With the contribution of the Pénziránytű Foundation, the Hungarian Economic Association (HEA) and its partner organisations in the Carpathian Basin, the Hungarian Economic Societies of Romania, Vojvodina and Slovakia, have recently distributed free of charge to 39 Hungarian schools beyond our borders about 4,000 Hungarian textbooks and workbooks aimed at developing financial awareness and financial literacy.

With the help of MKT, the Foundation established contacts with the Hungarian economic societies of neighbouring countries in the previous school year. With the help of these organisations, they sought to assess local practices in financial education and to support Hungarian-language schools to integrate financial literacy more effectively into their pedagogical practices through the use of the textbooks of Pénziránytű.

Based on the feedback received from Hungarian schools in Romania, Serbia and Slovakia, at the beginning of the 2022/2023 school year, 4,000 copies of the textbooks and workbooks for primary schools, the Compass to Finance for secondary schools and the educational booklet “How to educate your wallet” were distributed free of charge to 39 Hungarian schools across the border, thanks to the support of the Pénziránytű Foundation.

With the help of Hungarian economists’ societies in the Carpathian Basin, the Foundation’s staff also tried to get a picture of the financial education in the three countries, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia. They found that designing and integrating finance lessons is a major challenge in many countries. Harmony and cooperation between educational institutions, members of the financial intermediation system and NGOs is needed to make financial education not only compulsory for students, but also part of their thinking and a basic skill.

In 2018, the National Bank of Romania, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Finance and the Association of Romanian Banks joined forces in a national cooperation to promote financial awareness. There is no targeted financial education yet in primary schools in grades 5-8, but in high schools there is an average of 1 hour per week. In vocational schools, however, students can also learn 1-3 hours of financial education per week in accounting, entrepreneurship, economics and statistics.

Financial education is lacking in primary schools in Serbia and is integrated into various subjects in secondary schools. The country joined the international financial education programme Global Money Week in 2013, but its impact is marginal, with only a few hundred students being taught financial education every year.

In Slovakia, there is no specific financial literacy subject in public education, but financial education is included as a minimum in the curricula of some subjects. In addition, economic societies and foundations provide assistance to students in the form of lectures on request, and lectures are also given in Hungarian in Hungarian-language schools. The country joined the Global Money Week programme in 2014, but its impact is very low, with only a few hundred students receiving financial education each year through the programme coordinated by the National Bank of Slovakia.