Andrew Heathcote Rich Lists editor

Andrew is BRW's Rich lists editor and is responsible for the Rich 200 and Young Rich flagship issues. He also reports on matters relating to wealth and investment for BRW and The Australian Financial Review.

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From the classroom to the boardroom

Published 11 January 2013 09:32, Updated 14 January 2013 07:06

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From the classroom to the boardroom

Whether the nation’s primary school teachers are qualified to provide meaningful insight about business is a small matter of concern.

The plan to educate primary school children about business is one of the most sensible ideas to stem from a government office for some time.

On January 8, Education Minister Peter Garrett announced a plan to teach business and economics fundamentals to year 5 and 6 students.

“Economics and business are fundamental for a productive economy and the wellbeing of all Australians,” Garrett said in a statement.

“As well as preparing students for employment, the curriculum will also teach students how to manage their personal finances.

“[It] will equip the next generation of entrepreneurs, innovators and business people to continue to grow the Australian economy as well as take advantage of the global business opportunities the Asian century will bring.”

The public will be invited to comment on the new plan later this year and much work will need to be done before it goes from being a good idea to a functioning nationwide strategy.

Ask any primary school principal and they’ll tell you the curriculum is already full. Governments have a long history of adding new subjects to timetables without providing the necessary guidance on what should be omitted.

Whether the nation’s primary school teachers are qualified to provide meaningful insight about business is another small matter of concern.

Hopefully teething problems can be resolved. Teaching business skills to children is good for everyone.

Financial literacy among the general populous is far too low and fostering widespread interest in entrepreneurship offers genuine benefits for the country.

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