New Zealand/June 07, 2022/By: Emma Clark-Dow/Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/
A group of Auckland students who believe kids don’t learn enough about financial literacy at school have taken matters into their own hands.
Ormiston College students Saniya Sajwan, Drishti Ratna, Amelia Singh and Sunny Singh first established the idea for their game, Magnifico, as part of a project in their year 12 business class.
The students were told to create a product that could “give back to the community” and to “solve a problem” rather than focus on sales and profit.
“We took a step back and tried to think about ourselves as 11- to 15-year-olds,” Ratna said.
“If we didn’t take subjects like business or economics and went into subjects like biology or health we wouldn’t really know anything about loans or mortgages.”
And so Magnifico the board game was born.
The concept is similar to Monopoly in that players purchase properties or industries as they make their way around the board. The person with the most money at the end of the game wins.
Each square on the board has an industry associated with the country the industry is most known for – such as New Zealand and agriculture or Italy and utilities.
The player can also land on ‘life’ or ‘market’ cards, with the situations presented on the cards meant to relate to real-life situations.
“For example – you forgot your bags on your flight, move back three spaces to collect it, you got a free trip around the world, advance to go and collect $200,” Ratna said.
“Market cards are business situations, such as – the pandemic has caused one of your industries to go bankrupt, remove one of your industries.”
The team’s aim is to educate students in years 7-10 on financial literacy.
“When we went to Mission Heights [an intermediate school] to test out the game on our target audience, we asked them if they knew what mortgages were,” Amelia Singh said.
“They had heard of them but didn’t know what they actually were.”
Sajwan said people wanted to know how the financial world worked as they went into adulthood.
“We feel like we have a basic understanding of these subjects, just through making the board and coming up with the concepts. But we didn’t know how taxation and subsidies work, so we learnt about that as well.”
The group’s business teacher, Dorena Deo, said in her 20 years of teaching, the curriculum around financial literacy had not really changed, despite it being an important life skill.
The Ministry of Education said “schools have the flexibility to design their own local curriculum to best meet the needs of their students”.
“We agree that financial literacy is an important aspect of ākonga learning,” Rob Mill, acting group manager of te poutāhū (curriculum centre), said.
“The new Commerce subject at Level 1 NCEA Commerce supports ākonga to gain financial literacy skills, including understanding the impact of tax and debt and using financial management tools to assist decision-making.”
Ormiston College has not been offering level 1 courses since 2019, with students instead earning NCEA credits from year 12 at level 2.
They have just competed in the East Auckland round, which will be narrowed down to Auckland semi-finalists and then national finalists.