Financial management for young people

It is indeed important for young people to learn Pakistani history, mathematics, physics, chemistry, social sciences, Urdu, English and biology during their middle school years. These subjects will help align their minds with the subjects they will be studying during their college life as they pursue a BBA and BS. One wonders why the young people of our country who study in the middle classes are not aware of financial management. This topic, if introduced, should focus on how effective financial management can be conducted. This includes the basics of saving and investing. The concepts of budgeting, insurance, tax structures, estate planning, mortgages and banking will be an integral part of this course.

Financial planning for personal affairs is not taught to young people, which creates a lack of financial thinking and planning among them. They remain unable to plan their investment strategy even after graduation, leading them to invest in low yielding products.

Intermediate students may not earn a fixed income, but they are aware of the freelance world. Opportunities for young people to earn a side income through freelancing are available. They can complete tasks using their skills. They can use social media to promote their skills and connect with customers.

Pakistan’s education system needs to evolve in line with market needs. Gone are the days when rote learning was necessary. Students today are used to changing trends. They get information from the internet and are often seen challenging the thoughts of their elders. This open-mindedness must be capitalized on. Introducing a personal financial management course in middle school will expand the student’s mind in a variety of ways.

First, they will understand how the financial system works. They will be familiar with the financial system of their household. Second, if they acquire a secondary income through self-employment, they will know how and where to save and invest their earnings. Third, they will grasp how the economic system works, which will surely broaden their minds.

This will give them the basics to learn more about economics, accounting and finance. Once their minds are broadened by such thoughts, it will be relatively easy for them to study similar courses when pursuing a BS or BBA degree. When students in the pre-med track study the BBA, they struggle to understand the concepts of accounting and business finance.

There is an urgent need to restructure the middle school course structure to meet the demands of higher education and the business world. Forcing students to memorize definitions and replicate them on exams will only produce graduates without the skills and acumen to bring change to their lives or society. Our young people must learn to manage their finances from an early age if we want them to become future leaders.

Geraldine L. Melton