By Olanrewaju Bello, Mariam Faruq and Zainab Isiaq
As Primary and Secondary schools resume tomorrow across the 16 local government areas of Kwara State, parents and guardians have lamented over school fees and rising cost of learning materials for their wards.
In a statement by the Permanent Secretary, Kwara State Ministry of Education, Hajia Mariam Ayodeji Garba, “All primary and secondary schools in the state (both public and private) are to resume for the 2017/18 academic session on Monday, September 11, 2017.”
Hajia Garba urged all teaching and non-teaching staff to comply with the directive while also warning against loitering by learners and students as anti-loitering officers of the ministry will be out to enforce discipline and sanction any erring staff.
Speaking with this medium some parents and guardians in Ilorin at the weekend, said they look unto God for divine intervention as regards payment of school fees of their children despite the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recent report that the nation is out of recession.
A mother of three, Esther Sunday, said though the schools will be resuming on Monday (today), she is yet to get her children their school needs due to lack of funds.
For Mr. Bayo Olaitan, he said, “Yes, I have prepared adequately even though I don’t have the school fees now but I have dropped some money with my wife to purchase what our children will need in school.”
Another parent, Mrs Halima Ibrahim, said she intends to withdraw her children from Iqra College due to increase in tuition fee to a more affordable school within Ilorin metropolis.
Alhaji Yussuf Ahmed is another parent who claimed he is unprepared for the schools resumption due to unavailability of fund to buy his children learning materials, school uniforms and sandals.
According to him, his children may have to boycott school till he is able to raise money to meet up their needs for resumption.
In the same vein, a nurse and resident of Centre Igboro, Hajia Fatima Issa, stated that now that the schools has resume, she will have to re-plan her schedule, adding that when on night duty, she will be engaging the services of her mother to prepare her two children for school daily.
“I have two children, one in the primary school and the other in junior secondary school and to prepare them for school, I wake up by 5:00am when on morning duty because I resume work by 8:30am.
“When on night duty, I call on my mother to take care of them before my arrival by 7:30am because both of them must get to school before 8:00am. I have also contracted a commercial motorcyclist to convey them to school daily.
“That is the stress I go through when schools resume but when they are on holiday, they stay with my mother.”
However, a woman who simply identified herself as Mummy Mariam said, “My husband has paid our child’s school fees, and his learning materials, two weeks to resumption, ” she stated.
Also, a trader and mother of three, Mrs Yetunde Akinbogun, said all her children’s needs ahead of resumption are intact including the school fees.