Turkey Advances National Financial Literacy Strategy

by | 02/01/14 | Commentary, Uncategorized

The Turkish government is moving forward aggressively with a national financial education plan that many financial literacy professionals are closely watching.  The country’s strategy includes mandatory personal finance lessons for students in grades K-12, which is similar in many ways to the financial literacy strategies being developed by many other nations amid the current growth of the financial education sector.

Turkey is experiencing a number of trends that are piloting the country’s greater focus on financial literacy.  First, with the continued developments in technology, a large and growing number of financial products are becoming more widely available to Turkish citizens.  However, many in Turkey lack the financial education and skills they need to best utilize those new products and services and to make the most informed personal financial decisions.

Moreover, the savings rate in Turkey remains low, which presents a major problem with respect to how the country’s aging population is able to plan and success financially in retirement.

In addition to the government’s efforts in promulgating the virtues of financial education an in developing a national strategy to address the epidemic of financial illiteracy, private companies also are stepping in.  One example is ING Turkey, which rolled out the Orange Drops program to teach kids about important financial concepts, such as budgeting, saving and how to manage debt.  The program was developed with Koç University and the Turkish Ministry of Education and the Regional Environment Centre and seeks to reach 2,500 students from more than 20 schools during the current academic school year.

As Turkey moves ahead with its national strategy, financial literacy professionals will continue to monitor the initiative’s success as an important case study amid the fast-growing development and implementation of national financial education programs throughout the world.

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