Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Do poor families have the same opportunies as affluent families?

Inequality in our education system

There is a lot of inequality in Australia. Despite being classified as an advanced and wealthy nation, we still have a lot of poor and financially struggling familes as opposed to super wealthy families.

During a dinner catchup with a friend, one of the conversation topic was, "everyone has equal opportunity to change their life", regardless of whether you're from a poor or an affluent background. 

Although the concept of equal opportunity sounds reasonable, in reality the application is significantly unequal. Poorer families live in disadvantaged neighbourhoods where there are thugs, druggies, a higher ratio of unemployed adults, people bumming around on the street, a lot of theft, car burglars and generally unsavoury characters milling around the area.

Affluent families send their kids to after school and/or weekend tutoring, music lessons, a lot of extracurricular sports such as rowing and snow sports. 

Teens drop out of school a lot earlier, a lot of them don't continue onto higher tertiary education. 

In NSW we have four types of schools:
  1. Public Schools - government run
  2. Private Schools - privately operated
  3. Selective Schools - government run for academically gifted students
  4. Catholic, Christian, Muslim etc Schools - religious denominational schools
All schools receive government funding, however Private Schools charge exhorbitant enrolment fees on top. We all have equal opportunities, however some have more advantages than others. 

Can you afford to send your kids to Private School? 

Have a look at the school fees that Private Schools charge per student, although there may be family discount that applies if there are at least two or more siblings enrolled.

If you had the typical two kids, you would have to pay around $324,000 more or less, before they finished high school. A lot of these Private Schools provide iPads for their students. A lot of them also list laptops as compulsory.

Money still can't buy intellect or academic superiority, it does buy contacts though and networking. At the end of the day, it is still the selective schools that dominate the rankings in terms of academic performance and ranking. Selective schools are free if parents elect not to pay the voluntary $150(or thereabouts) school fees.

School NameSchool Fees for 2011
Scotts College$28,296
SCEGGS Darlinghurst$27,405
King's School$26,091
Sydney Grammar$25,776
Trinity Grammar$25,330
SCECGS Redlands$25,300
PLC Sydney$24,110
Pymble Ladies College$23,700
Knox Grammar$23,430
Barker College$23,370
St Andrews$23,133
MLC Burwood$22,420
Kincoppal Rose Bay$22,290
Roseville College$21,105
Loreto Normanhurst$18,256

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