By Bianca Iboma
The Principal, Loral International Boarding Secondary School, Igbesa, Ogun State, Mrs Osime Ekwutozia, has bemoaned the harsh effects of the current economic recession on private schools in the country. She said the dwindling revenue had left many private schools with difficult choices, as they continue to tinker with the decision on whether to halt their scholarship programmes for indigent but brilliant students.
Mrs Osime disclosed this in an interview with Daily Sun during the recent matriculation ceremony of Loral School, held at the Igbesa campus. She said the current economic recession hit the educational sector so hard that its repercussions would last longer than expected. According to her, one of the tough choices for many private schools was the continuation of scholarships offered to indigent pupils.
She explained that some parents also face the challenge of paying their children’s school fees. According to her, Loral School introduced savings incentives with the aim of reducing the heavy pressure of tuition fee on parents, which allowed more period of grace till the end of session.
“Recession is a fact in Nigeria now and no one is more hit than private school operators who are facing very tough times choosing between continuing to educate non-paying pupils and throwing them out. For most schools, including ours, we recognise the challenge brought by the depressed economic situation and so we are exploring agriculture and other entrepreneurial schemes to survive,” she said.
She urged private school operators to live up to their responsibility of supporting parents without compromising the standard. “We are partners in progress. We have not slashed our tuition actually, nor reduced the quality of education, rather we want to diversify by looking at other means of generating fund that can sustain our running cost,” she said. “Although things are so expensive, we should not forget the basic value for education, otherwise these future leaders will become a menace in the society if we don’t develop them,” she further stated.
While advising the new students, the Dean, Faculty of Business, Crawford University, Prof Alaba Simpson, urged them not to neglect their studies both in the school and at home in order to become successful in life.
She noted that despite the huge resources invested by private schools to ensure qualitative and adequate education for the future generation, the government has failed to complement their efforts in the provision of critical infrastructure to support learning.
Using the deplorable state of Igbesa- Agbara Road as a case study, she described the busy road as a nightmare to road users. She further pleaded with the government to rehabilitate the link road, which leads to Loral International Boarding school, the Crawford University and other private institutions around the area.