Nigerian parents who have school children abroad are in the hopeless situation. It seems that many of them will have to return their children to continue their education in Nigeria. Why? Read all the details in this article.
For the first time in a long time, the most wealthy Nigerian parents are unable to pay for their children's education. The matter is that the Nigerian parents fail to pay school fees because the payment is very high. The main reason for this is the recession.
The situation becomes even worse for those whose children are studying abroad because of the high dollar exchange rate. As reported by some media, as at last year, if you paid tuition in dollars for about $1,000, it would amount to N150, 000. Now that same $1, 000 is close to N500, 000. Therefore Nigerian parents who have school children abroad can no longer cope with the payment of school fees. Parents massively are resorting to returning their children back home to continue their education is here, in the country.
The publisher of Genevieve Magazine, Betty Irabor wrote on her Twitter page on the current situation. Apparently, this situation is close to her.
"My thought this morning is all abt students who have to return to Nigeria cos their parents can no longer afford schfees in $ and £" - she wrote.
After that, on the page, as she calls herself "Publisher of Nigeria's leading lifestyle magazine – Genevieve, Philanthropist (Breast cancer), Influencer, Mentor, Author, Wife.Mother.Believer!" - Betty Irabor occurred an explosion among the angry parents. Here you can take a look at those things that Nigerian parents say:
"How do you even begin that conversation with your child? You have to return to Nigeria dear, we can't afford your schfees anymore becos of..? "
"I know a parent who is bringing home her 9 and 13 years old girls. She says it's very traumatic for them to leave their sch in the UK. "
"I remember how I felt when I left Ireti girls school for another school/ikoyi for another school in Yaba after my parents split, but it turned out a blessing."
"For God's sake why can’t we overhaul our educational system? In Unilag we had foreign students from countries where we now send our kids."
According to some media, it was as though Betty just triggered the time bomb of frustrated parents as they immediately joined in the discussion, exploring their take on the crisis at hand. So, Nigerian parents say:
Meghan @iam_mystiquee tweeted "@BettyIrabor it is a very saddening situation and I pray we all survive this phase cos some people are becoming suicidal cos of it."
@BettyIrabor: "@Kaygee72448 nobody likes to leave their comfort zone. "
Machiavelli @Kaygee72448 tweeted "@BettyIrabor u can say dat again o! From d 'culture shock', to d pidgin (which I quickly learned by d way), to d quality & den friends! "
Onome Okwah @omookwah: "@BettyIrabor I know. Everyone is feeling the pain. But the misery is those who are benefitting from this wants it to fester. . . like subsidy. It's sad, very sad. It's tough but a couple of private schools can help ameliorate the pain locally. It's only a temporary blip. "
Joseph N. Gbagir @JGbagir: "Exactly, you can imagine Nigerian parents sending their kids to universities in Benin republic, what a shame."
Macy Gray of Radio @Schullzz66: "@BettyIrabor @ChicoRockx My dear sister it's just crazy and it's the reality of the times we live in. Painful but true. . ."
Ini Onuk @inionuk: "@BettyIrabor hmmmmmmm. Just had a counselling sessions with one of such parents this morning. Unimaginable pain for the children…..It is so crushing for the parents. And these are people who work really hard for their money."
Wisdom Chapp-Jumbo @Mr_Wizzo: "@BettyIrabor Currently in Ghana exams are ongoing in so many Universities and over 90% of Nigerian Students have not been able to pay fees. The Association of Nigerian Students in @NANS_Ghana has done it's best to handle the issues but it's just too much. Here in Ghana are getting tired of students pleading everyday. Every medium to receive money from Nigeria is blocked. "
Yewande Ojofeitimi @WendyMagnifique: "Can't imagine how the parents feel. People work so hard to give their children the best and right now it seems their best isn't good enough."
Eleven @yourgirlshere09: "@BettyIrabor what's worse than missing your final semester and watching your mates graduates in 3 months time when you should be among them."
Gossy Ukanwoke @gossyomega: "A very sad turn of events. It is not like they are coming back to an Education system that is anywhere close to acceptable standards."
odehbryanblog @munchkin_afoke: "@gossyomega @BettyIrabor 2 of my cousins have returned from Paris and London cause of the issue, it's very sad. The one doing nursing is just a year away from completing her studies, the other one is in his 2nd year, both under 20. "
Gossy Ukanwoke @gossyomega: "@munchkin_afoke I wish them the very best and hopefully they can return in good time and get the best education possible @BettyIrabor"
@AishaYesufu: "we are all scared!"
Aisha Yesufu @AishaYesufu: "@BettyIrabor School fees for one session now equivalent to school fees for two sessions plus a term in Naira and businesses are down."
It is worth mentioning that earlier, in March 2016, the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari said in the interview to Aljazeera television during his trip to Qatar that Nigeria cannot afford to sell forex to parents seeking to fund their children education abroad.
Buhari said his position on the forex allocation issue followed a discovery that the high demand for forex by parents of the students studying abroad to pay their wards’ tuition fees had been putting unnecessary pressure on the Naira, which in turn affects Nigerian economy.
Convinced that the practice is responsible for the current free fall of the currency, Buhari said the country could no longer continue to sell dollars to parents to sponsor their wards in schools abroad. He, however, said any parent who could afford forex outside of the official window could go ahead.
According to him, “those who can afford foreign education for their children can go ahead but Nigeria cannot afford to allocate foreign exchange for those who decide to train their children outside the country. We can’t just afford it. That is the true situation we are in.”
Recall also that the scarcity of foreign exchange was deeply affecting parents and children abroad.
This February, the CBN and DMBs (Deposit Money Banks) decided to suspend official foreign exchange for school fees and medical bills, which made up 15% of demand – click here if you missed it.
From a parent who wishes to stay anonymous:
“Our children abroad are crying and we parents are also crying,” she said. “They are confused and we are also confused because we can’t send money to them and they can’t receive. They are in misery, hunger and depression. “They can’t even feed well because they can’t get money for their upkeep.” She, therefore, called on the government to “create an escape route so that children will not continue to suffer.”
Solomon said he was indebted to some of his friends in the United States, where his daughter was schooling. Solomon said his friends had had to bail him out of the financial problem because he felt it was unwise to exchange Naira for dollars at the present exchange rate.
He said, “What I am doing right now is to beg my friends who are in the US to help me pay for my daughter’s tuition. It does not make any sense to change naira for dollars and send to her. There is even no dollar to buy.”
Also, Mr. Jimoh Abdulganiyu, whose son is studying medicine in Ukraine, said he could not get dollars, even at the black market, to send to him. Abdulganiyu said his son was given a warning letter by the school authorities over delay in payment of accommodation fees and he risks being asked to vacate the dormitory soon. He expressed fears of the possibility of buying fake dollars because of the pressure of getting dollars, which has been pushing parents to the parallel market.
He said, “Sometimes, I would get to the bank by 6.40am, before the official opening hour, to stand a good chance of getting dollars through the Western Union or Money Gram. “And this does not mean that I would automatically get the dollars, I still have to lobby before I could get it. Even at that, there is a limit to the amount I can get.”
This is a real challenge for parents: they have the opportunity to spend their hard earned money to pay their children's school fees abroad or cancel this and register them in schools here in Nigeria. What do they choose?
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