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JUST IN:Resumption: Mass Withdrawal Hits Private Schools Due to Lack of Money and Resources

PRIMARY and Secondary School children in Osun State resumed to school on Monday, September 18, 2023, as parents and guardians continue to wobble in the current economic hardship.….CONTINUE READING>>>>>

OSUN DEFENDER noted a sharp reduction in the number of pupils and students of the private schools in the state.

Parents and guardians have been withdrawing their children and wards from the private schools as a result of the current economic quagmire, findings have reveale

According to findings, the parents and guardians could no longer afford the cost of school fees, books and transport fare for the children in private schools.

This is just as majority of the private schools have adjusted their fees and price of books and school bus charges upward, following the skyrocketing inflation rate and high cost of Premium Motor Spirit known as petrol.

OSUN DEFENDER noted that some parents have withdrawn their children to nearby public schools which do not require transportation fare.

But parents whose children are in Senior Secondary School II and III have resorted to coaching centres to prepare the students for both National Examination Council (NECO) and West African Examination Council (WAEC).

Confirming the withdrawal of students from private schools, the President of National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), in Osun State, Loveday Ekwubiri, said the parents were running away from the cost of private school education.

Ekwubiri, in an exclusive interview with OSUN DEFENDER yesterday, noted that his school was also affected by the mass withdrawal of children by the parents, saying the economy situation of the country was having effect on the education system.

He said: “Everybody knows that the condition in the country is extremely difficult. We are facing a hard economy. Because of that, parents have decided to go to schools where their children will not pay.

“The parents are now taking their children from our schools to the public schools because of the economic crunch.

“Even in my school, I’m facing the same scenario. Parents are complaining that they cannot continue to pay the private school fees again because of the economy of the country.”

Ekwubiri lamented the decay in the education sector of the state, saying that many private schools no longer have SS II and SS III students.

According to him, parents prefer to send their children to coaching centres where they will register them for external examinations and buy results for them, instead of allowing them to complete their secondary school education.

He said: “Like I told the Deputy Governor during the last education summit, the state government is the problem of education in Osun State. There are things that the government is encouraging and they are affecting the education system of the state.

“If you go to many schools, you will not see SS3 students again. Their parents have enrolled them in lessons because they believe they only have to pay a small amount there compared to school and they will register them at centres where they will buy results for them.

“That is another level of poverty in the country. Students no longer have testimonials. Unlike our time when we were given testimonials, students nowadays only have certificates.”

Speaking on why private schools are still coming up despite the situation, Ekwubiri said some of the people establishing private schools nowadays are doing so because they had no alternative ways of ends meet, adding that most of them lacked the qualifications to operate a school.

He noted that some of the owners have the backing of those in government, thereby making it difficult to checkmate them.

According to him, “Even though parents are taking their children to the public schools, new private schools are still coming up every day and you wonder why are new private schools being established when the existing ones are already losing their students.

“The reason is that most of the owners of the new private schools do not have any other work to do. Since the government didn’t provide jobs, the best thing they could think of is to start school even when they don’t have what it takes to do so.

“It is difficult for us to checkmate them. When we try to make sure they join the association and do what is necessary, they will tell us that joining an association is not compulsory by the Constitution of the country.

“Many of the people starting private schools are not qualified. Some of them did not even know anything. There are lots of schools with many students and the owners who are managing the schools cannot speak good English. We have not been given the opportunity to control the establishment of private schools in the country.”

The state Chairman of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Comrade Muritala Olatoke, while speaking with OSUN DEFENDER yesterday said parents have come to realize that there is now difference between private and public schools.

Olatoke said there are qualified teachers in the public schools to take care of the students moving from private schools.

“The parents are now comparing and they are seeing that there is no difference. There are qualified teachers that can handle their children in public schools. So, what is the need to go and pay exorbitant amounts in private school?

“They are coming in a good time, the government is ready to improve the standard of education in Osun State”, he stated.

The NUT chairman, however appealed to Governor Ademola Adeleke to help teachers in the state in terms of palliative and remuneration.

He stated: “My plea to the government is to remunerate the teachers accordingly. We know the standard of living today. Government should do something to help us.

“Teaching cannot be compared with those that work in the ministry. We teachers cannot leave a student for just one hour without going to class except we will not be able to cover our syllabus.

“The government should please do something on time in terms of palliative. The palliative for teachers should be more.”

Speaking with OSUN DEFENDER, a mother who identified herself as Omobolanle Akanji, said she decided to withdraw her children from private school because of increment in their school fees and high cost of text book and other instructional materials needed.

Akanji said she has enrolled her children in public school where she paid little amount of money.

She said: “I have two children. My first child was paying N35,000 as school fee before while my second child was paying N20,000 but on resumption this term, the school jerked up the fees to N42,000 and N35,000 respectively.

“As if that is not enough, the price of textbooks needed for the term is too costly. I don’t know how I can afford that and that is why I decided to put them in a government school.

“I believe there is nothing they want to learn in the private school that the public school can’t give them. I just make sure I provided their basic needs and monitor their progress.”

Another parent, Abdullah Olawale, said he withdrew his child from her previous school because of the cost of transportation.

“I had to put my child in a school near my shop because I can no longer afford the transportation cost.

“The school my son was going before is around Estate area and he would have to be spending close to N1,000 everyday. That does not include his feeding allowance and other things”, he stated.….CONTINUE READING>>>>>

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