You might wonder how Nigerian parents are working for private schools. Tope Fasua on PremiumTimes discusses this trend in the post.
As the articles says, a “Nigerian parent will find out that it requires a phenomenal amount of money to keep the family and raise children in this age and time, especially where such a parent considers him/herself as – middle class”. We can debate whether these expenses are sustainable but we desperately need a way of reorganising our society and extricating ourselves from this spiral.
Let us start with the school fees, many Nigerians who consider themselves as middle class and have a choice will not want to send his or her child to public schools. As a result many are stuck with the private schools and the high fees that come with them. Since there is such a high demand to get children and wards into these schools, as is evidenced by the long waiting lists, fees keep climbing every year.
An average private primary school charges at least N400,000 per annum per child, some charge less, but many charge much more than this per annum. These costs do not include the other costs to cover extracurricular activities, uniforms, development fees, feeding and other high costs of living in Nigeria (let us not talk about running your own personal local Government if you want water and electricity).
We all know that our parents never had to go through this, as the writers says and indeed in my generation majority of us attended public school at least up to the University level. The public schools were historically good and produced well educated students without exerting such burdens on parents finances. [Read: How to save for Education]
Our public universities are also being avoided like the plague, the costs of private universities are equally astronomical, whether you are sending them in Country or abroad. Increasing number of our children are going to other African countries or elsewhere to get a sound education. Those who can ‘afford’ these luxuries should not count themselves lucky as it appears that the Country is sitting on a ticking time bomb. Afterall these same children need to return ‘home’ where majority of the population does not have access to good basic education.
There should be a desperate focus to #bringbackourpublicschools. Government MUST do all it can to bring public schools back to their past standards and better and Missionary schools must come back to the way they were back in the day – Queen’s College, King’s College, Methodist Boys, Anglican Girls etc. [Read: Nigerian Education Budget Inadequate]
An average Nigerian family expects to spend huge amounts on school fees and to maintain the family. Let us not forget the need for the average family to save for the future, invest, plan for retirement and plan for the rainy day.
The question is what is the answer? We cannot all ignore the need for a good public school education system and updated curriculum. There will always be those who choose to go to private schools because they can afford it, we cannot continue to ignore the fact that the private schools are not the answer to the crisis of education.