WorldRemit, a global payment company, conducted a multi-country study to determine the true cost of education in 10 countries, mining data to compare average costs of core educational equipment, including school wear, stationery, PE equipment and other miscellaneous fees.
The study reveals that the average cost to send one child back to school in the Philippines is $78 (P3,876.60). When compared alongside the country’s average fertility rate of 2.89 children per household, the total cost of sending a typical household of children back to school reaches an average of $226 (P11,232.20).
With an average annual household income in the Philippines at $3,472 (P172,558.40), which translates into a monthly income of about $289.33 (P14,389.83), the study found that the average Filipino family spends upwards of 78 percent of their total monthly income on basic supplies during the back-to-school season.
Of the 10 countries in the study, Nigerians are most impacted by the disparity between average household income, fertility rate and cost of education. The current fertility rate in Nigeria is 4.67 children per household. That means an average household can anticipate basic seasonal costs to meet or exceed $580.29, which is more than a full month’s income for 45 percent of all Nigerians.
How then do countries like the Philippines and Nigeria bridge the gap between income and cost of education? The answer is international remittances.
According to a recent consumer expectations survey, education is one of the primary reasons immigrants and overseas foreign workers send money back to their home country. Because of the high cost of education in many regions and the opportunities an education provides to a young person, it is vital for senders to be able to support those dearest to them with the gift of an education.
More than 244 million people are classified as immigrants around the world and account for large percentages of populations in countries such as the United States (14.4 percent of total population), the UK (14 percent) , Australia (30 percent) and Canada (21.9 percent) .
In these countries, where average household incomes are among the highest in the world, immigrants and overseas foreign workers are often working to support themselves whilst also supporting their families and communities back home.