From Peter Shreeve, assistant district secretary, IW National Education Union:

I refer to the article 'workshops help teach children about money' (CP, 02-07-21).

As a teacher, I recall doing the same in key skills lessons, tutor time and even foreign language lessons and utilising pretend coins and notes — both domestic and foreign, before moving on to cheques, cards, hire purchase and mortgages.

However, a growing trend towards a cashless society and the pandemic supercharging the increase in contactless payment only signs, have become common at checkout tills.

Studies have shown, children form their money habits as early as seven years old, as their gaze fixates on watching parents and others make monetary transactions.

But what happens when physical cash cannot be used?

Certainly, I have not used any physical money since the start of this pandemic.

Will children have the same level of engagement learning watching someone touch a card to a card reader?

Will physical money end up as something only to be collected, like a rare book or football stickers?

A danger area exists in the digital world. The virtual world and the real world can become seamlessly entwined.

Look at the hazards of confusing the virtual world of gameplay with the real world of money. Look at online gambling activity among young people.

To make lessons really effective, I suspect, we may need the physical touch of real money to help embed understanding and slowly link into the online world, if we want youngsters to become financially prudent.

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