Can we do something about outrageous school fees?

So I went to the bank, and joined the queue to withdraw money because the queue in front of the ATM was too long. The woman in front of me momentarily opened her deposit slip to cross check something, and the information on it flashed in my eyes. I use that term because I wasn't consciously checking to spy on her information. She was paying school fees to one school in the area, owned by a redeemed church, and I felt what I saw was just too high for that school.

I then engaged her in a discussion, asking if her child went to that school. She answered in the affirmative. I asked for the school fees. She smiled, and said N203,000 with feeding and school bus. I exclaimed, saying it was just too high for that kind of primary school. My alarm caused the woman in front of her to turn and look at me. This second woman just kept sighing and shaking her head at me, trying to say "see this novice," with the continual shaking of her head. Me, I just kept exclaiming about how the price was too high for a neighbourhood church primary school.

Soon, the head-shaking woman got called to the counter, and later, the fees-paying woman, while I was still on the queue, being the foremost. I felt it was over, but from time to time, the head-shaking woman would turn, look at me, and shake her head. I was wondering what I did wrong. Was she the headmistress of the school I complained about? But she looked too young to be a headmistress. I started blaming myself.
Obviously, I had never had a child, or paid school fees for anyone in my entire life. I was a novice, and she let me know that clearly with her head-shaking gestures.

After some minutes, I got called to the counter, and started transacting. Few minutes later, I felt a hand on my back. I turned back, and saw head-shaking woman. She whispered to me. "My son is in nursery 1, and I pay 280,000 per term. Immediately, she walked away.

I called out to her saying, "which school is that?" She just walked away smiling, and never answered me. Her message was clear. "Fees are high. Suck it up, and stop complaining about the ones that are not even that high." I'm sure if she had a blog too, she'd have blogged about me.

Source
So here is my grouse. School fees are getting too expensive by the day, and it is becoming more neck-breaking for parents. In my opinion, there was no reason why that particular redeemed school should be charging N203,000. I might be wrong, it's just my opinion. Remember I have no child, and have never paid school fees before.

I honestly think the government should start regulating fees, because this whole thing is turning into one very lucrative business for entrepreneurs, and the pressure is getting too high. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry is now opening schools, charging exorbitant prices, as long as they can get a building. Primary and secondary school fees range from N100,000 to 2 million naira per term. A term is about three months. It's just too much. Please, note I am not talking of universities here, but nursery, primary, and secondary schools.

I believe the reason the government don't have the confidence to regulate them is because their own schools suck really bad.

But still, something has to be done. We cannot continue this way.

44 comments

  1. I am 100% in agreement with you Lola!
    A family with 4 children will be paying over a million for school per term abi?
    Now you see why so much ISH is going on in the country?
    Some Nigerians believe cost = quality!

    Yes! The public schools suck big time, but there are some affordable private schools, and some people are products of Public school and doing exceedingly well in their academics and career! She might not have a blog, but she will surely discuss your matter within her caucus and husband!

    There is a lady who was earning close to a million every month but complains of been broke before month ends! A co-worker had to ask her what the problem was, she was earning well. School fees! She was paying over #350k per child in a private school! Her husband was not helping out because his salary cannot cover it. So he left her to shoulder the bill.

    I once talked about a man who left his home for days out of annoyance when his wife was mounting pressure on him to put their children in a private school that cost more than his salary! She works in the bank, and planned to take loan to offset the bills. Friends intervened before he came back.

    A lady said, it's because of connections, since big-men children will be there and they can make friends and likely meet future employers, business partners and spouses there, so they are helping the child lay his path of success.

    There was a woman who went to her child's school to plead with the principal to be patient with her in paying her child's school fees, when she overheard a conversation with him and another parent; The parent was telling the principal to hijack the school fees up, so as to drive away poor-men children from his school! The woman was shocked! #status tinz#


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    1. My dear, I have colleagues who have to pay their children's fees monthly due to high cost. They can't afford to pay it once. From January to December na so so school fees dem they pay. One day I had to ask one of them why he can't look for an affordable school within his pay package.....na that day I was schooled about British curriculum, American currilculum, Montessori and the likes.....I just weak.

