PISA 2018 Financial Literacy – Italian students are still below OECD average

PISA 2018 Financial  Literacy – Italian students are still below OECD average

Marta Cannistrà 

Last week, results from the last assessment of PISA have been presented by INVALSI, the Italian organization responsible for the data gathering and publication of OECD. Again, Italian 15 years-old are lagging behind the developed countries, ranking below the OECD average, with 476 points against the 505. Slight improvement are registered compared to previous years, but it is still not enough to compete internationally.

PISA assessment intends to measure the knowledge and ability level about financial education of youngsters, useful to take the step from school to university or work. Questions refer to life situations and involve financial decisions. In fact, financial literacy is intended by PISA as “the knowledge and comprehension of financial risks and concepts, together with competences, motivation and the trust to apply such knowledge to take effective decisions in a series of financial contexts, improve financial wellbeing of individuals and societies and to allow the participation to the economic life.”

The Italian results in financial literacy are still worrying, even if look at the differences within the country; performance changes from North to South, among high school tracks and between males and females. This confirms, once again, the heterogeneity which shapes Italian population.

Looking at the level of competences, on average the 85% of OECD students reach the minimum level of financial knowledge (second level), while the Italian average is 79%. These bad results are underlined in the mirror of the top performers: the Italian ones are less than the half of the OECD average. Again, if looking at the differences in term of levels, important gaps are evident from a regional and schools’ tracks standpoints.

The last relevant observation needs to be devoted to the gender gap in Italy: if the majority of countries does not encounter important differences, in Italy male students obtain, on average, 15 points more than their female counterpart does. Anyway, with same results in maths and reading, the gender gap almost halved.

This is just a short overview of the results coming out about financial literacy, but the report and the data are now available at OECD website.

These results confirm, once more, that our work is still important and there is space to improve our proposals about financial education for youngster. So… keep on working!