Public education is a core element of ensuring a nation’s prosperous future. However, modern education is not caught up with the drastic changes occurring in the world. Public schools do not teach people about managing personal finances, psychological health, and habits, promoting well-being and happiness. Therefore, it is necessary to implement a set of changes into public education in order to solve a nation’s most critical problems, such as the opioid crisis, chronic diseases, mass shootings, and financial instability.
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One of the first things that a child needs to learn in school is to take care of his or her own health and well-being. Public schools need to educate students on the dangers of unhealthy eating and lack of moderate exercise. The class does not have to be a nutrition and dietetics session but introduces the basics of calorie counting and estimating the nutritional value of foods.
In addition, public education needs to provide students with essential tools to prevent widespread depression and other forms of mental illnesses. It is stated that depression can be caused by social factors, such as oppression (Neitzke, 2016). Therefore, students need to understand the importance of human decency and empathy. This will prevent any possibility of mass shootings and school shootings, which are mostly triggered by social factors.
Lastly, public schools should teach students about personal finance management in order to partially solve severe levels of wealth inequality. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed that many individuals lack savings, which can be the result of a multitude of factors. However, educating people from childhood about the basics of money management can result in a generation with minimum bankruptcies and financial failures. The majority learn about managing personal finances on their own or from parents, and thus, such an education can be a solution to wealth inequality, because wealthy parents pass on better knowledge than parents in poverty.
In conclusion, it is important to understand that public education should undergo a drastic change in order to raise healthy, wealthy, and mentally stable individuals. This can be considered as a long-term solution to the current problems of the prevalence of chronic diseases, mass shootings, and financial instabilities. A generation of people with sufficient finances, decent health, and a good mental state can trigger the domino effect, where they raise even better children.
Neitzke, A. B. (2016). An illness of power: Gender and the social causes of depression. Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, 40, 59-73.