Adam Westbrook // ideas on digital storytelling and publishing

The million dollar question (literally)

Posted in News and that by Adam Westbrook on February 5, 2007

Dollar signThe big story of the day for all Claphams yummy mummys is undoubtedly the news that the education system for 11-14 year old’s to be shaken up.

“Useless” EU languages are going to be scrapped in favour of economically more fruitful ones like Arabic, Urdu and Mandarin.

Brilliant. I’ve always wanted to learn Mandarin, and besides I never use my French anyway.

But seeing as we’re on the topic of economically useful subjects, here’s one that really gets me:

Why were we never taught money at school?

As I flounder in a panic-stricken state, smothered by the giant pillow of £22,000 debt beneath a 13-tog* duvet of rising interest rates and an exploding property market I’m wishing I got told how to manage my money instead of being taught William Blake was a mentalist.

I have little idea of loans, APR, taxes and I only discovered there was such a thing as a credit rating and that failing one is bad news….when I failed one. Cheers for that one education.

And clearly I’m not the only one. Personal insolvency in the UK went up by a whopping 59% last year. In 2006 a record 107,000 thousand people were declared bankrupt and probably now live on a diet of cat food and cardboard, like me.

The government moans and blames the banks. But successive education ministers have been too proud to look at themselves – schools are to blame, not banks. Well, banks are a little too.

So great, teach kids Mandarin, and Urdu and Elvish, whatever. But why the hell aren’t we taught how to manage our money in a world where money’s everything?

It’s the million dollar question.

* you need to have worked a summer selling people duvets to know that 13 tog is a really thick duvet that you have when its cold.

3 Responses

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  1. datruss said, on February 5, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    A great post…. as a math teacher I alway add a little money-sense into my lessons (Grade 8 in Canada)… but it is much more optional than expected… a shame!
    I could be much better off now had I understood compounding interest at age 15 instead of 32.
    I hope languages are not forsaken for the all-mighty buck, but it makes so much sense (cents) to have children understand the importance and value of money, (before they get their first credit card!!)

  2. David Sheffield said, on February 7, 2007 at 9:29 am

    I seem to remember we had a module a year of business studies – that was kinda good except the teacher was a little mad and I couldn’t care less about it.

  3. Money, money, money « Adam Westbrook said, on October 15, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    […] don’t just think our journalists should be armed with better knowledge; I wrote ages ago I think we ALL should! Tagged with: Broadcast Journalism, City University, Credit crunch, Fish, […]


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