Why invest in our children's education today?

Many parents will tell us a thousand and one reasons to justify why they do not have the time to ensure that their children get a good education at school.  

Of course there are many reasons that are justified and understood.  

What is not acceptable is to believe that parents do not understand that there will be serious repercussions for our children and ultimately to ourselves, the parents if we do not get involved today.

I want to expand and discuss why it is important to invest time and effort today so that our children get a good education and at the same time, ensure that the future will bring academic success for our children, family health, financial security and in general welfare to all, especially we, the parents of those children.

Personally I have lived and observed families where the welfare of the family as a whole unit, is connected directly to the level of education of household heads. And we're not talking about a generation only.  In certain cases there are up to three generations of a family where the level of education of the entire family is reflected in the social an financial status of the family itself. There are exceptions but in most cases, those who had a level of at least high school education, have more options to work and thus contribute to the welfare of themselves and their close relatives such as parents, siblings, partner and children.

In some extreme cases, family members without an education will most likely lack a steady job and will rely on parents, siblings or friends to survive and secure at least their basic needs.  In many cases, they are family members who have a low level of education and therefore their job opportunities are usually less than those of a person with a higher education. Furthermore, when these relatives finally have a job, they are not stable jobs and usually do not pay well. In most of these cases, the adult depends on their parents who for many reasons, were unable to ensure that their children had the tools to have more opportunities,  a good education.

As a teacher and educator for over 20 years, I have watched children who were not supported efficiently and consistently by their parents when they were young.  Those students became young adults with their hands and mind bound by the lack of a higher education.  I've seen how those children who had trouble learning when they were students in my classroom, now as adults they struggle to find a decent job and thus, have the opportunity to become self-sufficient.  I also remember those students who were doing well in my classes. What I remember most about them is that they had some active parents as stakeholders in the education of their children. The effort and interest in of these students was a reflection of the involvement of their parents within the school of their children and everything that had to do with their education.

But if my experiences as a parent, uncle, friend, brother and cousin among others, or my professional experience as a teacher do not convince you, here I present you some statistics to support my points view.

For example, according to some data provided by the National Center for Educational Statistics, March 2001, 31% of those who did not finish high school are living in poverty compared to only 24% of those who completed it. Today we know that a high school diploma is not a very high level of education but at least if offers measurable benefits to those who complete it.

Another study reported that the level of education of people goes hand in hand with the level of health and the life span between the two different groups. According to the National Poverty Center, in its March 2007 publication, in the section on Education and Health, people with higher education levels had lower levels in the most common diseases of society; within that list are the most chronic and difficult to cure as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity that goes hand in hand with other diseases.

I agree that there are many variables that affect the conditions of the human being and their social performance in life. But I firmly believe that a higher education helps you confront the obstacles that life brings to all of us.  A person who can defend herself verbally and who can question authorities with logical and strategic arguments in an orderly way, has many more opportunities and can open doors for personal, economic and social progress.  A successful and higher education prepares you to confront those obstacles in life with many more tools that include public speaking, reading and writing at a professional level,  and solving number problems.

So if today you have little ones in your house and you love them with all your heart, decide to commit to get involved with their education.  Prepare yourself to be a better parent, read information on the topic, ask questions to your children how you help more. Go and meet the teachers of your children. Finally, commit today to ensure a good and higher education for your children. Remember that their success in getting a good education is up to you as a parent.  And over the years as they become adults, you will rip the benefits as well. Everything stays in the family.  And finally, if you do not try hard enough and invest time today to ensure they get ahead academically, the negative impact will be for life as well.

by Arturo Aldana




Credit Photo:http://www.gadoe.org/