Hard Times: Parents open up, start withdrawing kids from private schools
As school children resume from the long vacation, investigations by Vanguard revealed that parents have commenced withdrawing their children from private schools to public ones, attributing their action to the present harsh economic situation in the country.
Parents, who spoke on the issue, lamented the bad economic situation, with proprietors stating that since resumption their schools have been witnessing a low turnout of returning pupils.
Mrs. Gladys Adewumi, whose three children were in Living Joy Nursery and Primary School, said she withdrew two of her children from the private school to a public school when it was apparent her husband could not cope financially.
Mrs. Adewumi said:
“I operate a beauty salon, my husband is a plumber and we have three children in a private school. For about a year now, due to low jobs my husband has not been able to meet financial responsibility to the family, which led to over N100,000 indebtedness to the school.
“To reduce the financial burden, we agreed to remove two of our children from the private school to a government school at Elepe. The challenge I may encounter now is the distance between our home and the school, which is about five miles.”
School owners speak
On his part, the proprietor of Gosfat Nursery and Primary School, Mr. Gosfat, lamented that “the recession has affected every home.”
Regretting the heavy toll it has had on his private school, Gosfat said: “Most parents have withdrawn their children and wards and taken them to public schools despite the fact that our fees are low.
“Last term, because of the economic situation, I reduced my school fees by 100 percent. Yet, many parents still find it difficult to pay.
“The only reason they (parents) are giving me is that there is no money. We have the same market system. What affects the top, affects the bottom. This new term alone, I have lost over 20 of my students as a result of the recession. This has never happened before.”
However, the Proprietor of Tob Land Nursery and Primary School, disclosed that almost 75 percent of the parents are unable to pay their kids school fees and provide stationeries due to the recession.
The school administrator also said that he could not increase tuition fees as a result of the country’s present ailing economy.
He said: “Right now, parents have withdrawn their children to public schools. About 15 students from my school have been taken to public schools. Some parents are even trying to give their children double promotions and if you do not do that for them, they will take their wards to other schools.”
‘We went round encouraging parents’
The Proprietor of Desoar Nursery & Primary School, Mr Samuel Ojo, who lamented the devastating effects of the recession, noted that even after the long vacation, many students are yet to resume.
His words: “Having had the foresight of the austerity, I and my staff had gone to some parents, encouraging and instilling hope in them. We will still go back to them again, because I know many are planning to take their children to public school.”
The situation was similar at Wiseman Generation School. The school proprietress, Mrs Peace Omar, said that many students were yet to resume from vacation, saying the situation is not unconnected to the recession in Nigeria.
Mrs Omar said: “I know of a parent who has withdrawn her child to a public school. As a result of the current economic hardship, we have decided not to increase school fees, yet parents are not satisfied. The last time we added N2,000 to the school fees, parents complained.”