My Money Tree
Should Business & Personal Finance Be Taught At School?
What business & personal finance advice do you wish had been taught to you when you were at school? Isn't the purpose of education to prepare children for the real world? I believe that all children should learn basic business & personal finance skills from the age of twelve to sixteen years. Why not teach children how mortgages and pensions work. Everybody needs a place to live and if they have a long life they will need to retire one day. Schools should teach their students how to manage credit card debts. They should be taught how credit card companies make their money by charging extortionate amounts of interest far higher than a personal loan to people that pay late. Students should learn how to negotiate and barter.
After all they are going to be doing this every day for the rest of their lives. What about learning the difference between mark up and profit margin? Learning how to handle money would be the best compulsory course at school. If you add a class like "Business & Personal Finance" and make it standard for all children then what subject would you remove or do less off? I had a period a day of Latin. This has been pretty much useless in my life. Has anybody benefited from learning Latin? I read about the Greek gods, translated old books and I have to admit that after doing it for over 4 years, I only remember a handful of phrases now.
How many of you remember sweating over stuff like Algebra and Trigonometry? Has this been useful to you in life? Surely this does not need to be taught in such detail to every child & only needs to be taught to budding scientists and mathematicians? I had art classes. Where they really necessary? I was also taught how to knit and dance? What was the point of that? What about religious education? Shouldn't this type of stuff be taught in Sunday school? Should this subject really be taught in school at all? I am not advocating that we remove these subjects completely. As you can see it would be really easy to teach slightly less of some other subjects to make space for one period a day of Business & Personal Finance for all older children. Would this benefit the UK economy? I am sure it would. Imagine students leaving school having basic understanding of fixed and variable interest rate mortgages. They would have learnt how to manage their bank account and check their bank statements. Wouldn't it be great if they knew how to calculate gross / nett profit margins and compare one investment with another? Many people will make the argument that this information should be taught by parents and not by school teachers. The problem is that many parents themselves do not understand basic concepts of personal finance! Some view their own personal finances as a private matter that should not even be discussed in front of the children. What subjects do you think they should teach more of and which subjects should they teach less of to make room?.
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