8 October 2010
New generations of schoolchildren are growing up in homes where various media play a central role. Existing curricula, however, do not sufficiently prepare children to cope with the changing everyday life.
The homes of young adults today are entertainment and media centres where they can now shop online, access electronic banking services and be socially active with friends and family on the Internet. Using and updating media and technology has developed into a new type of household chore, suggests the Consumer Agency-commissioned survey by Taloustutkimus, “Nuorten aikuisten koti, kulutus ja ajankäyttö” (“Young adults, their home, consumption and time management”).
The survey asked 25-to-30-year-old consumers what they do at home, what they dedicate their time to, what they spend their money on and what skills they view as essential to cope with their everyday lives. The data collected provide an insight into what sort of a home the pupils who are studying under the next core curriculum are growing up in.
With the developments that have taken place in technology, ways of consuming have been greatly influenced, and new skills are needed today to cope with everyday life. Consumers should be able to take care of electronic appliances and services at home and related contracts.
Especially, modern telecommunication links, such as mobile phone and broadband subscriptions, play a central role in the home of the young adult. They constitute the most commonly used services, incurring the majority of costs at home. Judging by the number of contacts that the consumer authorities receive, they are also the most complicated services, with many problems of varying nature involved.
The survey backs up the view that consumer knowledge and skills cannot solely be learned at home any longer. The Nordic-Estonian consumer education strategy, in the compiling of which the Consumer Agency has taken part, stresses that consumer education be incorporated in the curricula of all subjects that can easily adopt it. The OECD Committee on Consumer Policy has emphasised the importance of education in learning consumer skills.
The question of what skills the consumer of the future should possess will be next taken up at the consumer education conference to be help in Helsinki on 9-10 November 2010, with teachers, experts and decision-makers in the field of consuming and the everyday of the home in turn discussing how people learn to become consumers as well as how, where and when consumer skills are taught. The agenda will also feature presentations on national and international consumer education guidelines, and the participants will share their experiences on good practices.
Consumer education conference 9-10 November 2010