Many of our expat Filipinos are working so hard with the primary objective of sending their children to a good school. This is a most noble goal but we need to be clear on what is really important.
Most parents assume that the best education is the most expensive one. Going to the expensive schools is almost always equated to high quality education. Graduating from such institutions is taken as a guarantee for a good career and personal financial success. Indeed, education is an investment for one’s own future.
But what if we were to look at education as strictly a financial investment decision? Though clearly, it is not all about money, determining the most appropriate type of education for our children boils down to affordability. Here is where the pitfall lies. Most of us will kill ourselves to give our children the most expensive education (at the expense of other just as pressing needs) we can afford. Why? This is because we have been conditioned to believe that the higher the investment in education, the higher the return. Worse, some of us may even believe society will judge our stature by where and what category of school our children go to. NOTHING COULD BE MORE IRRELEVANT TO OUR LIVES THAN THIS!
Purely on a return on investment perspective, we must evaluate the cost of formal schooling versus the lifetime cash return to the graduate. Presently, even graduates of the so-called high-end schools are having a hard time finding jobs. There is now clearly a large-scale mismatch between what our economy needs and what schools are turning out. We continue to send our children to take courses with no serious economic potential other than perhaps getting employed with a reasonable salary. Getting college degrees are no longer as imperative in securing gainful economic activity after graduation. Being creative and logical with a facility for communication seems to be the order of the day.
Entrepreneurial education founded on liberal arts is, today, the key to personal economic success. Liberal arts teach us to how to think and assess, to define problems and arrive at solutions, to create and add value. More importantly, it develops a mindset that forms the seed of our intellectual capital, which for most of us, is our only true capital in this life.
If we accept this premise, securing “profitable” education need not be concentrated on formal schooling. We can then even have the option of combining formal and nonformal schooling at very low cost. Two-year communication arts courses augmented by practical vocational and small business training can reduce your educational investment by as much as 50 percent. Though your children may not initially have impressive degrees, they can nonetheless be awarded diplomas and/or certificates of a recognized educational attainment at their chosen time in the future.
We should open our minds to the practical norm of taking more time in formal learning but getting more practical experience “on-the-job”. Such combination of formal and non-formal schooling would actually impart more real learning and develop a more serious entrepreneurial aptitude. The big advantage in this approach is that our children will be able to use their time with “hands-on” education. Learning could then really be enjoyable and fun!
Today, life is more complicated, competitive and expensive. Few would have the luxury of wasting so much time, effort and money in an education that was not really fit to the personality of a child/person. Thus, we should encourage “dreams” in the minds of our children much earlier in life on what they want to be when they grow up. As parents and teachers, we must observe them more and guide them towards the field/s in which they seem to have the most capability to enjoy and succeed. They have to be preparing for their college education as soon as they step into high school. Another major reason why this is important is the competitiveness of entrance examination.
I have to emphasize the need for the child/person to “enjoy” a chosen field because one of the key elements of success is being happy in what you are doing. The technical aspects can always be learned and mastered but happiness can only come from within.
Wherever you are in the world, you can study more about personal financial management from the Filipino way of doing things. Visit www.colaycofoundation.com. Our books and ebooks are also available in various websites like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Flipreads, Kobo, Google Play, Overdrive, and Apple iBooks.