Chinese kids as young as 6 years old will soon be learning about the stock market in school.
The Chinese government has asked 36 elementary and middle schools in the eastern province of Guangdong to teach students how to manage money and trade stocks, a statement from the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) said.
Guangdong, one of the richest provinces in the country, will be the first to try out the program. Some 10,000 students will participate in the pilot this September. If successful, the new curriculum will expand to the rest of the province.
The textbooks, written in 6 months, include “concrete examples, accessible language and cool cartoons”, the statement said. A team of professional cartoonists and graphic designers were given the task of making investment theory and personal finance appealing to 6-year-olds.
Regulators said the addition helps students become informed consumers and qualified investors of the financial market. The next step is to learn from the pilot and expand it to the whole province as soon as possible.
“Investing seniors’ pensions in the stock market just isn’t enough, we are now tapping into kids’ allowance. How great!” one Weibo user mocked.
Xiong Bingqi, vice-president of the 21st Century Education Research Institute, told state news agency Xinhua that educating children about the various ways of investment, such as futures and securities, is necessary. The goal should be helping them understand the risk of the financial market, not getting them pumped about trading stocks, he said.
News of the program comes on a week when Chinese stocks plummeted due to concerns about an economic slowdown. China worries had a ripple effect around the globe, with markets in Europe and the U.S. getting hit as well.
Isabelle Niu is a digital video producer at Fusion.