Why the education system fails children


What is the point of the education system if it’s not to prepare young people for adult life? Reading, writing and arithmetic are essential subjects of course because you can’t get too far in life without basic skills in those subjects. However where the education system fails children is in the complete lack of any teaching in other essential life skills. Important subjects like personal finance are not covered at all.

Amazingly we don’t teach our children about money or personal finance. Surely children should learn about how money is earned; how to manage money; how to budget to ensure they can pay their bills; and how to spend their money wisely. They should also learn about how they should prioritize expenditure to avoid getting into a financial mess.

Children should learn about debt. They should know the difference between secured and unsecured debt and the impact this will have on interest rates applied. They should learn about how compound interest can quickly turn a relatively small debt into a large debt. Credit card debt being the classic for this problem.

They should know that interest rates matter. They should also learn that they should never go into debt for the purchase of discretionary items. Better they save up for that discretionary purchase before they buy.

They should learn about how work is just doing stuff for other people in exchange for money and that the more value they can add through their skills the more they will earn. They should also be taught about the economics of supply and demand.

Kids should understand the difference between trading their time with one employer for a wage and the opportunity to serve multiple customers through their own creativity and their ability to create products which solve problems for customers. Essentially they should know the difference between employment and self-employment.

They should also learn about wealth, pensions and how to achieve financial freedom through putting money aside on a regular basis and investing it wisely. They should be positively encouraged to work towards achieving financial freedom.

Children should learn about the impact that inflation will have on the value of their money and how this can affect their savings, particularly for old age. They should also be taught about risk and its relationship with reward.

Children should learn about taxes and how the money they pay in taxes will be spent and often squandered by government. They should know that there is no such thing as government money only the taxpayer’s money. They should know that it is in fact their money being spent by government.

They should also know when governments borrow money this is simply the means for spending today and then passing the bill on to future generations. Borrowing is not a free lunch. Someone eventually must bear the interest payments as well as the repayment of the capital sum borrowed in future years.

Children should learn to question how their money is being spent and how to register their disapproval if they’re not happy with what is being done with their money in their name.

Sadly most people have little understanding of money which means they can be easily conned by sharp business practices, particularly in Financial Services, and by politicians driven only be their own self-interest.

Perhaps that’s why schools are not encouraged to teach personal finance as a subject. Parents should demand that their children are taught about money. If the education system fails children then, as parents, we must shoulder some of the blame. We will continue to get what we tolerate.

What do you think dear reader? Is this a fair point? Do you think teaching children about money is the responsibility of the school or should someone other than their school have that responsibility? Their parents for instance?

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

 


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