As primary and secondary schools prepare to reopen across the nation for the upcoming academic session in September, parents find themselves in a state of distress due to the mounting pressure they face in sending their children back to school. This distress arises from increased school fees and the rising costs of essential items.
While parents recognize that September typically brings with it significant expenses related to school resumption, they lament the additional strain caused by the removal of the petrol subsidy just three months ago, a decision attributed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Jude Nwajei, a tricycle (keke) rider in Asaba, Delta State, expresses his financial dilemma as he grapples with the prospect of paying the new fees for his three children in primary and secondary schools. He mentions that the increase in school fees coincides with a decline in his income as a keke rider, primarily due to the rising price of petrol.
Other parents in Asaba, such as Ben Onyeji, share similar sentiments, unable to afford the newly announced fees for their children’s education. Onyeji contemplates transferring his children to schools with lower fees, even if it means compromising on educational quality.
Marcel Echinile emphasizes that the removal of the petrol subsidy has added unnecessary tension and pressure to his life. He was unable to pay his children’s school fees last term and now faces the challenge of covering the fees for the upcoming term.
In Calabar, Cross River State, Emmanuel Itu, a civil servant, has sleepless nights worrying about how he will manage to pay school fees, purchase books, and meet other educational expenses for his four children. With a monthly salary of less than N100,000, the substantial increase in school fees in federal government schools adds to his financial burden.
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A widow, Grace Iwuala, contemplates selling some of her belongings to afford her children’s school fees in this challenging economic environment, worsened by the removal of the fuel subsidy.
Sandra Igiri, a mother in Calabar, discusses the substantial bills she received from her daughter’s school for first-term fees. The costs include tuition, books, uniforms, sports attire, daywear, laboratory fees, and Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) fees, making it difficult for many parents to cope.
In Abuja, Roseline Agboola requires about N500,000 to cover school fees for her three children. Amos Bulus notes the overwhelming situation, with school fees for his daughters in senior and junior secondary classes seeing substantial increases, along with the school bus fees.
Samuel Ogbu calls on the government to provide affordable and accessible education options to ease the financial burden on families. He shares his struggle to pay increased school fees and the resulting financial strain.
Awoniyi Salau expresses concerns about the widening educational inequality gap and the potential for more children to drop out of school if the economic hardships persist.
In Ekiti State, school fees and textbook prices have seen significant increases, leaving parents worried about the financial implications.
Oluwatuyi Thomas reveals that his children’s private school raised fees from N45,000 to N70,000 per term, despite stagnant worker salaries.
In Ondo State, fees for primary and secondary schools have increased across the board, particularly for schools offering shuttle bus services and boarding facilities.
In Osun State, parents face the rising cost of education as schools increase fees and the prices of textbooks go up.
The escalating costs have left many parents struggling to meet these financial demands.
In Ibadan, Oyo State, the proprietor of a private secondary school anticipates a low turnout of students due to financial difficulties faced by their parents.
In Enugu State, parents like Mike Nweze are racing to settle fees for their children, with some contemplating transferring their children to government-owned schools.
In Lagos State, parents are grappling with increased fees and the soaring cost of living. Some, like Alex Bamidele, are facing steep hikes in school bus fees, which only add to their financial burden.
The overall sentiment among parents is one of financial strain, and many are looking to the government for relief in the educational sector.