For the first time in a long while, most well-to-do Nigerian parents are unable to pay school fees for their children, thanks to the recession.
The situation is even worse for those whose children study abroad, due to the high exchange dollar rate. As at last year, if you paid tuition in dollars for about $1,000, it would amount to N150,000. Now that same $1,000 is close to N500,000, so Nigerian parents who have kids schooling abroad can no longer meet up with tuition fees and have resorted to bringing their children back home to continue their education.
The publisher of Genevieve Magazine, Betty Irabor woke up yesterday morning with a heavy heart, which led her to a series of tweets that subsequently led to a conversation online.
“My thought this morning is all abt students who have to return to Nigeria cos their parents can no longer afford sch fees in $ and £,” she wrote.
“How do you even begin that conversation with your child? You have to return to Nigeria dear, we can’t afford your sch fees anymore becos of..?”
“I know a parent who is bringing home her 9 and 13 years old girls. She says it’s very traumatic for them to leave their sch in the UK.
“I remember how I felt when I left Ireti girls school ikoyi for another school in Yaba after my parents split, but it turned out a blessing.
“For God’s sake why cant we overhaul our educational system? In Unilag we had foreign students from countries where we now send our kids.”
It was as though Betty just triggered the time bomb of frustrated parents as they immediately joined in the discussion, exploring their take on the crisis at hand.
Meghan @iam_mystiquee tweeted “@BettyIrabor it is a very saddening situation and I pray we all survive this phase cos some people are becoming suicidal cos of it.”
@BettyIrabor: @Kaygee72448 nobody likes to leave their comfort zone.
Machiavelli @Kaygee72448 tweeted “@BettyIrabor u can say dat again o! From d ‘culture shock’, to d pidgin (which I quickly learned by d way), to d quality & den friends!
Onome Okwah @omookwah: @BettyIrabor I know. Everyone is feeling the pain. But the misery is those who are benefitting from this wants it to fester. . . like subsidy. It’s sad, very sad. It’s tough but a couple of private schools can help ameliorate the pain locally. It’s only a temporary blip.”
Joseph N. Gbagir @JGbagir: “Exactly, you can imagine Nigerian parents sending their kids to universities in Benin republic, what a shame.”
Macy Gray of Radio @Schullzz66: “@BettyIrabor @ChicoRockx My dear sister it’s just crazy and it’s the reality of the times we live in. Painful but true . . .”
Ini Onuk @inionuk: “@BettyIrabor hmmmmmmm. Just had a counselling sessions with one of such parents this morning. Unimaginable pain for the children…..It is so crushing for the parents. And these are people who work really hard for their money.
Wisdom Chapp-Jumbo @Mr_Wizzo: “@BettyIrabor Currently in Ghana exams are ongoing in so many Universities and over 90% of Nigerian Students have not been able to pay fees. The Association of Nigerian Students in [email protected]_Ghana has done it’s best to handle the issues but it’s just too much. Here in Ghana are getting tired of students pleading everyday. Every medium to receive money from Nigeria is blocked.”
Yewande Ojofeitimi @WendyMagnifique: “Can’t imagine how the parents feel. People work so hard to give their children the best and right now it seems their best isn’t good enough.
Eleven @yourgirlshere09: “@BettyIrabor what’s worse than missing your final semester and watching your mates graduates in 3 months time when you should be among them.”
Gossy Ukanwoke @gossyomega: “A very sad turn of events. It is not like they are coming back to an Education system that is anywhere close to acceptable standards.”
odehbryanblog @munchkin_afoke: “@gossyomega @BettyIrabor 2 of my cousins have returned from Paris and London cause of the issue, it’s very sad. The one doing nursing is just a year away from completing her studies, the other one is in his 2nd year, both under 20.”
Gossy Ukanwoke @gossyomega: “@munchkin_afoke I wish them the very best and hopefully they can return in good time and get the best education [email protected]”
@AishaYesufu: “we are all scared!”
Aisha Yesufu @AishaYesufu: “@BettyIrabor School fees for one session now equivalent to school fees for two sessions plus a term in Naira and businesses are down.”
This is a real struggle, parents are faced with the option of spending their hard-earned money on paying their children’s school fees abroad or withdrawing and registering them in schools here in Nigeria. What is the way forward?