Our Minister of Education, Naftali Bennett, announced this week the impressive results regarding the increase in the number of students taking five yechidot of Mathematics — the highest level offered.
Math is undoubtedly a critical key to career and economic success.
As a student in Canada, I loved Math, and even scored so well on the University of Waterloo Junior Mathematics Contest in Grade 11, that my school Yeshivat Bnei Akiva placed as one of the top schools in the Province of Ontario.
The field called Math is very broad and includes sub-topics such as Algebra, Geometry, Calculus and Trigonometry.
These subjects are very enriching and intellectually stimulating.
What is equally or even more important, is knowing how to apply the math skills learned.
This is especially true in the field of personal economics.
I have met many people who despite high math scores unfortunately could not differentiate between a plus and a minus sign on their bank account statement.
Others could not figure out how much interest they are paying every month on the loans they took out.
Many neglected to note the totals on their multiple credit card statements.
And so, my dear Naftali, please consider teaching our children another 5 yechidot of Mathematical Life Skills:
- Add up all your expenses and all your income, and make sure that your income is greater than your expenses.
- Subtract a few impulse purchases and food-on-the-go from your routine, and watch your savings grow.
- Multiply your monthly army salary by the number of months you will be serving, and see what a huge amount can be waiting for you when you are released.
- Divide your income into two – spend half now and put half away for the future.
- Calculate how much interest you will earn if you save money regularly, and get going with smart investing.
Financial health is really just basic Math. The hard part is changing habits. That’s why we need to educate our young people to avoid being tempted by the overdraft habit to which most Israelis have succumbed. Overdraft and debt are only a few steps away from financial and personal ruin.
Naftali, I’m sure that together we can implement effective financial education for the sake of our children’s prosperous future!