Information Is Power

Tolleson's home economic classes are declining with the country's rate. The lack of these classes has an effect on young adults and has been an issue for generations.

Eyananda Ahmed, Editor

An epidemic of ignorance about personal skills has been a generational problem at Tolleson Union High. Students are graduating left and right without knowing much about personal finance or home responsibility. A recent graduate says, “I went to college not knowing how to pay my bills, let alone how to cook a decent meal. Yeah, sure, I know some things like how to wash dishes, but I don’t know enough to live by myself.” Young adults aren’t given guidebooks on what they need to know, they should be taught basic human skills such as proper hygiene or good cooking habits. Its a result of home economic classes started to have a decline in the 1960’s and it has dropped drastically in the 21st century.

National Public Radio’s(NPR) subsection called The Salt reported about the lack of home economic classes in the United States. Tove Danovich says, “In 2012 there were only 3.5 million students enrolled in family and consumer science(FCS) secondary programs, a decrease of 38 percent over a decade.” Unfortunately, Tolleson Union High takes part in these statistics.

Cooking, personal finance and how to be independent is an effect of home economic classes in high school. According to Danovich, because budget cuts, intense focus on the core subjects and shortage of qualified teachers the amount of home economic classes in the country are scarce. Students don’t know how to make basic meals, how to obtain a nutritional diet, nor how to handle a budget. Parents, who grew up learning these skills from school, now have to teach their children instead from school. Home economic classes hold potential to educate students about finances, nutritional value of food (and how it’s prepared), and basic home responsibility. The Salt says, “Carol Werhan, an FCS educator and member of the board of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, explains that cooking taught through FCS courses is more about having the confidence to experiment in the kitchen than becoming a trained chef.”

Other than home economic classes, there are large parts of adult life students do not know how to do. A senior at University High says, “When adults talk about buying investments like cars and houses, they always bring up the money aspect but never the credit, or how its used, and that is where I’m really confused.” Many students do not know how to manage and maintain money for a long period of time, such as a budget. When going into adulthood, young adults are burdened with bills, insurance, debt and mortgages that they don’t know how to pay for. Disconnects occur when students don’t understand the difference between high school jobs’ income versus a salary that can sustain a person’s livelihood.

The anonymous senior continues to say more concerns they have, “I’m concerned for the future because I don’t know how my car insurance or mortgage can affect my credit score, correctly file taxes, or to schedule doctor appointments.” Students are not getting the experience with money that they need, such as a simulation with an income and bills that they could use as practice. Because they lack experience with money, in the future they’ll have a difficult time because they have never had to be responsible for a large amount of money.

Now we cannot leave these basic adult skills to be taught by schools. Parents and students must take responsibility too. Schools should not be left to teach topics that are covered by parents. A parent’s job is to teach their child about the life struggles they’ll encounter and provide wisdom onto their children. A school’s responsibility lies within the technicalities of life, things everyone should know, such as budgeting using mathematical systems, proper knowledge of biology and first aid. That being said, sex education should a topic that both parents and schools address/explain. Parents do have a part in teaching their children about sex, however schools need to teach students about how our bodies change, function and how we should react.

Students’ responsibility in their knowledge for life skills is cooperating with their teachers and parents to learn this vital information and apply it in their teenage and adult years. Once they are given knowledge, it is entirely up to them to use that information. Although, we can only get to that point if correct information is given at all.

So whose is to blame for the recent generations’ complete disregard for their hygiene and taxes? Parents? Teachers? Students? These skills have gone out the window for classes and parents because of a multitude of factors, as mentioned before, however an important thing to recognize is that we can reteach life skills. We can bring back in-school teaching about taxes and sex education. Young adults will no longer live in this fast paced world ignorant, instead enter it with as much skills, knowledge and abilities as we can fit into them before adulthood.


Danovich, Tove. “Despite A Revamped Focus On Real-Life Skills, ‘Home Ec’ Classes Fade Away,” National Public Radio, 14 June 2018. Accessed 4 October 2018.