As parents we all want the best for our children, at every stage of life. We want them to be comfortable, happy, well taken care of and under proper supervision.
As miniature versions of ourselves we want them to have all the things we didn’t growing up, while shielding them from the harsh experiences we had to go through. So, we send them to the best school by spending on them, HEAVILY!!, with no way of knowing what they’re getting back in return.
School fees as the major method of income for schools is prone to quick, sometimes unexplained changes. In most cases the unforeseen expenses and pricing fluctuations within the country are to blame and if not reaction to, can create deficits in school accounts. This can only result to one logical response, “Lets Increase School Fees”.
These costs are externalized to parents who have no input on the matter leaving them alone to bear the burden.
Price is not necessarily the most efficient way of measuring the standard of a school, big school fees don’t always translate to better educational experiences. Further, due few regulations on the part of the government, education in Nigeria lacks accountability. This is important because it opens up opportunities for people and organizations whose motivations are financial to build and manage schools, like a money making enterprise.
Though most fee increments are based on rational decisions, it has increasingly become common place for schools to hike prices with the slightest agitation. If you or someone you know has been in a similar situation ask yourself a few of the questions below.
- Can the School justify the current (past) increment in school fees?
Was there a time in the recent past school fees were increased? After the increase did the school give parents an explanation for the price increase, and if so did it make any sense. Many schools assume that parents won’t mind shelling out a few extra thousands to the already paid fees so there’s no real reason to give any details. This has to change parents should ask questions.
- Has the quality of education improved in the last few years?
All this money has to be going somewhere right? If it isn’t being spent on teaching or something that facilitates teaching then that’s clearly a red flag.
- Has the school subscribed to a School Management Software?
Schools today have very high standards compared to the very recent past. Schools that utilize technology and high level solutions justify the value of their fees, mainly because the exposure received by students to technology prepares them for the challenges waiting for them in real life that is, increasingly more digital.
- Are staff benefiting from training that can add value to students?
What have teachers gained from all the previous increases, chances are if staff are well taken care of they’ll teach better and be happy about it. Truth is there’s no way of knowing what goes on behind the closed doors of schools. That’s even more reason these total strangers we leave our children with are well taken care of.
- Have you noticed any added value in the lives of your wards?
Some schools take students out for excursions & field trips, others offer extra-curricular activities like karate or swimming clubs. Whatever it is, whether it’s travelling to France for a whole term or simply adding meals to the school day it should appear in your child’s orientation.
If you cannot properly answer one or more of the above questions, then odds are your hard earned money is not properly being re-invested into the school. Ultimately the decision to increase school fees is more of a moral grey area than the black and white of a chess board piece.
Still, nobody should have to pay for service without getting the value of their money’s worth, least of all our beloved parents.