Money handling is not something humans just ‘know’, like how to find food or that when someone cries, we should comfort them.
It is a human invention, and as our society develops, so does the complexity of money handling.
So why doesn’t everyone know how our monetary systems work?
Simply put, it’s because budgeting and monetary skills aren’t taught in schools.
Even students who study Economics or Mathematics barely touch the subject, and in 2017, there was only one Economics class in Griffith anyway.
We were a typical cohort, so we didn’t learn how to handle money.
Which means that we have to learn out of necessity, rather than through understanding, when we get a job.
Even then, it’s guess and check.
Why isn’t the education system teaching young adults how to have financial security?
Money, taxes and superannuation are everyday aspects of life that simply are not covered by syllabuses.
It is naive and unjust for the Department of Education to assume we can all be self-taught to the extent we need to be.
Students throughout Australia are raising awareness for the need to learn this skill.
In the ABC article NSW Students Want Life Skills Better Taught at School, Children's Advocate Finds, The New South Wales Advocate for Children and Young People Andrew Johnson noted the demand for the subject.
He states ‘(...) Young people that were concerned about things that we didn't think about - they were concerned about housing, they were concerned about how to pay their taxes, how you go about renting, how to raise a family (...)’. I believe the mentality is shared throughout the young people of Griffith too.
You would think Government officials would want the general population to understand taxes and superannuation.
It would help to de-stigmatise the topic!
Throughout my childhood, I thought taxes were a terrible burden. It wasn’t until I got a job that I was told what they actually were.
Then I was in complete support of the tax system. Why wouldn’t I want to pay a small amount of money to better society?
Taxes help improve our community by contributing funds to services, such as our own Base Hospital or maintaining our roads.
They even fund our schools! Why aren’t we learning about the money that is contributing to the running of Wade and Griffith High Schools? We need to give our population a better understanding of money. And that starts with educating them properly.
Even by running little programs out of Wade High School, Griffith High School and Marian Catholic College, we can better equip the local young people with these necessary skills.
Matilda Conlan and Elizabeth Portolesi are Griffith youths writing about Griffith youth issues for The Area News.