• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Economic Crunch: Parents move children from private to public schools in Kwara

Schools reopen as teachers suspend strike in Akwa Ibom

Some parents in Ilorin, Kwara State have said they have moved their children from private to public schools as a result of economic challenge in the country.

Those who spoke to our correspondent also disclosed that they had since adopted other measures to weather the economic storm.

On September 18, primary and secondary students returned to their various schools for 2023 academic session. But, it is not business as usual this time around for parents and guardians who are saddled with the responsibilities of providing their needs, ranging from school fees, stationaries, school uniforms, among other things.

Although children are happy to move into new classes, parents are disturbed or strained to manage the situation owing to economic crunch biting hard presently in the country.

Some parents who spoke to BDSunday in Ilorin the Kwara State capital, expressed dismay as they are not finding it easy to weather the storm.

Many parents have changed schools for their children, and those that are maintaining it said they have to adjust, pleading with school authorities to bear with them in terms of giving enough time than before to pay the school fees.

Irati-Oluwa Ahmad, who has four children explained that, “this time is very tough for me, although, my husband pays school fees, I do get my children school bags, food flask and shoes every new session but now; I can’t afford it. I managed to get two of them bags and bought shoes for the younger ones.

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“Those with new bags will be using old shoes while those with new shoes are with old bags. In fact, four of them will continue with their old food flasks. Text books are also there. It is really pathetic the way things are right now, but we will keep praying to God Almighty to ease all our pains.”

Abdulwahab Umar, a civil servant said: “We have re-prioritised our priorities. First, children attending schools where they need to take transport have been withdrawn to nearby schools. So, I don’t need to pay for school bus or high transport fare again. That is one; two, we are contemplating to enrol our son that is in Primary five into public school to write his Common Entrance next year. That way, we will save a lot from school fees that would have been paid in the private school for first term, second term and third term.

“My advice is that the school owners should be considerate and stop arbitrary increment in school fees. Parents should also be allowed to purchase text books from book shops that can sell at affordable prizes rather than making it compulsory in their schools.

“Government on the other hand should improve on workers’ salaries so that they can have more money for their obligations. Public schools as well should be repositioned to provide qualitative education, because that will reduce exploitation by
private school owners.”

Bukola Sadiku, a mother of two submitted that, “My children have not even started going to school because I have to change it for them. For JSS1, the school fees is N230,000. That is too expensive for me because they are two and I am the one catering for their education. So, they will continue in another school that is cheeper than that. We plead with school proprietors and proprietresses to reason with us.”

Babatunde Isiak said: “I have to move my children school to public, ordinary school bus fee has increased to N25000 per student and I have three children there, I can’t afford it. I think changing their school is the best and last solution for me because, the school management won’t listen to your plight.”