Diary Adventures of LagosMums: DALM |How Expensive is Too Expensive when it comes to Education?
Can education be too expensive?
Should you clear out your savings and future retirement plans for your child(s) education?
Are you spending what your parents spent for your entire secondary school education on one year in a private primary school?
See I don’t know anymore! I went to Queen’s College as a child! #Passonthetorch got a great education and my parents did not spend all their money!
Good Education vs. Expensive Education
Growing up my parents felt that going abroad for a masters was a good way to see the world. This going “away” was after you were mature and had earned a Bachelors Degree. Going abroad then was not seen as a need but more as a finishing school experience; you know like icing on the cake.
I still remember how dedicated I was when it came to studying and planning to scale my Common Entrance and my Interview to get into QC. On my brothers’ first day at Kings College, we all escorted him and I told my mum i would go to this school too. She explained to me that I couldn’t as it is only for boys; then she told me the top secondary school for girls was called Queen’s College. From that day I said “ok i will go to QC”, and she told “Yes you can but you will need to work hard because it is hard to get into”.
Fast forward many years later, work hard i did. I was an average student in primary school,. This was probably when I first learnt the lesson that hard work and determination pays off. I studied hard! To help me my mum turned into a lesson teacher on the matter! That year in Primary 6 I ended up getting the highest score for girls in Common Entrance in my school! #BraggingRightsWhenYouWorkHard I learnt this as a 10 year old!
Time for University
My brother is 5 years older than me, so by the time he was moving on to a new educational level, the idea for me was that I would follow. He got into Unilag and I thought I cannot wait to go to Unilag too when it is my turn.
However, AASU strikes started and Universities were being shut down. My parents had to do a quick turnaround and send my brother to University abroad. This delayed my family from moving into their dream house! My parents used the rent from the properties to fund this sudden expensive education abroad.
That was when the slide started. Slowly but surely the exodus started. After a great secondary education at the great Government schools, parents were increasingly sending children to school in the UK/US.
Everyone seemed to accept the drop in the quality of University education, parents started to send kids abroad however they could. The strikes continued, teaching standards continued to drop, we complained quietly, parents managed to find how to fund the foreign fees (exchange rate was nowhere what it is today).
Education Costs Today
But you know what? the slide has continued! More and more parents today are starting to consider sending their children abroad even for Secondary school! Those who stay are paying an arm, a leg and the whole farm in fees for private secondary schools. Parents are under so much stress when it comes to paying fees – whether local or international. The Government schools we were so proud of back then, many of us are sad at what they have become.
When I went to school in the US, I realized that many students were proud to mention what scholarship they had; either academic or skill based. Many others went to school in their states and so paid in state tuition fees which meant it was affordable!
So really the question is when is expensive too expensive? We all complain and groan under the burden of very high fees right from
primary, nursery school. By the time kids get to University most parents are in such a deep financial hole. It is almost as if we didn’t go to great schools where the fees were N20!
This is not a rant (ok maybe a little), but when will this stop? will we start considering sending children abroad from Nursery? Do we have to pay such exorbitant fees because public schools need so much work?
While we wait for things to change; at least we can start investing smartly to help manage the increasing fees! If you are not saving aggressively the rat race will feel like a roller coaster.
When it comes to saving for your chid’s education; I recommend talking to a financial advisor to set out the projected costs for your family’s needs. Set an investment plan to make your money grow. Imagine that with proper planning your interest; can pay fees. Your rent can pay for expenses. It takes planning. You can start today to plan for your child’s education. And don’t forget to nurture their gifts and talents – this can open up the world of scholarships and other opportunities for your kids.
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