It is that time of the year when the holidays are gradually coming to an end. Students and pupils are moving into new classes and schools are currently a beehive of activities; admitting new students, creating more classes, giving out textbooks and notebooks for the current classes or giving orientation classes to new intakes, in the case of those in the boarding houses.
It is also that time of the year when parents undergo the strain of paying school fees for their children or wards. This is the most frustrating time for every parent, especially those who have children or wards to be registered into new classes.
Most times, schools have a way of leaving parents frustrated. It is wrong. Most schools send out notices of admission to the general public with the fees of the schools attached to these notices. It is however frustrating that when parents take their wards to these schools along with their tellers for registration, they realize that there is more to pay, mostly in the form of textbooks and notebooks.
Annoyingly, these fees do not come cheap. They are usually alarmingly high and no matter how furious parents are about the unexpected extra pay, they will have no choice than to pay it because they are already committed, having paid the school fees. They have already been boxed into a corner. It is really unacceptable.
When schools are sending out information to the general public for admission into the new school session, they should include all the necessary information needed. It guides the parents properly to make choices as to which schools to choose for their children. Anything short of that means cheating them of their rights to pay for what they can comfortably afford.
There is also the rule of students buying textbooks in every new class. Parents are not allowed to give textbooks used by their older children to the younger ones because schools are trying to make money for themselves through the sale of these books. This is improper, considering the recession in the country. When schools refuse to let students use the textbooks that were used by their siblings and insist that new ones be bought ONLY from the school bookshop at their own rates, it leaves much to be desired.
The biting recession in the country should be put into consideration and schools should adopt more lenient measures in making some of their policies so as not to make education a luxury for any child. Private schools are mostly the guilty parties here.
Education is the right of every child. It therefore should be made to be affordable for everyone; otherwise it will become unattainable for some families.
We appeal to Government to monitor the activities of such schools with a view to mitigating this ugly phenomenon.