Parents Choose Education over Healthcare Needs!
Research has shown that many East Asian families are spending more and more on education for their children to ensure a secure future for them. Andrew Kipnis, an anthropologist at Australian National University, is worried about the amount being spent on education and calls the excessive spending ‘Extreme’.
Mr Kipnis states:
“Families are spending less on other things. There are many cases of rural parents not buying healthcare that their doctors urge on them… Part of the reason is that they would rather spend the money on their children’s education. Parents may be forced to put off building a new house, which they might have been able to do otherwise. It can be very intense. They often borrow from relatives. Of course some people have difficulty paying it back,”
South Korea is just one of the countries consumed by the ‘education fever’. Rather than celebrate this dedication to study, the South Korean Government is seriously worried about the amount of debt their citizens are getting into, to pay for their children’s education.
Examples of this ‘education fever’ include: using money put aside for essential healthcare needs; excessive borrowing without any means of paying the money back; selling apartments and even asking grandparents to grant tuition fee ‘gifts’ to help fund the ever growing educational costs of their young.
Lao Keisheng, an education policy researcher at Capital Normal University in Beijing is worried that the early pressures placed on children may have long term damaging effects on them as well as on the financial future of their families. Many other social academics in China are also concerned with the amount of parents dropping healthcare insurance to pay for education fees. Governments throughout south-east Asia have already begun discussing plans on how to discourage parents from using such short term strategies to pay the costs of education plans, whilst ignoring their own health or retirement needs.