      School fees is the new family planning procedure in Nigeria......I just don't get the show off sha.....imagine paying 1m naira per term for a child in year 7......kilode

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    2. My sistah, please forget all these curriculum tinz, all nah wash! A child that is intelligent will do well in any environment they are put. Its WAEC and JAMB that will determine everything at the end of the day.

      I really don't want to beat my drum or anything like that, all my kids went to affordable private schools before we relocated and they attend the public schools here. All my kids won awards for the best mathematics, another language art, another won overall best pupil in her class that she received a signed certificate from President Obama as it's the norm, also a gold pin was given, so forget all their curriculum talk o jare!

      It all boils down to class and status tinzs, to build connections, and some parents use that to know other rich parents and get contracts and jobs and build a future for their kids.

      I remember, when many private schools were closed down in Lagos because of not meeting the standard, someone said, it was good, because such schools were just tutorial centers. But this tutorial centers teach well! They lay strong foundations! I know of somebody who is so passionate about teaching and have vast experience that he started a school, money hindered him, but he strives to succeed and all his pupils are doing well.

      Most of the expense schools are just glorified creches! A family friend was paying so much for such a school, yet at 5 years old, his son could not read or write ABC, unlike his friend's son who was going to 'poor-man-school'. One day his wife went there to really see what they do, her son was sleeping! She asked the teacher why? He said, they have to rest, which she understood, but everyday? Before you know, it will be 1:00pm, and school bus will bring them home.

      Funny enough, some don't hire qualified experienced teachers because they cannot pay well, even when they charge so high! They might have 2-3 professional teachers as fronts to submit to the ministry, but hire WAEC holders to teach Nursery classes and primary one and two. A corper who worked for an insurance company was on marketing to most schools to sell insurance to them, that was when she found out the grim truth! Some are so greedy! I have teachers as friends when in Nigeria, and they lament how these big schools treat them!

      Our people have this money mentality, if not expensive, it's not good or quality! Why be in so much debt to pay school fees? Corruption has eaten so deep into the fabric of our society, that some people use any avenue to exploit others! But our Government cannot do anything because, some of them own schools, their wives and relatives also! So, is every man for himself!

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    3. *these* tutorial
      *expensive* schools.

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    4. @ New Dawn: Your 'looking for connections' angle makes sense o. I never saw it that way

      @ Sykik: I never knew some people pay school fees monthly o. Na wa sha. Me, I won't kee myself o.

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    5. New Dawn, your kids are superstars o, lol.

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    6. All GLORY be to GOD Lola. HE, shines HIS favour upon them. It was not by their power, but by HIS grace :) Amen.

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    7. @ilola, it's because they can't afford to pay a lump sum every term, so they do installmental payments.

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  2. I'm telling you
    The government should just fix the public schools and these guys will be out of business soon. But then again, the people that should be helping to fix the system are usually the owners of these schools so they know exactly what they are doing

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    1. JB, you are right o. Cabals everywhere mehnn.

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  3. I totally agree and its scary for us that don't have children yet. ^ ^

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    1. I will send my child to a school where fees are not high jo. I can't come and go and kill myself. Lol.

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  4. Hmmm my dear school fees matter. As at when I was in secondary school years ago in a girl's only boarding school in lagos, we were paying 350k per term. I didn't appreciate my parents then but I do now.

    School fees here....hmmmmm....even though DS is less than one year old, I don already dey plan to send am to private school in nig for secondary.

    school fees range between 6000 (awon indian and pakistani schools) AED to over 120,000AED per session minus camps, uniforms etc.

    1 AED equals 46 or 47 naira.

    School fees matter.....people need to plan well o before having kids because even with a high paying job it's still alot to bear. You'll still want to give your child a good life, maybe a piano lesson here, or swimming classes there. How then do you cope with it all.

    Oh well, I better stop complaining and start getting ready because even the daycare just beside my house charges 17,600 AED PER TERM! hence the reason why i'm looking for a nanny desperately before person no go fit save again.

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    1. Say what 17,600 loun loun......mogbe.......are they teaching him how to speak Nigerian indigenous languages join. That's a whole lot when converted to naira oh, and this is crèche fees, when he enter primary school nko

      How are you doing, my darling?

