It’s the beginning of another school year and thankfully our lil darlings are headed back to school. There’s always this back to school frenzy in the air, just like when it’s Christmas or some festive occasion, as hundreds of parents besiege the school sections of malls both home and abroad.
We harass the school shoes department sales people; same thing at the school bag areas, where you find sweaty mums mumbling over what types of bag their wards will like and which must also be budget friendly.
Then there are ‘boarding house’ parents usually identified by the long and limp list of required school items in their hands. You’ll find them ticking off the raincoats, the cutlass and hoe, the plastic buckets, sponge and soap dish, torch light, nightie and vests, et al…I saw many stop at different shops to rest their feet after plodding through a maze of school items.
Ask me, I know. I went crazy looking for a size 9 at M&S a few weeks back. I lost my cool over a backpack I felt was over prized; I stomped out of a shop that charged too much for school tights. Shop owners seem out for blood this new school year but from the looks of it, they aren’t the only ones thirsty for blood, the schools are, too.
Since my kids came home for holidays, my heart has taken on a new tempo over the hiked school fees. I let out a swear word as soon as I saw the bill.
So I picked my phone and called the proprietor, kia kia. Gone are the days when parents were scared to call principals and proprietors. If you consider how much we pay as school fees you will see we have qualified to be called co-owners.
It rang through, and when a second and third time proved futile, I decided to write him a letter:
Dear Proprietor sir,
Offer to pay School Fees in kind
This letter may come to you as a surprise, but then again, it may not, considering a good number of us parents have been grumbling about the new fees we have to pay this new school year.
But let me speak for myself, as a hitherto regular-fee-paying-parent, I’m suddenly finding it a little difficult to pay my children’s school fees this term. The total amount of fees I have to pay is just a little above N1million. And considering I am not in any way related to a senator, governor or oil marketer, the amount is way too much for me to even contemplate paying.
Oga sir, where on earth am I supposed to get this money?
Kindly consider the very unfriendly economy; Banks are downsizing, oil and gas companies are cutting costs while government is freezing accounts.
Then add to all that the fact that my clients are owing me bags of money.
Now, given all of these and more, I have no choice but to inform you that I intend to pay my children’s school fees partly in cash and partly in kind.
Errmm! No, no, remove your mind from the gutter, sir. Haba, when I said ‘in kind’, I meant I’m offering to teach for the whole of the first term. As a graduate of English, I can teach English Language and Literature in English and we can throw in a Drama class, just because …Don’t worry sir, I am capable of finding my way around a secondary school syllabus.
Of course, you must realize, that these services I’m offering free of charge would normally cost nothing less than N100k, per hour, per class, if i was going to teach advertising students. Ehen. So cumulatively, we will be looking at N400k, per month. That should be more than enough after what I have put down in cash.
I hope to hear from you soon, so we can arrange for the class and time for my lessons.
Thank you, sir.