We all have great memories of school but how many of them were about the things we learned in the classroom? For us, the things we remembered most were the great times we had with our friends. Of course, teachers did a great job educating us but we wish more time was spent on things that would be useful as adults.
Here are some things we hope are taught more in schools:
1. Financial literacy
All of us handle money but not everyone knows how to use it properly. Because we didn’t learn enough about managing money when we were younger, a lot of us get confused with investments, budgeting, and taxes as adults.
Knowing how to budget, creating a savings plan and following it, managing credit, and getting a loan are important life skills as adults. A lot of us millennials still get confused about investments and the value insurance can bring. Here’s another topic that will send heads rolling: taxes and how to compute, file, and process them.
2. Communication skills
We all had English and Filipino classes but aside from learning what nouns and verbs are, did we spend enough time learning communication skills? These include how to make friends, how to deal with difficult people, how to communicate when we’re angry, and more. We also wish we learned other skills that require communication such as how to be a better leader, and handle job interviews and negotiations.
3. Climate change
With all the news about how climate change is already inevitable, we wish we paid more attention to its devastating effects, so we could do our part and hold corporations accountable even earlier than we have. For example, we took for granted that fossil fuel used for energy is one of the main sources of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which is linked to the rise in average global temperatures. We also wish we understood the importance of decarbonization, which simply means reducing our carbon footprint to help the environment.
To do this, we need to shift to cleaner sources of energy, such as renewables. This may take time, as this needs extensive planning, financing, and building the needed infrastructure. Moreover, a lot of renewable sources of energy (such as solar and wind) are intermittent, which means they are not always available. For example, solar can be unavailable on cloudy days or at night, while wind may be unavailable when there isn’t sufficient wind speed. Given this, a way to support this transition is using natural gas—a naturally-occurring energy source that is cleaner than coal, to complement renewable energy use.
Natural gas is a type of fossil fuel but it’s much cleaner than coal and oil, which makes it easier to transition to renewable energy. In fact, in 2020, the use of natural gas helped avoid the release of 11.7 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, which is the equivalent of taking 2.5 million cars off the road. Additionally, natural gas is much more reliable than coal. Natural gas power plants take only up to 15 minutes to start up and supply power when renewable sources become suddenly unavailable. For example, there may be times when sunlight is not enough for solar power or wind for wind power.
We can do more by pressuring corporations to switch to cleaner energy. According to the Carbon Majors Report by the Disclosure Insight Action (CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project), 100 companies have been the source of more than 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1988. Thankfully, there are companies like First Gen that are taking the first step by making natural gas more accessible to Filipino businesses.
Here’s how else you can care for the environment.
4. Mental healthcare
Many of us learned about the importance of physical health and even had PE classes where we can exercise and work on our bodies. Did schools put the same focus on mental health?
Now that mental health is part of the conversation, we wish we had learned the basics when we were in school. This could include self-care tips, healthy habits, dealing with toxic people and relationships, and coping with failure. Adolescence can be a scary time with all the changes happening (both in our bodies and in our minds), so it would be helpful if we had an entire subject that would help us understand ourselves. If we had this, it’s possible that many of us would be better adjusted as adults.
5. Voter’s education
The elections coming up makes us wish that we had a voter’s education subject in school. This includes information on registration, how to vote, and the things we need to look for when choosing public officials. We also wish there was more emphasis on how governments work and what responsibilities the president, the vice president, senators, congressmen, the courts, and the masses have.
TikTok has partnered with the Commission on Elections to encourage more Filipinos to vote. Here’s how they’re doing it.
6. How to start and maintain a business
Some students are lucky to have had business classes like accounting in high school. We’re hoping these kinds of classes become the norm so young Filipinos can grow up business-minded and develop an entrepreneurial spirit. This will also give them the tools to write an effective business plan, know the basics of starting a business, and sustaining it for the long run. Classes like microeconomics, entrepreneurship, and investment classes could be helpful.
School may be over but that doesn’t mean learning has to stop. Don’t forget to check out the links to see how we can grow and become better people!
What do you think? Share your thoughts below!
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