Schools are teaching our children to be poor

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“Schools are teaching our children to be poor.” –Robert Kyosaki. I was really violently in disagreement with this when I came across this post in Facebook. It intrigued me so I checked the comment box. What is this crazy man Robert Kyosaki saying about our schools and teachers? A lot had the same reaction like me. Some said, “It’s unfair of him to say such. In the first place, business people would not have been successful had they not learned to read and write and count.” That’s true! And tell me if the products of our schools were poor: the doctors, engineers, policemen, etc.

The statements in the comment box defending our cause comforted me. But I also got curious and the statement won’t get out of my mind. It struck me and I barely noticed that I was reading on the writer’s/author’s explanation on why he said so.

We teach our children to study well, finish their courses, land good jobs, and get wealth. How true that that is happening in our society today? How many of our graduates remain liabilities of families and societies for they are still jobless? How many of our professionals are in debts and are not enjoying their so called jobs because they are burned out in facing these financial obligations. How many adults are really happy and fulfilled, not needing to mind their basic needs?

What are we really teaching our children? As a dedicated teacher, I cannot help but reflect. Maybe I am doing my best but there may be something that is equally important that we also need to give our students, our children. A friend of mine helped me be enlightened on Kyosaki’s point. He didn’t mean to put our schools or teachers down.

He just wanted to raise awareness regarding the need of financial literacy in our schools and homes. While it is true that we work hard and earn for living, we are limited in merely living and not living abundantly. But this can be helped if our children our trained to handle money since childhood. Besides, in whatever vocation each individual takes, it cannot be denied that it is first and foremost for survival, and then the rest of objectives follow.

I came to realize that schools are teaching children to be poor when we, in the academe, insist that there is only one way to be successful in gaining financial freedom: to finish our studies and land a good job.

This is certainly not enough. We also have to educate our children to start saving while young, to do basic financial planning, to try venturing into small scale business early on, to use their skills and create employment if they cannot be employed! But even as I speak, I am also deeply aware that I cannot speak so much as I was not taught these things as well. With this, I support the proposal that financial literacy be integrated and emphasized in schools.

Let us, teachers, be educated in this field so that we have sufficient to impart. Let schools be training arenas for holistic education, including financial education.

By SHEREELYNE F. DANGIWAN

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