors, experts and senior high school teachers.

Pan Xuzhao, a senior teacher from Guangzhou No 16 High School, said the courses will help students learn financial terms and give them basic knowledge of finance.

"The course does not teach students to simply buy and sell stocks. It is new, but interesting to students," said Pan, who participated in compiling the textbooks.

"In addition to having the financing classes in their classrooms, students will visit banks and related financial organizations to learn how financial products change hands," said Pan.

Financial experts and residents have expressed their support for establishing the course.

Ren Zhihong, director of the Financial Research Institute at the Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences, said the course will teach students skills that will help them find employment.

"I don't think the course will affect students' normal studies and I don't think the course will have any negative impact on the students," Ren said.

"The course is good for students even it simply teaches them how to invest in the stock markets," he said.

"Many Chinese people have poor financial knowledge and poor awareness in preventing financial crises when compared with their western counterparts," Ren said.

Huang Liangcan, a bank clerk, said the course is good for students.

"I found that my financial knowledge was really poor after I was employed by the bank a decade ago, and China is now lacking many special financial experts, as Chinese students seldom study financial knowledge when they are in primary and high schools," he said. "China should popularize financial knowledge among primary and high schools earlier," Huang added.

Huang Min contributed to this story.

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