The Cynicism of Overpriced Education

For starters, most of my educated brethren would fail to understand the meaning of the word “Cynicism” used in the above title which only reiterates the need of us having this discussion.

Employers have been complaining around the clock that the 8-4-4 system yields half baked graduates. Does this mean that our education system is a total sham?

According to my little financial knowledge, for a product to be worth its price, the utility received by the user should be satisfactory. Simple analysis of the Kenya employment market reveals the loop holes of our overpriced education. Employers are not willing to pay top dollar for our most elite comrades.

To investigate if our education is overpriced, we will compare the cost incurred in acquiring education versus the monetary benefits received from the knowledge gained. The return period would be 20 years which includes 16 years spent in the 8-4-4 system and 4 working years.

The following assumptions would be used to calculate the cost of education and estimated return. The values used would assume the minimizing function of education costs hence we would try to focus on cheapest form of private education.

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  • Primary education would cost 50,000 shillings per year
  • Secondary education would cost 100,000 shillings per year
  • University education would cost 250,000 shillings per year
  • Education costs include all costs i.e. accommodation, food and pocket money
  • Graduate would be immediately employed an earns average of 30,000 shillings per month (360,000 per annum) for the four years
  • 364 days treasury bill has averaged 12.00% for the entire period
  Years Education Cost Return on 364 day tbill
Primary 8                                (400,000.00)                                    830,038.81
Secondary 4                                (400,000.00)                                1,932,455.83
University 4                             (1,000,000.00)                                3,545,031.96
Working 4                               1,440,000.00                                5,326,412.60
Total 20                                (360,000.00)                                5,326,413.00

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From the above table, it can be clearly concluded that if your parent’s home schooled you and invested most of the money that could be used for education, you will be about five million shillings rich at age 26.

Apart from monetary value, home based schooling has other advantages compared to public based schooling. Emphases of mastery instead of grades, family togetherness, academic quality, travelling and quality education are some of the advantages.

In this digital age, home schooling should become the new norm. Due to infinite information in the internet, you can formulate a curriculum based on your child’s best abilities hence making reading enjoyable and fun for them.

One may be concerned that the child may turn out anti social but there are many socializing avenues apart from schools. Actually, schools have been known for bullying, discrimination, homosexuality, lesbianism and other several kinds of anti social behaviors.

Adoption of home schooling may be a great solution to the Kenyan education problem. Though no much feasibility studies have been done, there are some logical conclusions that can draw you to the home schooling system. For example, can you compare what you have learned via internet in a few years to what you have learned in school?

Kenya education system has metamorphosised from learning institutions to money minting machines. Recently we were hit with the Nairobi Aviation College saga which I can firmly say was not an isolated case. It is high time we consider the true value of knowledge versus having a certificate of purported knowledge.

Talent has been a big earner in recent years compared to main stream employment. It may be more beneficial to your child to learn table tennis than to know complex mathematics, physics or chemistry. You can teach your child to be articulate during communication and then make them as talented as they can be in whatever they like.

By home schooling, you will not only be doing your child a favor to enjoy their God given rights but also you will alter society’s perspective towards future generation education making the world a better place.

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Posted by Timothy II Aperit

True believer in numbers. Statistics never lie. Bsc Financial Engineering MBA Finance ACCA