Private school operators are asking parents to pay for e-learning while schools are physically closed.
However, many parents are complaining about their unwillingness to pay for online classes now and still have to pay for third term when schools resume.
Although government has said schools cannot start the third term formally online, there has been no restriction to engaging pupils online.
During a webinar with parents and educators on Sunday, Lagos State Education Commissioner Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo said payment for e-learning services rendered by schools should be negotiated between parents and school managers.
“There are between 18,000 and 24,000 private schools in Lagos. The schools who are able to do online are less than 150. In this position, we cannot afford to think of just a few of the children; we have to think of the majority. There was a day I had a thousand messages in my WhatsApp and my phone nearly crashed. Parents from small schools, big schools were bitterly complaining…
“It is not a one size fit all approach. Talk to your parents. If you think in your school you are comfortable with it, negotiate with them. Let everybody negotiate and get to a win-win situation that suits them all,” she said.
Checks by The Nation showed that schools charge as low as N10,000 to as high as N100,000 monthly for the services they render to pupils online. However, some schools are still offering the classes free.
While Mind Builders School, Ikeja has pegged its e-learning fees at N10,000 for primary and N20,000 for secondary classes, Corona School, which has primary and secondary schools located in Gbagada, Apapa, Ikoyi, Lekki and Agbara charges N30,000 for nursery classes, N50,000 for primary and N65,000 for secondary pupils.
A private school at Oko-Oba, Lagos asked parents to pay N25,000 monthly for primary pupils and N45,000 for secondary school. The school, however, offered free classes for nursery pupils. Preschoolers at Chrisland Schools are not also paying for the online classes, but parents have to cough out N60,000 and N80,000 for the classes for primary and secondary pupils.
The Chairman of Mind Builders School, Mr. Bosun Falore, said the school reduced the e-learning fees by 50 per cent to accommodate parents, who called for more understanding of the difficult times.
“What we charge is very low compared to other schools. We reduced the fees by 50 per cent after negotiating with parents. They made us realise that they would still pay third term school fees, that we should be understanding. I can understand their position – things are hard now and they believe we want to milk the system.”