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School Fees Soaring: Parents Concerned About Rising Costs in Educational Institutions

As the cost of living continues to soar in the country, several educational institutions have taken the difficult step of raising tuition and other fees, while others are considering doing the same to offset the effects of the removal of petrol subsidies.With the current academic session drawing to a close for primary and secondary schools and the calendar of tertiary institutions already impacted by incessant strikes and crises, parents are growing increasingly concerned about the financial burden that lies ahead.In recent developments, primary and secondary schools in Lagos and other states have informed parents and guardians to prepare for significant fee hikes in the next academic session beginning in September.The Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Education, has already announced an upward revision of school fees for new students entering its secondary schools, known as Federal Unity Colleges, from N19,000 to N100,000. The directive was issued in a circular dated May 25, 2023, and addressed to all principals of Federal Unity Colleges. This move is set to affect various aspects and activities of the schools, including tuition, boarding, uniforms, textbooks, and more.Similarly, the University of Lagos (UNILAG) has reportedly increased fees for undergraduate students. The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, UNILAG branch, disclosed that the fees would be raised for the next academic session. Previously, undergraduate students paid N19,000 for tuition, but under the new structure, those studying Medicine will now pay N190,250, while courses requiring laboratories and studios will incur a fee of N140,250.Private school owners are also grappling with the aftermath of petrol subsidy removal, facing challenges with dwindling student enrollments and teachers resigning due to difficulties commuting to schools. Many parents are finding it hard to cope with transportation costs and are withdrawing their children from school, adding further strain to the private school sector.Chief Yomi Otubela, President of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, warned that many private schools may cease to exist or reduce the quality of education as a result of the current economic uncertainties. He called on the government to intervene by introducing mass transit buses dedicated to pupils and setting up an education bank to provide low-interest loans to education sector operators.Parents are anxious about the impending fee increases, with some considering alternatives such as homeschooling or moving their children to more affordable schools. Amidst widespread economic hardships, families are finding it increasingly challenging to manage the rising cost of education, leading to concerns over their children’s academic future.As educational institutions continue to navigate the effects of fuel subsidy removal and economic instability, stakeholders are urging the government to take concrete measures to mitigate the rising cost of living and alleviate the burden on families and schools alike.


Ademola Adeyemi

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