Parents groan under recession as new academic session begins

Pupils of Ibukunola Memorial Nursery/Primary School, Mafoluku-Oshodi, at the assembly ground during their resumption for the new academic session in Lagos... yesterday. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

Pupils of Ibukunola Memorial Nursery/Primary School, Mafoluku-Oshodi, at the assembly ground during their resumption for the new academic session in Lagos… yesterday. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

Get flexible terms of fees’ payment

Academic activities commenced in most schools across the country for the 2016/2017 session yesterday amid the economic challenges confronting parents and guardians.

A visit by The Guardian to some schools in Lagos metropolis showed a scanty population of students with some teachers.

At Divine Knowledge School, Egbeda, some parents were seen comparing the tuition bills from other schools, to decide where to enroll their children. Some were discussing with the school proprietress on terms of payment, while others were purchasing stationery.

A parent, Mrs. Owolabi Ronke whose four children attend the school complained about the challenges of paying the tuition bills and buying textbooks for her kids.

“This is why I’m waiting to see the proprietress to discuss my predicament with her. Whether we should start with part-payment of the tuition fees for my four kids or to purchase the textbooks first. But a lot of people are waiting to see her. I would continue waiting. This is a period of favour for me and my family. This hardship will not see our end, we will see the end of it,” she stated.

Another parent, Mr. Fredrick Ekwueme, lamented the level of hardship in the country. He said: “The situation was caused by the lack of plan by both past and current leaders. Now we are caught in the middle, there is no money anywhere, and this is not the best time to approach people for financial aid. But by the grace of God, we shall overcome.”

At New Life Private School, Abaranje, Ikotun, only a few students attended the morning assembly session.

The school proprietress, Mrs. Gbemisola Emiebor, who had earlier announced that the school would relax its rules on fees collection this session, said:
“The turnout is not high as it used to be. I have seen majority of my students, but some of them are not here now even though they attended the holiday coaching programme.”

There was however, a high turnout of pupils and enrolment of new students at Amville School, Ilupeju.

According to the Executive Director of the school, Mrs. Mosun Owo-Odusi: “Almost 90 per cent of our children are back in school, some new students joined us as well. We had our Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) meeting where we discussed more flexible terms of payment and our parents are happy with the arrangement.

“The truth is that the economic recession is biting hard. I see fathers break in tears when they calculate everything they have to pay every term. Many of them have two or three children at the primary stage, some in secondary schools. What I saw was anxiety, people are anxious because they don’t know the outcome of all this. We need a team of economic experts to tackle this national challenge head-on.”

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