The Financial Implications of Education

The popular modern adage in support of academic education that “if you think education is expensive tries ignorance” credited to Robert Orben is becoming questionable. The reason behind this saying is simply that, having a basic academic qualification guarantee you of a job with lots of benefits compare to what is applicable today. Then, anyone with basic academic education even with little or no financial benefits turns the recipients to god within the community since there are few who are opportune to have it.

Although Robert Orben says education, but it is high time the populace knows that education is more than going to schools (formal education most especially academic) as generally assumed. According to Wikipedia;

Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include storytelling, discussion, teaching, training, and directed research. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators; however learners may also educate themselves. Education can take place in formal or informal settings and any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational.

Formal Education

The moment the authority fails, so many things fail with it. That is the case of our formal education system (schooling). The believe that the regulated education (schooling) being the standard is what gives the formal education the glory its enjoying, but now that the government fails to continue updating the standard to meet up with the requirements to enhance development in the world, then, there is problem for the receivers who use thousands and millions of dollars to acquire it as a requirement for employment opportunities.

Before going in details on the above aspect, let’s look at the years spent in acquisition of the formal education qualification and its implication on the economic situation of a nation.
Using the 6-3-3-4 formal education system, it is expected that one should graduate at early twenties but with lots of constraints, majorities remains in full time education until late twenties and early thirties most especially in developing nations. This out of encouragement and promotion of formal education as a legacy render many productive years of our youths useless. And in the process of trying to use the qualification received to secure employment that is not available, another productive years is waste.

Don’t forget that, one of the major index uses to measure a nation performance is in terms of productivity most especially using Gross Domestic Products (GDP). And now that majority of our youths are wasting their time away acquiring an education that may not profit them, instead of contributing to this index through one productive activities or another, then when are we going to meet up with the rest of the world.

The belief that someone with advance formal education qualification has what it takes to be gainfully employed and be financially stable is becoming questionable, not only in terms of unemployment but that of the cost of acquiring it.

With billions of dollars budget allocation to education sector annually, it is baffling why students has to pay that much in fees with less facilities that is giving the private educational institution increasing in numbers day by day earning handsomely.

This and many more thought is posting questions, whether the benefits of their formal education will be worth the cost of obtaining it, with parents who are footing most of the bill wondering whether those funds could have been better invested elsewhere.

It is these thinking that generated Pew Research Centre conducting surveys few years ago that reported a majority of Americans said that college wasn’t “worth it” because it didn’t “provide students with good value for the money they and their families spend.

Informal Education

Not only that informal education is not regulated and so have no standard, in some cases it is not intentional and where planned, it takes short period compare to formal education.

Most interestingly, informal education is practical training by contribution and discussion. In the process of learning, trainees participate actively and productively and within short period of time during the course of trainee, they can start earning with the skills acquire even while still undergoing training.
There are various forms of informal education but for the context of this article, I am referring to apprenticeship, participating in family business, community and social activities, practical salesmanship training, farming, fishing, hunting etc.

In term of cost, the informal education requires little or no cost at all; participants do earn back their training fee during the period of learning if at all they pay for the training which I can tag “earning by learning”.

Informal to Formal Education or Vice Versa

Our academic education system is not that bad and not just theory as it is generally proclaimed. The problem is that, learners/students learning without having the means where they can implement or prove right or wrong what they are learning.

As career counsellor, I am of the opinion that having a skill, project, business and participating in social or community activities related to your career choice at hand while schooling even from senior secondary school is ideal to help the students in the course of study.

For instance, Faruq was enrolled to learn basic computer skills with me after his secondary school education. Within the two years, he proved to be skilful in Graphic Design using Corel Draw and Photo Paints and Engineering (Assembly, Repair and Maintenance and Networking). At the end of his training, I retain him to work briefly with me and later help him get a job that will further exposed him to better opportunity at a Medical Laboratory as their Computer Technician.

Not aware, we went there the day they were conducting test for the applicants, I was informed they need a graduate but I pleaded they should test him and of course he is the one that top the chat because he has the skills to use computer system and all related peripherals and can easily fix it when the needs arise. The annoying part is that, they underpaid him just because he is not a graduate. That is the problem the employers are contributing to the problem. We value the certificates more than the skills.

Another good example is that of my cousin Bashir. He has being under my guardian since when he was six (6) years old. After his Secondary education, he was enrolled to learn practical Land Surveying and Architectural skills and within two years, he has mastered the skills and started earning with it. Today, he has obtained his National Diploma at Federal School of Surveying, Oyo and pursuing his Higher National Diploma in the same profession at Ilaro State Polytechnic. Not only that the skills help in making it easier in his course of study but also make him productive earning money while schooling and most especially gives him sense of direction without confusion.

Today, technology is driving economic grow but not for developing nation who produce little to nothing relying heavily on importation. It is glaring we are just contributing to development of this nations. It is the case of producer versus consumer.

If we care to meet up with the development going on around the world, we have to make vocational skills compulsory for every student in secondary school and encourage the use of those skills.

Is the Government Discouraging or Encouraging Education?

Robert T. Kiyosaki says; education is one of the conspiracies to keep people poor. In addition, many knowledge require to get better financially were intentionally excluded which he also said is part of the conspiracy. Even if you are part of the people who disbelieve this claim, then what can you say about exorbitant fees even in government owned schools to get a higher education among other factors.

Recently, a cousin of my share an experience that gets me concerned. As the case it is in many Nigeria schools, receiving your final year certificates may take years after graduation. In other to have a temporary evidence to show that truly he graduated from the school, he decided to go for the management letter, but to his amazement, he was asked to pay five thousand naira (N5,000) and he can only use it for 6 months.

With billions of dollars allocated to the educational institutes, which of course is from tax revenue paid by the parents, is our government trying to tax the students too through education fees? Since the parents are the one paying the fees not the students, it means academic education is one of the means citizens are being subjected to multiple taxation.
Imagine government schools running with taxpayer’s money charging fees that subjects students getting loans to obtain a higher education with no guarantee of job after graduation. Recently, an article title pop up on my computer screen while researching on internet that read, "People are leaving America to avoid paying Students Loan", and another article from CNBC reads "Students would drop out of college to avoid more debt".

This and many more issues do not signify that our government is encouraging education. If that is the case, then Rober Kiyosaki may be right, education is not just conspiracy but also one of the camouflages to deceive the masses that the leaders care.


The financial implication of our present academic education system is growing negatively beyond the benefits.

As my father (a farmer) so much believe, which I am finally consenting to on like before, education brings more corruption to the land. Yes, corruption is a disease that has being in existence since ages, the academic education enhance it beauty and makes it look normal. Not only that, it creates more lazy folks with entitlement orientation just because they can read and write. People who believe they are better than their employer, just because he/she is not fortunate to pass through the same glorified education system.

As I said earlier, the case may have being different if our leaders are ready to take advantage of this system to empower the youths rather than fuelling their entitlement spirit. Unfortunately, it is the private sector that is doing that with little resources at their disposal while the government use our abundant resources for bureaucratic activities.


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