Few days ago, a friend of mine aired her sentiments about her child’s exorbitant School fees on Facebook. I felt her pain so much because that was exactly what was brewing on my mind. I had so much to say so I just couldn’t drop a short comment, so I sent her a personal message. Later that day, my hubby came home and showed me this ridiculous school fees list that had gone viral. I hope this is a joke. (Sorry for the not-so-great image. That was the best I could get. Click on image to zoom)
I froze for some minutes in shock. Is this for real?!!
I just remembered how little we paid for education in my time and we turned out great. If you went to F.G.G.C Abuloma, please can you remind me how much we used to pay? I know it wasn’t much. I also remember that when the school fees was increased by say 1,000 Naira, you as a student better be scared if you come home with a regressed result for that term because parents will sing it in your ears how you are wasting their sweat. I understand there’s a difference in a decade-plus span and the curriculum is quite robust now but I didn’t expect the enormous change in fees. The age limit to be accepted has also changed. In Nigeria, you will hear about a 12 month- old child ‘writing ‘ an exam and graduating. LOL. Which I think it’s an expensive school’s way of saying, ” Come pay a lot of money while we teach your child how to babble”. Yayyy!!! *clapping frantically*
Here in Saudi Arabia, there are good International schools but these come with high fees too, ranging from 2,500 Dollars – 8,000 Dollars per term, per toddler. Convert to Naira, swallow beta spit and shout Harllerluryar! So my last visit to Nigeria, I visited a couple of schools to compare. I had some options in mind and went to inquire. I saw some affordable ones but one stood out to me with their fees. 380,000 Naira to start, almost 200,000 Naira for the subsequent term fees. Though it was relatively cheaper than that of Saudi Arabia’s, I was taken aback by the fees, so I asked why it was that high. The lady I met asked me why I didn’t ask about the curriculum first but the school fees. I told her it was my prerogative to ask for fees first. She finally gave me a breakdown of the fees and told me it was a British curriculum. I went home thinking. For just one toddler? What will happen when the others join? I even heard there were more expensive schools like the above picture depicted but I just didn’t bother with those. Yes, there are parents that can afford to pay these high fees without blinking but for us who need affordable good private schools, where can we find them? Remember, this is not peculiar to just Nigeria but I’m focusing on Nigeria because it is my country and I grew up there.
These so-called expensive schools have played on the guilt of parents who want the absolute best for their child. Oblivious to the fact that expensive school doesn’t necessarily mean ‘good school’. For a second there, think! Who heads the school? Is the person an Educationist? Or just someone’s rich wife? Oh, there’s a difference in the way these two will run the school. The former will handle the school better than the latter. You as a parent, Do you know you play a major part in teaching the child?
Some parents don’t help matters. While modest parents try to make their voices heard about the high fees and annual increase, some parents die in silence just not to be seen as one who can’t afford them. Yes, it’s now a status thing. According to one parent, they even judge each other by the schools their kids attend and even prevent their kids from playing with the “less- expensive” school kid.
I applaud some really good schools and appreciate your work put into educating a child but to relieve some Parents of this bitterness, Can you please educate us on what and what a parent is paying for? (Especially for the Early Years Learning). Parents are bitter, plus Nigeria’s economy is hard, It’s best to tell Parents what their money is going into.
So if you teach or own a school, please educate us in the comment section.
Parents, If you know of affordable schools that are exceptionally good, also say it in the comments section.
Parents who have survived this path, what should young parents look out for in a school?
Your comments would really help a lot!
Image credit: Techpoint.ng/fggc-shagamu-students
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