Teens learn about car ownership, taxes in new courses

Hands-on courses about finances, car ownership and maintenance among new offerings for high school students

Becoming an adult often means having to own a car and budgeting for living expenses.

But for many young people knowing how to do finances and taxes is a challenge and they sometimes don’t understand what goes into owning a car until they are over their head in debt, maintenance and insurance problems.

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That is about to change starting the next school year, if school trustees approve two new practical courses as part of a suite of 17 courses that could be offered to School District 43 high school students.

Vehicle Ownership and Maintenance 11 and Money Management 10 are courses that answer to the complaints of many that students aren’t taught important life skills in the classroom.

Developed by Michael De Angelis at Pinetree secondary school, Vehicle Maintenance 11 will help students develop a practical understanding of the skills and knowledge required to purchase, operate and maintain a personal vehicle. 

According to a course synopsis, students will learn about safety, tools, automotive service procedures, including preventative maintenance, in a hands-on working environment using tools and equipment normally found in commercial repair shops.

They’ll also learn about the legal and ethical components of purchasing a vehicle, including the economic costs and social and environmental impacts of the product, and how the graduating licensing program works. 

On the money side, Sherina Chandra has developed the Money Management and Social Investment 10 course for Coquitlam Open Learning, an alternate education program.

Among the big idea students will be learning in this course are how spending habits relate to planning for the future, understanding the Canadian tax system to support effective financial planning and how social and ethical investments benefit individual and social communities.

They’ll even visit Canadian financial institutions and learn about different savings plans and personal investment opportunities, learn the language of finances, including the difference between RRSPs and TFSAs, and other ways to invest.

The course are among 17 — a record — planned for the coming school year, with other topics including Hockey Skills 10, 11 and 12, Weight Training 10, Chess 11 and  12, Conversation 10, Peer Tutoring 11 and 12, Psychology 12, 3-Dimensional Design 11  and Animation 11 and 12, as well as Textiles Arts and Crafts 11 and 12.

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