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Business News of Wednesday, 18 January 2023


Parents threaten to withdraw kids from private schools over hike in school fees

The photo used to illustrate the story The photo used to illustrate the story

Primary and Secondary schools across Nigeria resumed for the first term of the 2022/2023 academic session on Monday, January 9, 2022. The children were certainly happy to be back at school to meet with their friends and favourite teachers after a month-long holiday, but the parents are however saddened by the increments in school fees and other levies.

According to's investigation, some parents are already considering withdrawing their kids and wards from private schools and having them register in public schools where they do not have to pay outrageous school fees.

Many have touted private primary and secondary schools as the saviour of the declining education system in Nigeria. With the proliferation of private schools, public schools are now decongested and better quality of education is being provided.

However, the frequent increases in school fees and other levies have raised concerns amongst parents and guardians who sometimes have to pay through their noses. For some, school fees take a better part of the family’s earnings and income.

Findings by have revealed that some schools have increased their fees by as much as 25%. The increases are reflected in specific school fees, school bus rides, feeding, cost of uniforms, sportswear, development levies, books and other reading materials, etc.

Many parents who spoke with claim that the schools make the increases every term and in some cases, new levies are introduced without formally informing the parents and guardians via the Parents-Teachers Associations (PTA).

Tobi Akinloye who has a child in one of the private schools in Ikeja said that when he received the notification from the school last month, he noticed there was about an 18% increase in the fees.

He said: The school fee for my 7-year-old daughter who is in primary 2 is now N255,000 a term from what was only N215,000 last term. I think this is quite outrageous, given the present economic condition in the country. These school proprietors need to take it easy on us.

Uzo Obiwulu who has a child in Optimum High in Ikorodu, Lagos, lamented the increase of fees in the new session, calling it exploitation and extortion on the part of the schools.

He said: This is pure exploitation and extortion. I would understand an increase of 5% but definitely not an increase of about 20%. Is it that they don't understand that people are suffering in this country? For the fact that we even try to meet up with the payment of these fees, doesn't mean that we are not going through hardship in the country.

Another parent who spoke on the matter told that even when parents volunteer to buy some of the items like uniforms and books in the market, the schools insist they must be bought directly from them.

She said: Some of the books on the school’s list are the same as the ones my older son used when he was in that particular class. But the school still insists I buy a new one for my younger son. How does that make sense if it is not exploitation?

Following the unfortunate trend, some of the parents who spoke with say they are contemplating registering their kids and wards in public schools since the rise in school fees has become unbearable.

Mrs Folake Adeyanju who resides in the Surulere area of Lagos said that it was becoming more difficult for her husband to maintain three kids in a private school.

I’m a simple housewife while my husband is a clearing and forwarding agent. We have 3 kids in private primary and secondary schools. Every term, we have to pay a combined sum of about N500k for school fees for the children.

I’m not sure how long we can keep up with this because it is clearly eating up most of our income. My husband had earlier suggested we transfer them to public school and I dismissed it. With the current realities, we may have to revisit that conversation.

Worried by the hike in fees, Chinyere Nwadike, another parent of two children in a private school in Egbeda, Lagos also feared she may have to change schools for her kids.

"I'm going to be paying about N145,000 for each of them for this term. I've already gone around to check and discovered that no private school is cheap. My best bet would be to register them in the one that is cheaper than the present one since I don't exactly like public school at all."