Private school operators especially in Abuja are shylock beings, they fleece parents to their marrow with exorbitant fees. Tragically, while they charge huge, they pay their staff pittance.
It doesn‘t make any economic sense to charge a child going to Junior Secondary School N400,000 at a time take home pay of a civil servant is barely a N100,000! To compound their exploitations, they ban the repeat of textbooks; who does that? You are moulding students, you are exploiting their parents. In our days, books were transferred from generation to generation, today, educational planners connive with school operators to design books that are exclusively meant for one pupil.
My daughter cried that I would be changing her school, and I explained to her that life is not lived spending above your means. Her old school is charging higher fee while another school in the same estate is charging half fee. And the me in me is taking my daughter there. Learning is universal as there is no template for measuring best schools. You can make your child best when you also educate them yourself. After all, we went to public school and here we are competing with those who went to the best schools in Abuja. Don‘t let anyone burden you. sadly, some parents fall te the gimmick that the quality of a school is determined by amount of fees – they are the classy parents living in denial because they wanted to be ostentatious and classy.
It just doesn‘t make sense to be paying much while teachers in these private schools are paid peanuts. Count me out. Elizabeth Chono, a teacher in one of the private schools here in the FCT bemoaned thus how they laboured for school owners but paid peanuts. „ You see I am a teacher by profession, I work with a private school but what we are being paid is peanut compared to what the children pay, but in all, we give our all to the children cause her heart won‘t allow us not to give the children the best …. Honestly private school teachers are paying through their nose and we bearly have time for ourselves.“
Oluwasemiye Micheal, a parent succinctly captured what would be the opinions of many parents who are fleeced by private school owners, ‚We are our own enemies. I went to school in the village both primary and secondary. Some of my lessons were taught in my mother tongue. I learned more than books. I learned values, discipline, hard work, love, respect, courage, time management, teamwork, and punishment. I have travelled the world and shared stage with colleagues who attended global stage schools, we are not disappointing.
Today, we pay more but get less. My son attended public primary school and public secondary school. He queried my decision in the beginning and I explained to him that whatever system that was good enough to make me, I will proudly put him through the same. He passed his final exams first seating. He has never stopped thanking me for the journey. I didn‘t come here to live up to anybody‘s expectations. I came to live peacefully with zero pressure. People talk different things about public schools as an excuse to labour for private school owners. It is all lies. The basic truth is competition. We are in a race against each other. Class race. Same reason we carry two phones and change them to new versions even when the one we have is still as new, the same reasons we all live in houses we borrow to maintain, the same reason we buy cars we can‘t afford. Racing against peace of mind just to belong“
He doesn‘t want to be in the club that glorifies class, Micheal is a realist who wants real education for his child and not to run in the race of those paying through their nose to have their children in the most expensive schools. And the dispositions of these classy parents are the catalyst that motivates private school owners to respond to the pulses of their ego by charging fees exorbitantly.
The authority must be sincere in addressing the primitive quest by school owners to enrich themselves at all costs. Education mustn‘t be gotten in tears but in a commensurate measure where parents and their wards can be eager to invest. Efforts to revive public schools must be reactivated so that parents can send their children to these schools thus reducing the fleecing menace of private school owners. Education is key but it must not be acquired using tears and blood.