Friday, March 24

Back to school: Parents lament economic crunch

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By: Nyima Sillah

Following the reopening of schools in the West Coast Region and some parts of the country, some parents lamented the economic crunch in the country.

Speaking to this Medium on Monday, Ya Awa Sane, a mother of two students said it was hard for her to make arrangements for her children to resume back to school due to economic hardship.

“Schools resumed at a very challenging time in this country when prices are skyrocketing and our schools are not an exception. Primary schools and junior schools’ budgets are becoming more expensive than our senior and tertiary education centers.

“Where are we heading to? Imagine having more than one child who is supposed to go to school. You pay for tuition fees, buy uniforms and textbooks and provide daily transportation fees excluding food. It is quite challenging,” she said.

Ebrima Sambou, also a parent, highlighted the importance of the government introducing more school buses to ease transportation and the cost of transportation fees for students, adding that this will also ease the daily transportation fees given to students.

“School feeling should be reintroduced back to schools. Years ago, students didn’t go to school with lunch money. A small amount is contributed at the class level and teachers provide food for them. But none of that exists anymore. These are some of the things that should be reintroduced in our academy centers to ease some responsibilities for parents,” he urged.

Pa Ebou Njie, said “Education is becoming expensive. I believe few years to come, a child of a poor man may not be able to get a quality education if our government doesn’t introduce free education in the primary and junior schools, because children need a strong foundation so if they missed out on some of this grade, it will be hard for them to catch up.

“I spent nothing less than D15, 000 (fifteen thousand dalasi) for my two children excluding daily transportation fees and lunch. Besides, my oldest son will resume next month, I need to settle his tuition fees,” he said.

He further stated that reopening of schools is always hard for parents, because schools charge an extra amount for new intakes, adding that looking at the current economic status of the country and poor wages, it is challenging for parents to cope.