By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
Parents whose children attend the University of Lagos Women Society Nursery and Primary School have kicked against the school’s demand for third term fees.
The demand was contained in a letter dated May 18, 2020 and signed by the school’s head teacher, Mrs. Abimbola Afolabi. The letters were emailed to the parents
Parents were told the fees were needed to pay workers’ salaries and should be done by June 5, 2020.
The letter reads in part: “On 4th of May, the school commenced the online teaching of the 3rd term scheme of work and we are already in the third week of teaching and by the grace of God, we intend to continue for as long as it requires.
“However, in order to sustain our obligation to our staff, it has become necessary at this juncture that we appeal to you – our dear parents to please pay the school fees of our pupils, as this is needed to keep up with the school’s statutory obligations, most especially teacher’s salary for the Month of May as well as sustaining the online learning support.
“We are not being insensitive to the current economic situation but will appreciate if all payments can come in latest by Friday, 5th June, 2020.
“Should you be unable to meet up with this deadline kindly get in touch with the headmistress for a payment plan.”
The letter also specified the amount parents are expected to pay for the term. Playgroup/Nursery pupils are to pay N49,000 (if the parent is a staff of the University of Lagos), or N82,800 (for non-members of staff of UNILAG). Kindergarten pupils are paying N62,500 (members of staff); and N96,300 (non-staff); while Year 1-4 pupils are to pay N63,250 (members of staff) and N108,100 (non-staff).
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Reacting to the letter, a parent (names withheld) described it as insensitive, especially as many parents have lost income as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“This is unfair. My salary has been halved and the school comes up with this?,” the parent said.
Another parent, who is a staff of the university, accused the school of not carrying parents along.
“The problem with the school is there is always highhandedness on the part of the management. Most times they don’t carry parents along.
“When this whole thing started, they started elearning with WhatsApp. Later they told us there would be a break and we started using the school’s website. Only for us to get emails three days back that we should pay third term fees – more than the expected amount. When we rejected it, it was reviewed but we are told to pay over three-quarters of the fees for online classes alone,” the parent said.
When reached for comments, the head mistress, Mrs. Afolabi said: “I don’t know what you are talking about. I am on sick leave.”
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