situated in the Alakuko area of Lagos, thrived as an academic centre,
striving to provide sound education for many families resident in the
community and its environs. But, as schools resumed across the country
recently for a new academic session, the gates of the institution has
remained shut to the teaching staff and pupils.
Department of the school told PUNCH on condition of
anonymity, on Thursday that the closure was due to the present economic
recession in the country.
1996 and it has survived many challenges. Before the economic situation
in the country got this bad, it had a good standard and we could not
afford go below it. Then parents began to owe the management a lot of
money and they started withdrawing their children from the school in
kids to other schools that fell below the standard of our school, some
of them told us that they had lost their jobs, while others had changed
jobs. We used to have between 300 and 400 pupils. When the population
suddenly came down to about 50, the proprietress then told us she had to
close down the school rather than owe the staff salaries.”
only one of several schools in Alakuko, affected by the present economic
situation. When our correspondent visited the premises last week, the
main building, which housed classrooms, was empty. There was no
indication that academic activities took place in the building a few
the closure of the school. Apart from the fact that parents were owing
money, we were being owed salaries before the school eventually packed
up,” she said.
Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, Chief Yomi Otubela, told
our correspondent that the recession had indeed forced many schools to
schools are closing down. Some proprietors are even putting up their
schools for sale, so that they can go into other businesses. The
recession has forced many parents, who used to pay their children’s fees
before resumption, to plead to schools proprietors for understanding,
so that they can pay in December. It has happened in my school, too,’’
schools appear to be crumbling under the impact. Others are struggling
to survive the hard times. Burdened by non-payment of salaries and
rising inflation, many parents have opted to withdraw their children
from high-paying private schools to medium-priced private schools or
discounts to parents so as to retain their pupils, others have reviewed
their payment plans in order to reduce the burden borne by parents.
our correspondent described the situation as a “mixed bag of
experiences”. In some of the schools monitored by our correspondent,
officials claimed that there was no significant drop in attendance. But,
in a few others, the proprietors lamented poor turnout and enrolment
rate for the new session.
Mr. Bode Aguda, said that seven pupils had yet to resume in his class.
However, he added that the class gained some new members who were
withdrawn from neighbouring schools.
but we also gained a few newcomers. Some of them came from schools that
have shut down. The rest were withdrawn by their parents from more
expensive schools in the area. The impact of the recession is real, but
we are also getting new pupils,” he said.
Mind Builders School in Ikeja, Lagos. While admitting that some parents
asked for concessions, the Chairman of the school, Mr. Bosun Falore,
said that the turnout on resumption day did affirm that many parents
would ensure that their children got quality education.
pupils that were absent had not returned from their holiday trips. The
effect of the recession was not as drastic as we expected. My conclusion
is that quality education is paramount to most parents. A parent would
prefer to sacrifice food than to sacrifice quality education. There has
been no substantial drop in attendance.
returning parents requested to pay their children’s fees in
installments. We decided to give discounts to parents who have more than
two children in the school. We have also ensured that our tuition fees
remain the same for our older customers,” he said.
her school, the Chief Operating Officer, Supreme Education Foundation,
Lagos, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo, is confident that they will join their
colleagues soon. The educationist, who spoke with our correspondent in a
telephone interview on Wednesday, said, “We are still at the same level
that we were before the holidays. Some pupils are not back, but they
should be in school soon. We know it is harder for the parents, but it
looks like we are still in the same level as we were.”
Principal, Mr. Muraino Olusesi, said that the turnout on resumption day
did not call for concern.
academic session. Only a few pupils have not returned to school and we
are in touch with them. We have told those parents who could not pay
their children’s fees at a go that we can structure a payment plan to
benefit both parties,” he said.