Education: Parents’ Ticket to Freedom? #atozchallenge2015

E of A to Z‘Tis the season for graduations! In the Philippines, that is. So today, I thought I’d talk about one of my opinions on how people regard EDUCATION.

Graduation is usually March for grade schools and high schools, April for universities and other tertiary institutions. It’s especially stressful, though, for most college grads. Why not? Suddenly, they are expected to be totally independent and considered as instant adults, which could lead to a lot more pressure if they have yet to find work. For the more unfortunate, they are suddenly thrust into a bigger responsibility even right after graduation.

It is very common to hear parents say they are glad to finally have a graduate in the family, someone who will send or help send his younger siblings to school. Some even say they can finally retire because of that. Well, sorry to say, but I find that quite unfair, if not naive. Unfair, because it should never be the child’s responsibility but the parents’ to send his siblings to school. Definitely, it is not his responsibility to be the family breadwinner. In this country, these things often happen. I also say it’s naivete, if not ignorance, to expect new graduates to land a job immediately. And supposed that they do since it is not impossible, just not usual, they will most especially start at the bottom where they will just earn minimum wage, hopefully not just on a contractual basis, that may not even be enough for the whole family.

The problem with parents is they see a diploma as a way out of their own responsibilities.

That’s why instead of feeling sympathy, I feel mad at parents whose kids die before them and I hear them say stuff like, “He was our breadwinner. What are we going to do now?” or “He was the one sending his siblings to school” or “He was our only graduate. He was going to take us away from poverty. Now he’s gone!” I want to shout back, and I do shout back if it’s on TV, “WORK! LIKE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO!!! OR MAKE YOUR OTHER LAZY KIDS PULL THEIR OWN WEIGHT!!!”  I mean I understand where they are coming from, but it would be better to know they grieve because they have lost and will miss a loved one, not because they lost a human piggy bank.

I am not against children helping out their families. It is very noble and commendable of them. It’s wonderful to have such kids who know how to show support back. But if it is a forced responsibility they did not sign out for when their parents decided to have them, that’s where I have an issue. Parents, if you already know you can’t support your kids, if you can’t be responsible for the lives you bring into this world, don’t have them! Otherwise, own up!!!