Why can’t we be friends?

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Why can’t we be friends?

On September 3, 2014, Posted by , In Life in Canada, With No Comments

The real issue no one is discussing

If you want to succeed in this great country, let me share with you the most effective right of passage. One should spend their 20s in Montreal (going to school and getting an entry level job), developing and mastering their career in their 30s in Toronto or even Calgary, finally once you have been established move to Vancouver in your 40s and reap all the rewards from your many years of hard work; as well, being able to afford living in one of the most expensive cities in North America.

It is clear we are not discussing the real issue with regards to the teachers strike. We need to make financial literacy a priority in this country to ensure we aren’t wasting time debating over trivial matters like the $40/day childcare support incentive. If we taught our children proper money management throughout elementary and high school, we would have less graduates with 5 figures of student loan debt complaining they can’t find a job; with some being too entitled to work an entry level job not realizing the long-term benefits.

Gone are the days where one could be guaranteed a decent salary with a master’s degree and no work experience. Parents not teaching their children good money management practices are equally to blame. What worked for the baby boomers will not work for most millennials.

During my last semester teaching at BCIT, most of my students were petrified at the thought of how much higher education was costing them. Some of them were not mentally present in my classroom. How does that make any sense? A handful of these students will eventually get to graduation not absorbing any of the material they studied and then they are off to the workforce claiming they are qualified to do X, Y, and Z. Hopefully, they will be able to secure a job to pay off their outstanding debts.

Perhaps we should encourage more graduates to take gap years after high school so they can save up for their tuition in full, giving them the satisfaction of knowing they are graduating without student loans. Dare I say a clean slate. When one has $25,000 in student loans, what’s an extra $9,000 of credit card debt? One of the greatest setbacks in our society is that people base their opinion of financial responsibilities with their emotions and not their logic or common sense.

My heart goes out to the students who will not be able to go back to school this week. A better educated population (mastering financial literacy) might have been able to work towards a viable solution sooner, take that statement anyway you want. Whether it fall on the Government for not giving/having the resources necessary for the teachers, the limited capacity of the current teachers to teach a vital life skill, or even the general public for not getting involved much sooner.

It is time to break the vicious cycle. We must prep our students for a better tomorrow by giving them the tools they will need when they graduate. When the strike is settled, I strongly encourage all parties responsible for creating educational material to make financial literacy in BC schools their top priority.

~ Rafael Reis

Here is a comic that many graduates might be experiencing in the job markets today.

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