Cost of Education II: The Price of Private Education

A friend once said that it’s important for her children to attend these “high class” schools so that they can interact with children with “high network.” That these networking is important so that in the future, they may have the connection they need. True? Maybe. However it got me thinking: what is the value of education? What is the motivation for sending your children to schools or expensive schools? To satisfy your fear of their future or that they truly learn? What is the value of education, or connection to an undeveloped mind?

EducationThe true value of education should be beyond the certificate, or the connection. I think. It is important to be street-wise, to know that the outside world is not for the weak. That there are still some things that only their “value” can get them. And really, I am not sure this is taught in any school.

I find it hard to believe that there are children who have never left Lagos Island. Some parents say that they do not want their children to mix with some kind of children, to mix with the kind of children that attend public schools? Seriously? The question is do we want to build complete children who can empathise with others’ pains or only those who see the world through the tinted glasses?  The possible price of private education here is that they are likely half-baked or burnt on one side, while the other side of their lives are left, not nurtured. The thing is that by virtue of the schools they attend, they tend to relate with “a set” of people. It is important that you take extra efforts to let them see that life is beyond Cartoon Network and trips to UK. Those are good too!

Even in Nigeria, there are schools that cost so much yet some parents decide to send their children abroad for better education. I once heard a joke; I like to believe it’s a joke. I heard that these days when Nigerian parents pay these “Euros or pounds” in these foreign schools, they still ask: is there anything else I can pay so that s/he is treated well? Sighs. So, many of these administrators in these schools have a perception that we have so much oil money, all of us. Sincerely, it has made me wonder something about us, as Nigerians, we do not have good roads yet we can afford the best cars, the latest brands in the world; the education system is crappy yet we can afford foreign education. “We” here, is very subjective. We let the mess continue, and then, find a way around it. Sighs. Money may only buy temporary comfort for a while, money can only shield children from the realities of life for a while. When push comes to shove, we are all in this mess together.

The point of this article is don’t assume that you pay so much for their education; don’t assume that paying so much would be enough. The point is that you should be sincerely interested in their education. Take time to study with them. Check their assignments. Notice for strange behaviours. Talk to your child. Don’t teach them that money can buy everything, truth is money can’t buy everything. Be sincerely concerned about your child’s education. Education is power. It is also beyond the walls of a school. There are loads of ways you can teach your children about life, about things that are never and can never taught in any school.

I guess that’s what education should truly be about!

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