I am a married man with two lovely kids. At 27, I work in a call centre and earn reasonably well.
Currently, I live in a rented house with my family but now I am thinking of buying my own home. However, I want to send my kids to excellent schools at the same time where they can get the best possible education and have a bright future. In fact, it has always been my ambition is to send them abroad once they complete their college.
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My family is everything to me. I want to give them the best lifestyle. Watching them grow in their own house and sending them to excellent academic institutions is my dream. However, sadly, I can afford to pay for either our own house or their education, if a choice is given to me.
If I buy my own house, I will not be able to send my kids to good schools and if I opt to send my kids to good academic institutions, I will not be able to buy my own house.
I have been deliberating on this issue for the past four months and so far, have been unable to take a decision. What do you suggest? Please tell me, what should I do?
A loving father
Dear loving father,
It is touching to read about your story and heartening to know how much you care about your family, their future and their happiness. Kudos for that. Your family is indeed lucky to have you as a support for them.
It is a sad reality of our country that students are forced to achieve quality education in expensive private academic institutions, whether they are schools, colleges or universities. As a result, helpless parents end up paying an exorbitant sum of money for their kids’ education.
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It is also true that government academic institutions – schools and a majority of the colleges – unfortunately, do not offer the same standards of education as the private ones offer. Very few government schools and universities that do offer decent education usually have many students already trying to enrol for an academic year. The competition to get into these institutions is quite tough unless one picks the self-financing option, which again is an expensive selection.
As you have very clearly asked for my suggestion in your case, I would strongly suggest you to spend your money on your children’s education and trust me, there are several reasons to do so.
If your kids choose to get quality education within Pakistan, it would be easier for them to get admission abroad in reliable universities. This, in turn, will hopefully help them land in good jobs, either in Pakistan or abroad. Once they start earning well themselves, they can always go for buying their own homes.
On the other hand, if you buy your house now instead, you will be unable to send your kids to reputable academic institutions. Then the chances are more that they will get average education only and then will ultimately find average jobs, most probably in Pakistan. This might lead them not to be able to have the life that you always wanted for them.
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Note: This does not mean that people who have received or are receiving average education in Pakistan have not done well or cannot do well in the future. What I mean here is that it takes much longer to build a good career, if academically we are not strong.
It is not the case always, but I have come across many cases where I have seen fathers building houses at the expense of their children’s education. And, later, when the fathers passed away, their kids – later grown-ups – struggled in their lives with low-paying jobs. Usually, they end up selling their fathers’ houses and dividing the money up between them. That money was never enough for them to lead comfortable lives for the rest of their lives and finished soon, leaving the children back at square one.
In the end, I hope whatever decision you take, it turns out for the best for you, your family and kids.
Asad is a counsellor, life coach, inspirational speaker and a personal-development expert. He advises on social, personal and emotional issues. You can send him your questions for this weekly column at [email protected] with “Ask Asad” mentioned in the subject line and provide as many details as possible.
Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Express Tribune.
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