The economic challenges facing the country is taking a toll on private primary and secondary schools across the country, especially in Lagos State as proprietors have continued to lament the inability of parents to pay their children’s school fees.
Checks by Business Hallmark revealed that an increasing number of parents are now pulling their children out from private schools and are instead opting for public ones where there is little or no charge.
Similarly, those whose children were hitherto enrolled in expensive schools are opting for less expensive ones, a development that has seen a drop in the number of students in those schools with its attendant revenue shortages.
“Parents are finding it difficult to pay their children’s school fees presently,” explained a principal of a prominent private school in Ketu, Lagos, who declined having his name in print.
“They are no longer able to pay like before and some of them are pulling out their children. The students will tell you that their parents are relocating and therefore they cannot continue coming to school here. Others will say they are going to continue in public schools.
“It is affecting the running of the school, no doubt,” he concluded.
For many proprietors, it is almost a helpless situation since sending home students who are not able to pay could lead to losing them to other schools.
“You can’t just send them home. November has almost ended, less than a month to first term breaks,” said a staff in Mare Schools, Lagos, who also craved anonymity.
“We are managing them because we know their parents. They have been paying so we cannot say because they can’t pay this time we should send their children home. However, we would request that they sign an undertaking. That is the only thing we can do.
“If they don’t pay, managing schools would be difficult because it means that proprietors won’t have money to run the schools; they can’t pay salaries to teachers and other staff. We are not having the problem for now anyway, but it’s happening already in some schools,” she said.
For Eze Rose, a teacher in a popular private secondary school in the nation’s capital, Abuja, the situation has already started hitting staff of the school.
She complained that she had not been paid for over three months now, though she objected to having the name of her school published for fear of victimization.