In light of the recent removal of fuel subsidies, private school owners, represented by the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, have indicated that they may be compelled to raise tuition fees. The aim is to mitigate the adverse impacts of the subsidy removal, which has significantly increased the cost of running private educational institutions across the country.
During a virtual dialogue on Thursday, titled “Government Policies and Resultant Effects on Private School Administration: A Case Study on the Removal of Fuel Subsidy,” the National President of the Association, Yomi Otubela, conveyed the concerns of private school owners. He emphasized that even prior to the fuel subsidy removal, the high operational expenses had already become burdensome for many members of the association. Now, with the added pressure of increased costs of goods and services, transportation, generator usage, and other educational necessities, private school owners are left with little choice but to contemplate raising tuition fees in order to sustain their businesses.
Expressing his dismay at the situation, Otubela stated, “Now that fuel subsidy has been removed and the cost of goods and services, including transportation and generator usage, has escalated, private schools may not have any option than to increase tuition fees so that they can remain in business.”
However, the association acknowledged that the removal of subsidies is not inherently negative. Nonetheless, they suggested that the provision of palliatives would have been a welcome idea to alleviate the burden on their members. Among the proposed palliatives are the lease of school buses, regular teacher training programs, educational grants for teachers and administrators, the establishment of educational banks to offer soft loans to teachers, school owners, and parents, as well as the granting of tax holidays to teachers and schools.
Otubela added, “So, it is required that the government gives special consideration and support to us at this critical time to grow and develop, particularly because of our crucial role in human capital and national development.”
In his remarks, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, a renowned financial and economic expert, who served as a guest speaker at the forum, acknowledged the potentially detrimental effects of fuel subsidy removal on the smooth operation of private schools. He expressed no surprise at the possibility of private schools increasing their fees. Rewane therefore urged private school owners and parents to seek assistance from the government in the form of palliatives to mitigate the resultant effects of the subsidy removal.
As private school owners grapple with the economic ramifications of the fuel subsidy removal, they seek measures that will sustain the quality of education provided while lessening the financial strain imposed on their establishments and parents alike.