AS back-to-school season is in full swing, families all over the world are preparing their children for the school year with the proper gear and tools to set them up for success.
To determine the true cost of education, WorldRemit, a global payments company, conducted a multi-country study that covered 10 countries such as the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Uganda, Tanzania, India, Nigeria and the Philippines.
It mined data from these countries to compare average costs of core educational equipment, including school wear, stationery, P.E. equipment, and other miscellaneous fees with average annual incomes and fertility rates.
The study, a copy of which was sent to FrontpagePH.com, showed that the average cost to send one child back to school in the Philippines is US$78 (P3,876.60). When compared alongside the country’s average fertility rate of 2.89 children per household, the total cost of sending a typical household of children back to school reaches an average of US$226 (P11,232.20).
With an average annual household income in the Philippines of US$3,472 (P172,558.40), which translates to a monthly income of about US$289.33 (P14,389.83), the study found that the average Filipino family spends upwards of 78 percent of their total monthly income on basic supplies during the back-to-school season, the study added.
Of the 10 countries in the study, Nigerians are most impacted by the disparity between average household income, fertility rate, and cost of education. The current fertility rate in Nigeria is 4.67 children per household. That means an average household can anticipate basic seasonal costs to meet or exceed Nigerian Naira or NGN241,789.25 or US$580.29, which is more than a full month’s income for 45 percent of all Nigerians.
How then do countries like the Philippines and Nigeria bridge the gap between income and cost of education? The answer is international remittances.
According to a recent Consumer Expectations Survey (CES), education is one of the primary reasons immigrants and overseas foreign workers (OFWs) send money back to their home country. Because of the high cost of education in many regions and the opportunities an education provides to a young person, it is vital for senders to be able to support those dearest to them with the gift of an education.
More than 244 million people are classified as immigrants around the world and account for large percentages of populations in countries such as the United States (14.4 percent of total population), UK (14 percent), Australia (30 percent) and Canada (21.9 percent).
In these countries, where average household incomes are amongst the highest in the world, immigrants and overseas foreign workers are often working to support themselves whilst also supporting their families and communities back home. And for the nearly 250 million people who live in different countries than their families, education is one of the primary reasons to send money back to their home country.
To learn more about the study and see full results, visit: https://www.worldremit.com/en/back-to-school.