So I have been busy for the last 3-4 months with my son’s exams. Not that I have been taking his lessons or teaching him anything. My role was more to just be there in case he needed any support.
From being a busy corporate working woman to entrepreneur and now focussing on this role as a full time (albeit temporary) mother was quite a transition. The last few months have been an interesting and insightful journey.
Firstly, it’s not easy being a school going child in the current environment. There is so much anticipation, expectation, excitement about the 10th board exams. Right from the maid, cook, family of course, friends, distant cousins, everyone wants to know about it and are tracking the progress more than me. Of course I am thankful to receive the wishes from these wonderful people. I must admit it can get overwhelming.
Next we started receiving pamphlets and calls from various Tutorials in town asking us to take aptitude tests, counselling sessions, entrance exams, etc. Obviously they track each and every kid studying in schools and manage to get the parents numbers. This was followed by discussion with the child about what next? Science, Commerce or Humanities (it used to be called Arts during my time, atleast in Mumbai). Parents (mostly mothers) were desperately trying to understand the child’s interest areas and doing intense research on the various courses accordingly. This lead to further discussion amongst parents about which stream to choose, the various courses available, its potential etc.
Once the course stream was identified, next was the scouting for the right classes/school/college especially if the child decides on engineering or medicine. Looking for the success rate of the classes i.e. past record, talking to the professors, talking to students who passed out, infrastructure etc.
Then last came the fees to these institutions. Of course parents are willing to pay anything for their dear child. To my shock, I came to know that the high school (junior college in our times) fees ranges anywhere from Rs. 2 lacs to Rs. 5 lacs depending on the course chosen. Some classes offer discounts (called as scholarships!) based on your previous mark sheet!
So the tuition fee straight away doubles and more from 10th to 11th class. And this is just the beginning of the higher studies.
So effectively parents have keep aside around Rs. 5 lacs + for just high school (11th and 12th) incase of courses like engineering and medicine. In the case of commerce, you have to keep aside around Rs. 2 lac + as school and tuition fees.
So why am I sharing all this with you? We as parents want the best for the child, best school, best college, best classes. And all this cost money, infact a lot of money!
So start investing for your child’s education from as early as possible. If your child is 3-4 years old, you have a good 13-14 years to save and invest. The multiplier effect in the power of compounding comes from the investing time horizon; longer time horizons have a higher multiplier effect. Starting early helps you amass larger sums that may not be possible later in life. Also starting early puts a lesser burden on your finances since it requires a small outflow. Even a Rs. 5000 per month is a good start and keep enhancing this amount as your salary increases. Simply Invest Periodically!