School fees on the rise – The ‘BUSINESS’ of Education

Reviewing this trend and I’m yet to ‘get the hang of it’ (as my son would say). Many years ago, our parents paid reasonable school fees; their options included good private, public and federal government schools. I am afraid the choices are now rather difficult relative to value and affordability.

Today, some schools sell infrastructure, facade and exploit unemployment situations in the country to the fullest. Imagine a situation where a graduate of Yoruba language teaches physical education along with his subject. In some of these schools, if you cannot take two or three subjects as a teacher, there goes your appointment. Teachers teach just to get paid.

Many parents are having to break-the-bank to pay fees of schools considered worthy of their children. Good education is expensive no doubt but does it have to be that expensive? Is it commensurate to the value of ‘education’ you get? There will always be expensive schools but it is hoped that they embody the full value of the cost on teacher quality, teacher-training, top-notch textbooks, world-class extra curricular activities and amenities.

I think that many school owners/administrators have no business being in the sector in the first place. They embellish fees probably in guise of extra curricular activities and programs such as after-school clubs, some excursions, parties, mothers day, fathers day, etc. Some school uniforms are more expensive than ‘choice’ clothes for kids. Overall, they fall short of their claims.

Check the payroll of their average teacher. It is surprisingly a far cry from what is expected hence they cannot claim they have employed the best hands. However, a handful of schools are doing well in terms of remuneration. Some include monetary incentives alongside awards of excellence.

There aren’t many good teachers who are products of expensive schools. I have heard people say that they will get into the ‘school business’ because it is now a cash cow……very worrying! No wonder some of us teachers refuse to succumb to teaching in just any school! The reason is because we know on a first hand basis that their vision is not basically to impart knowledge but to take advantage of less informed parents who can afford it.

It is even more surprising to note that pre-university education overseas is less in monetary terms and you get a better deal. So what is going on? Who do we lay the blame on? I see many parents complaining, but how can we help?

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  1. In this case, I put the blame solely on the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I went to a federal government secondary school and during my time if you attended a private school you were regarded as a “dodoyo” (failure in school). There was a lot of prestige that came with federal schools. Now the reverse is the case. Because of the lack of maintenance of the public schools (academic and administrative) the standards have fallen greatly thereby creating a gap for every and any individual or group to start a school and charge any amount without even living up to their expectations…. I can go on and on…. Its quite sad…*sigh*

    1. Sisieko I’m afraid but you are 100% right. I went to a federal govt schl as well and it was the pride and joy for most parents to get their kids in such schls. What can we say but that these schools have come to stay. I guess we all have to work harder. I’m just tired.

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