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    2. Hian! Beautiful fe pami o. Day care per term??? Hei God! Bami dasi oro mi o. I went to a private university so i have an idea but 280k per term in a primary school is crazy!

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    3. @Beautiful, For creche only? CHAI!
      But in 9ja, some creches cost as much o!

      lol @ speak Nigerian indigenous languages.

      @Toin, Private universities are understandable, because of the facilities and highly qualified lecturers and professors they pay. But so much for elementary and secondary? Greed tinz!
      A teacher once told me that atimes, she is confused on what to teach the nursery classes, because she was taught how to teach older children in primary classes. No wonder, they mostly draw and colour, eat, play, sleep and come home! The school is one of the most expensive in that area and owned by a church!

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    4. Yes o and that 17,600 is not the most expensive. Just google creches/nurseries here not to now talk of proper school...kindgergaten and others.

      I have a friend in Nigeria who pays 200k for daycare in Ajah and she said that's one of the most affordable she found that looked clean and all.

      School owners are ripping people off and forget that talk of private universities being understandable o. I finished from a church owned private university in Nigeria and most of our lectures came from the neighbouring federal and state unis! We were sharing lecturers with them and sometimes the lecturers would not be able to make it down to our school for one reason or the other.

      What facilities?? As at when my uni started (I was in the first set) we were two in a room, by the time I was leaving we were 4 in a room! We had ACs okay and so???

      This school fees matter dey vex me let me not even think of it anymore.

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    5. @ Beautiful: Are you serious? Does life have to be like this? Not funny o. You are right about lecturers o. Many of my lecturers in Unilag lectured in private universities whenever they are free, lol.

      @ Toin: Amin oooo

      @ New Dawn: My child can eat and sleep at home, lol.

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    6. @Beautiful, really? Shared lecturers? Never knew o. And they charge so much? My neighnour in 9ja was paying a million per semester! She is a caterer. Her husband was not bothered! But this woman will buy things on credit from me then and from others! Even ordinary Indomie and egg, the children will buy on credit!

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  5. School fees is now the new family planning tool oh, the cost of school fees is the beginning of "children borning" wisdom.

    My aunt had to withdraw my less than 2 years old niece from her creche, school fees was jacked to over a hundred thousand. One hundred thousand for child to sleep all day in class.

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    1. @ Lara: Are you serious? Better to cut your coat according to your cloth o

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  6. My issue is not even that school fees are high,my issue is that the school fees of the schools owned by churches are high!!! The church-owned schools are supposed to be so cheap that they might pass for free,but nooooo,they're even the most expensive.I don't even want to dwell so much on this school fee subject because it gets me negatively excited.

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    1. Pele. Abeg no vex. These things need to be regulated.

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  7. Lola, I just had to comment on this one because I am one of the people who believe there has to be something done. I'm not going to call school or church names but recently I did some financial costing for a school project. To my surprise, I discovered that a school that charges 20k per term, with their own building, and has 150 students will not only cover their costs (whilst paying staff based on federal government minimum wage) but also make some profit. 20k! And it made me sad because 'missionary' schools can cut down by half and still make tremendous profits! My husband once said that if churches cut down their fees, school fees in Nigeria will crash. The greed is just too much. And people continue to pay... which makes it more sad.

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    1. @Sinmisola, Really? This is so refreshing to read! And people still consider schools that accept 40k as cheap or poor-man-school? There is an expensive school in the estate I lived, a teacher there was my friend and the receptionist there was a neighbour. Both claimed how the woman pays them poorly and not regularly! She lavishes the money on herself, the principal was not happy with the situation and always bitter! Eventually the principal and receptionist left because the salary was peanuts!

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    2. @ Sinmisola: Wow! Well done. Everyone knows that most of the schools are over-priced. If the government has done nothing about this, the church should step up, and be the light o.

      @ New Dawn: That is the "one-man business" way, lol.

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  8. Lola, I am sorry for hijacking your post, this is a topic am so passionate about, which I have once talked about in my old blog, but this is a new angle from you, because things have changed a lot!

