Free, much-needed money management lessons for primary schools

Finnish primary schools are now offered a new online learning resource, Mini-Zaldo, free of charge. Although social studies were added to the Finnish national curriculum for grades 4 to 6 (ages 10 to 13) last year, financial study materials have been lacking until now. Mini-Zaldo meets this need by introducing a new version of Zaldo, designed to teach finances in primary schools. The first edition of Zaldo is targeted for secondary schools (ages 13 to 16). Both Zaldo and Mini-Zaldo are available at

​Finnish social studies teachers have been eager to adopt Zaldo. “When the new curriculum introduced social studies to primary schools, we wanted younger pupils to have their own version of Zaldo”, says Turo Numminen from Junior Achievement Finland. “The original Zaldo was also updated to better support mobile devices”, Numminen adds.

New materials met with praise

The Finnish National Agency for Education praises the new resource. “Mini-Zaldo is a very welcome addition to primary school materials. It teaches pupils the basic concepts of money and introduces their meaning in a fun way”, states Olli-Pekka Heinonen, General Director of the Agency.

Zaldo is a gamified learning environment in which children learn financial skills through exercises. The materials are directly usable in classes.

“The multitude of exercises inspire pupils to apply their mathematical skills. They also get asked about the money usage and consumption habits in their local community. Mini-Zaldo does a great job of teaching important financial skills to children”, Heinonen observes.

Junior Achievement Finland also offer their own free finance lessons for young pupils, with separate programs for primary and secondary schools.

Cash prize encourages participation

Zaldo’s final exams test the skills of an entire class at once. Every class that takes the final exam is eligible for a cash prize, given randomly two times each year primary and secondary schools alike.

“The cash prize is a financial lesson in itself, since the winning class must decide how to use it”, says Jussi Karhunen from Finance Finland. Karhunen also mentions that the highest-scoring secondary school class wins a two-person entry to the new European Money Quiz, which is organised by the European Banking Federation and takes place in Brussels in early May.

Additional information

Turo Numminen, JA Finland, +358 50 517 1752,
Jussi Karhunen, Finance Finland, +358 20 793 4297,