Financial literacy is a key skill that is often lacking from students when they graduate high school.

That's about to change starting next fall, as the province has announced changes to high school graduation requirements, one of which will require students to complete a course in financial literacy.

"I think it's absolutely awesome," said Rob Clark, CEO of the Moose Jaw & District Chamber of Commerce. "As a chamber, we're strongly supporting it. The one thing with financial literacy, it's a lifelong lesson and it's good to be starting in grade 10. That will educate them on how you work out budgets, how you handle some life struggles going forward. We think it's absolutely essential that it's in there and basically about time."

The chamber is hoping their Reality Check event will be incorporated into the new high school course. About 500 Grade 9 students from Prairie South School Division and Holy Trinity Catholic School Division took part in the financial literacy event held Oct. 26 at Sask Polytech. About 20 booths were set up in the gym, giving students an opportunity to get an imaginary job, salary and family learning how to spend their monthly budget. Teachers then discussed the results of the day back in the classroom.

Clark commented on the importance of teaching students how to set a budget.

"I wish it happened to me when I was in grade 9 or 10. It really simplifies things. You can overspend and you can get yourself upside down and it creates more stress but if you're running a smooth budget and you're spending within your limits, your life is going to be a lot more simple instead of overspending and getting caught up in the world."

Another change coming in the fall of 2024 will see a reduction in required credits for English language arts (ELA) from five to three, with one requirement at each of the grades 10, 11 and 12 levels. Required credits for social sciences will decrease from three to two bringing Saskatchewan into alignment with other jurisdictions.

The number of total credits required to graduate will remain at 24.

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