An investigative report conducted by Vanguard has revealed that Nigerian parents have commenced withdrawing their children from private schools to public ones, attributing their action to the harsh economic situation in the country, as school children resume from the long vacation.
Speaking to correspondents on Tuesday, some parents and school owners, 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 in the Ikorodu area of Lagos, 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.
“I operate a beauty salon and my husband is a plumber and we have three children in a private school. For about a year now, my husband has not been able to live up to his 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 residence and the school, which is about five miles,” Adewumi said.
School children in Lagos (Photo: Emmanuel Oshodi)
On his part, the proprietor of Gosfat Nursery and Primary School, Agege, Mr. Gosfat, lamented that “the recession has affected every home,” and regretted the heavy toll it has had on his school.
“Most parents have withdrawn their children and wards and taken them to public schools despite the fact that our fees are low.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, most 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,” Gosfat said.
However, the Proprietor of Tob Land Nursery and Primary School, Agege, disclosed that almost 75% of the parents are unable to pay their children’s school fees and for stationeries due to the recession. The school administrator also noted that he could not increase tuition fees as a result of the country’s ailing economy.
“Right now, parents have withdrawn their children to public schools.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,” He said.
Also, the Proprietor of Desoar Nursery and Primary School, Ikorodu, Mr. Samuel Ojo, who lamented the devastating effects of the recession, noted that even after the long vacation, many students are yet to resume.
“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,” he said.
The situation was similar at Wiseman Generation School, Ikorodu. The school proprietress, Mrs Peace Omar, said that many students were yet to resume from vacation, adding that the situation was not unconnected to the recession.
“I know of a parent who has withdrawn her child to the 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,” Mrs Omar said.