GIOVENTU » Young Italians struggling with financial skills?

Young Italians struggling with financial skills?

Italian teenagers are not good in Financial subjects. More than a fifth of Italian teens tested, failed to reach the most basic level set by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). An assessment of 15-year-olds’ financial literacy of the OECD showed that 21.7 percent of the Italian students quizzed, could, at best, make only simple financial decisions and recognize the difference between needs and wants. The figure was markedly higher than the OECD average of 15.3 percent.

The financial literacy assessment of students, based on tests completed in 2012, was aimed to assess whether the students had the necessary knowledge to enter the world of work or higher education.

Sadly enough, Italy ranked second to last being 17th out of the 18 countries examined. Spain did better coming in 13th place, and France was 11th.

Significant regional differences were reported in Italy. Some Italian regions in the north scored higher than the French average, with Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia at a top level. Italy’s poorer region, performed really badly, the worst being Calabria, Sicily and Campania.

The best in financial subjects were the Chinese, the most money-aware 15-year-olds in Europe were the Belgians, at the second place in the OECD rankings.

If it’s any consolation it can be remembered that in the previous OECD’s report  "Creative problem solving: students’ skills in Tackling real-life problems" Italy did remarkably well. 

In the resolution of problems in the European area, Italy with 510 points is above the OECD average of 500 points, after Finland, the UK, Estonia, France and the Netherlands.

Striking, however, is the Italian data disaggregated, because immediately after Asian countries in the world rankings is the North-West of Italy, followed by west Australia and then the North East of Italy.

The difference between north and south is still relevant, with the North-West performing much better than the South.  

The surprising thing showed by the analysis was that in Italy and Japan 15-16 year olds have unexpectedly high performance compared to their levels in maths, which may indicate that the students have in maths outcomes below their potential, but also, more positively, that some of them, in trouble at school, are very clever when faced with challenges in everyday contexts.

Giulia Lombardo

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