School Resumption: Parents Withdraw Children From Private To Public Schools
It appears many Lagos parents may not be able to afford the high tuition in private schools as the government announced resumption date for pupils across the state.
Some of the parents who spoke to Echonews lamented high increase in tuition of the private schools due to the current inflation.
On Tuesday, Lagos State Government directed all schools below the tertiary level to resume on Monday, September 4, 2023, in compliance with the Year 2023/2024 Harmonised Academic School Calendar as approved by the Lagos State Ministry of Basic Education.
The Director-General of the Office of Education Quality Assurance (OEQA), Mrs. Abiola Seriki-Ayeni said this as she urged all schools to ensure strict compliance with the resumption date for the delivery of quality and sustainable education in Lagos State.
She also enjoined Proprietors and School Administrators to ensure strict compliance with the Lagos State Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy, stressing that there must be full compliance with all safety protocols on school premises for a safe learning environment, as the State Government remains committed to the delivery of quality education.
However, the announcement had sent panic to many parents who might not be able to pay the tuition in private schools as they demanded palliatives from the government to augment their meagre incomes.
A parent, Mrs. Adebimpe Laoye who has one of her children in a private school at Olowora area of Lagos said that her child had since been enrolled at the State Model Junior College, Igbonla for her secondary education.
According to her, the private school tuition was raised from N150,000 to about N250,000 per term, adding “We cannot afford it. I will be paying far lower than N150,000 at Igbonla.
Investigation by our correspondent showed that almost all private schools in Lagos had increased their fees, including boarding, buses and medicals fees to meet up with the new economic challenges.
It was also gathered that some of the schools had jacked up the salaries of their teachers as palliatives to ameliorate the high cost of living and to meet up with the pay rise it has become imperative for the school owners to also hike the fees.
Another parent, Mr. Ayo Adejumo, spoke about the high cost of books, which to him is another major challenge as schools resume in Lagos. To him, things are hard.
Adejumo said he was at Lagos Television premises a few weeks ago, perhaps the organisation would stage its annual bookfair but was disappointed that there was nothing of such this year.
“I bought my children books at the LTV bookfair at reduced price in the previous years but it’s unfortunate that we don’t have the opportunity” this year, Adejumo stated.
Speaking to Echonews, a book and stationery store operator, Mr. Christian Ekpe at Alausa Ikeja said that parents had not started coming to buy books for their children but with the announcement of resumption date, they will soon visit the bookshops.
“Many of our parents keep books nowadays and transfer it from older children to the younger ones. Everything is costlier now. What we sold at N800 last term is now about N1200.
He called on Lagos state government to expand its palliatives to cover every household. “Things are hard my brother. I agree that many parents will withdraw their children from private to public schools,” he said.