    Text books and notebooks are another ish! Schools don't use the same text books! It simply depends on the publisher that got to them first and gave them good deal! They say it's to curb piracy! I understand, but why use different publishers for different academic year, making the text books redundant for a younger sibling? All notebooks must be bought inside the school, sometimes, if they have excess stock, they will write to parents that their child need notebooks, or they will factor it inside the school fees after taking in their stock and using a sharing formula to deplete it!

    What of development fees? Why should parents pay to develop your school? Can't your profit be used for it? A woman went to contest this went a headmistress. The lady removed it from her child's school fees but begged her not to tell other parents.

    If the Government puts the public schools in good condition, believe me, all these ish will stop in private schools!

    An enjoyable post Lola :D Well done!

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    1. I agree about the developmental fee, it's irritating to say the least, although I have a diff opinion about the post cuz 230k may seem high to mrA while to me B it's like 30k, it's all down to disposable income and reference: buyer values.

      I guess the same argument can be made for private universities as well

      But you summed it up nicely, the govt has neglected their role.
      May god help us.

      On the issue of textbooks! I had no idea, when I was in school it was standardized, brighter grammar, Ugo c Ugo, comprehensive English? Etc. Sad how the quality of education has fallen

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    2. @ New Dawn: Please, feel free to hijack abeg. This issue seems to be paining a lot of people. What else do you expect from a country where there are no regulations?

      @ Doll: Ugo C Ugo was wickeeedd. Don't remind me, lol.

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  9. It's so sad. The sad part is that I don't think govt will do anything as they have messed up all the govt schools. www.secretlilies.com

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    1. Only a government that is serious about education will do something about it.

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  10. Lol! Now people will think twice before having plenty children. But my question is, are these schools living up to their cost? I mean, apart from "possible connections", are there really any differences between kids that go to these high paying schools and kids that don't? In particular, is the quality of the education really that different? Because if its not then I'm not sure why people keep on paying.

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    1. They are paying for the connections, lol. E no easy.

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    2. Really paying for connections

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  11. There is usually a way around these things. Me...if I was in Naija, I would send my kid to a good school under my budget and use the extra left in my budget to get a private tutor to teach her after school. That way, I'd be sure what my child is getting. Most of these expensive schools offer very little. It depends on location as well. Some parents end up paying a lot because they need a school near their home and there may not be that many available to meet their needs.

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    1. Lol. You are wise. Lesson teacher is the way.

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  12. I pay 180k for my 7 month old per term and that's excluding development fee, this is for crèche.

    Sometimes it's for convenience. I work in vi for example, so s crèche in vi is what's convenient for me, if I put the baby on a crèche around my house area , how do I beat the traffic to pick her before school closes?

    This way we come and go together, even if I hv to work late, hubby can pick her and hang around,

    The 180k was even one of the cheaper ones I saw, it's also a redeem church school,

    Sometimes you really hv no choice.

    However, there is some value too in the sense that they keep a log of what your child does daily, you can also request a CCTV recording of any day if you have any reason too, the ratio of child to nanny is 2:1, etc

    Now compare this to a crèche where my hubby's friends kid went to where the nanny kept stealing their diapers, he came home one day and vommitted indomie, meanwhile his mom packed nothing of that sort for him to go to school with, upon querying, no one could cm up with any explanation.

    Quality is user defined, and over priced is also relative



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    1. Kai, that creche should be sued. What if the child is allergic to noodles?

      I think 180k is too much for a creche sha. But then again, it is 'rich people' creche. How much do I earn in a month, that I want to pay 180k for creche?

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    2. All this money I am reading for crèche can give someone BP oh.....wetin 7 month old baby dey learn.....are they billing for changing diapers, sleeping, and singing lullabies ni oh they teach maths and English .... That's how I hitched a ride with a colleague one day and his 5 year old daughter was saying all she did for the day was colouring...I was like colouring bawo........didn't they teach or read out Brighter grammar to you, at 5 years....I don learn times table finish.....it is well

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  13. See ehn, I dont even know which angle to come at this from....I havent had any experience about the financial costing of putting children in school or creche, but some of these things I am reading here are just making me test the elasticity of my mouth.,...it keeps widening in suprise.....280k per term...let's just say 1m per year per child (+ transportation, feeding, etc)
    Christ have mercy! Lord have mercy!

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What's your opinion on this? Let's learn from one another.