Any moment from next month, public and private primary and secondary school students will go back to school to start 2019/2020 academic session.
Some parents are already apprehensive about resumption because of the money that it involves both as school fees and other miscellaneous expenses.
However, how are parents preparing for resumption? What strategy can parents (including schools owners) adopt to overcome late payment of school fees?
In this piece, some parent’s share how they are preparing for new school year and strategies they want to adopt to get their children’s school fees settled on time to avoid embarrassment or friction with school authorities. Some parents also gave reasons for their inability to pay fees at once, and had to plead with schools for installment payment.
Mrs. Ayanpitan Folake Igbadun remarks: “It is well. The main thing is setting priority right. The way you can’t do without food and airtime so is it to school. Looking at the economy of Nigeria I will advise parents to join quarterly contributions so as to meet from with their children fees.”
Another parent, Mrs. Kemi Cecillia Osifeso says: “Multiple streams of income are required in Nigeria today. But majority of people have been conditioned to die in a job. Affiliate marketing is a great side hustle which ends up paying you more than civil service jobs in Nigeria. But they will tell you “I hate referral business”, great…wallow in scarcity and lack. There are many affiliate marketing businesses you can start with little money. Even Jay Shetty recommends affiliate marketing as a source of side hustle, but what do I know. As long as my kids’ school fees are paid during the holidays without hassles, I’m good.”
Mrs. Oluwatoyin Musa explains: “If you are monthly income earner, have agreements with the school management to allow you pay monthly. For instance, if your child’s school fee is N100,000, you can pay 40% before resumption while the balance can be staggered into 30% each payable before exam begins.”
Mrs. Beere Mo, a school owner advises: “Schools should provide the option of flexible payment plans. Parents should plan to pay in patterns that are comfortable for their income rather than wait to pay a bulk that becomes cumbersome.
As a school owner, Mrs. Beere however says that: “In my school, if I have supported you with flexible plan and you still owe, I call you into a meeting and advise that you withdraw your kids to a cheaper school. A spot will always be available when tides turn and you wish to return. That way everyone is happy, including kids who don’t have to feel embarrassed having to stay home.
Omaliko Patric calls on parents to have a personal agreement with school owner of monthly or weekly payment then stand by it.
The principal of a private school in Iyana-Ipaja, Lagos is of the opinion that stakeholders, especially parents and school managements should evolve strategies through regular sensitization of parents on how best to plan for their children’s education to avoid misunderstanding.”
Mr. Ike Anthony on her part says: “Parents should know that “school no dey give brain”. So they should choose a school within their income bracket. The school calendar is known and broken into three terms, so they should work out a payment schedule and follow it. Lastly, parents should realize that their children’s education is the best investment they are making, so they should joyfully make the required sacrifices. Does this sound harsh? Maybe. But that’s the reality.”
Olori Desola Oguntayo, however says that: “I don’t plan mine; I just pay before or on the day of resumption. My children are in a school that is affordable to me, I cut my clothe according to the yards of the clothe.”
A parent who does not want his name mentioned said he has four children in private schools. He therefore urged that school managements should bear with parents that are unable to pay fees en bloc until the end of the month when salaries are paid either through documented undertakings. He continues: “Both school management and parents must consider the economic reality on ground. I have four children in private schools and I pay their fees in installments. Last term, their fees was N87, 000; I was able to pay N65,000 at the beginning of the term and balanced up before they sat for second term examinations.
Mrs. Chioma Rosemary Enefazu Olawale submits: “One of the things I love about my husband is how he goes about payments of school fees. Once school closes for the term, he is already started savings for the next term school fees; he will join a mini saving scheme in the office with his colleagues, and then makes sure he picks the last batch of payment. He has been doing that for over six years now, and it is really been helpful so much so that we pay up everything within the first and second week of resumption, for all my three kids. They have no reason whatsoever to be chased out of school for nonpayment.”
An educator who prefers to remain anonymous remarks: “Planning is essential by the parents. First term is a bit better because there is six to seven weeks holiday before resumption; parents have a bit of time to plan better. But second and third terms only have about three weeks holiday before each resumption. Parents should prioritize school fees as they do for house rent. Some parents take co-operative loan for a year school fees for their children. Some schools accept half payment at resumption and the rest before half term. If parents can have arrangement in place to keep money for school fees, it will be helpful in an ideal home. However, the economy is a factor affecting people.
Augustine Emoekpere posits: “Parents should learn to pay by installments. Schools should be realistic enough to accept such payments. We should not give ourselves unnecessary headaches.”