Nigeria: Parents, Guardians Grapple With High Cost of Items As Schools Resume

As basic and secondary schools in Lagos resumed yesterday, September 5, 2022, with other schools set to resume next week nationwide, parents and guardians are groaning over hike in school items for pupils and students, thus, reflecting the harsh economic realities, LEADERSHIP learnt.

LEADERSHIP surveyed the markets across Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun among other states in the South West, to seek the prices of back-to-school items, such as; school bags, sandals, lunch boxes, and among other items, and findings revealed a huge difference in the prices of these school items now compared to few months back.

A good school bag from a gift store costs N7,000 or more now compared to N4,000 it was being sold couple of months ago.

In the popular second-hand market at Kotangoa, Ile Epo area of Lagos, a second hand school bag sells between N2,000 and N4,000.

According to a retailer, he said, across markets and stores in the country, a pack of 60 leaves exercise has increased in price from N1,700 to between N2000 and N2200; 12 pieces of pencils are now N250 from N150 previous price; a pack of biro is now N1,450, previously N1,100.

A school shoe purchased for N2,800 a month ago, is now priced between N3,500 and N4,000; a pair of stockings worth between N1,200 and N1,500 previously are now sold N1,900.

It was observed that the same increase reflected in other items like children school water bottles, launch boxes, food flask and other items.

Some of the parents our reporters met, lamented the cost of school items and even food stuffs in the market and have adopted different measures to ensure the children resume school.

Mrs Katrina Nwachukwu based in Abule-Egba, Lagos and has three children in private basic and secondary schools, said it was a precarious situation for her family as they have had to adjust and look for a way to increase the family income as they had to dip into their savings to cater for the children’s needs.

The Ogundipe family based in the Ikorodu, Lagos seemed to have adjusted to the harsh economic situation by enrolling their children in a public school for a short term owing to the family’s meager income and the recent loss of job to the man of the house.

“Things are tough with us as my husband lost his job three months ago, so we decided to put the children in a public school for the mean time as we pursue a way of raising the family income and hopefully get them back in an affordable private school,” Mrs. Oyin Ogundipe said.

As parents grapple with the needs of their children in the new academic year with school fees at the centre of expenses, educationists have urged parents to prioritise the order of their children’s needs, as this period is of importance in the life of their wards. Mrs. Rachel Nzeh noted that parents are going through a lot already with the provision of basic needs on the home front.

“The payment of tuition, books, and uniforms are essential for every academic session but also they need to provide emotional and moral support in the course of their parenting,” she said.

Speaking further to parents on how to prepare and handle the needs of the children and setting a new term goal, Nzeh said: “the kids need healthy homemade meals each day as it aids mental and physical development, they should not neglect a good sleep which helps the brain obviously.

“Early to bed will make arising early easier. They should be heading to school refreshed early in the morning not knackered as it can impact negatively on them to concentrate on what is being taught”

Hence, parents are advised to dedicate themselves to the academic, moral, and social well-being of their wards by choosing a time to help out with what they are taught and setting up a works station where homework can be done.

Additionally, others advised parents to set a new term goal for the wards and help guide them through the journey, noting that, the logistics for the term should be made before resumption while not forgetting to have excess school supplies like pens, books, socks, and refreshments as well.

According to a statement signed by the Lagos State director-general of the Office of Education Quality Assurance (OEQA), Abiola Seriki Ayeni, the first term for approved school calendar will end on Friday, December 16, 2022.

This, according to Ayeni, is at least 180 learning days and designed to harmonise the calendars of both public and private schools in the state while prioritising harmonised instructional days of learning to ensure that students in the state spend productive learning hours in the classrooms. It was gathered that Ogun State schools will resume school on September 12.

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