Many parents and guardians have voiced their distress regarding the sudden and substantial increase in school fees in both public and private schools within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja, these parents explained that the fee hikes have taken them by surprise, particularly during a period of economic uncertainty.
They highlighted that this increase comes at a time when people are grappling with economic challenges due to the removal of fuel subsidies, which has led to an overall rise in the cost of living. Consequently, parents and guardians are resorting to borrowing from banks and other sources to afford sending their children to school.
One parent, Mr. Victor Okoye, a civil servant and father of four, revealed that he previously paid N150,000 per child for school fees, totaling N600,000. However, the fees have now doubled, requiring him to pay N300,000 per child, adding up to N1.3 million for his four children. To cope with this new fee increment, he anticipates having to secure loans.
Mrs. Abiemwese Moru, another civil servant and mother of two, described the situation as unbearable and urged government authorities at all levels to increase workers' salaries to help them meet the rising costs associated with family life.
Mr. Maharazu Ahmed, another civil servant, suggested that the government should intervene by subsidizing tuition fees and establishing benchmarks for school fees.
This approach would enable the government to monitor and control fee increases, ensuring that education remains accessible to low-income families. Ahmed also called for the implementation of the Federal Government's education loan scheme to assist students in secondary and tertiary institutions.
While acknowledging the challenges, Ahmed emphasized the importance of parents budgeting and planning effectively to meet the educational needs of their children. He suggested that parents could make incremental payments before the term ends to manage the required school fees effectively.
Mr. John Amebo, another concerned parent, advised parents to be prudent in their spending habits and choose schools that align with their financial capabilities to avoid unnecessary debts.