It was pure emotion and laughter on the faces of some parents in Lagos State on Tuesday as Concerned Parents & Educators Initiative, (CPE) paid school fees ofchildren in low cost schools across the state.
CPE, a group for growth and leadership was founded by Mrs. Yinka Ogunde, an expert in education with the aim to improve the standard of education as well as access to education in the country.
Going around the schools to present the money to beneficiaries, the team led by the former President, Association of Formidable Educators, AFED, Mrs. Ifejola Dada, Mrs. Ogunde and other CPE members visited ten schools around Iwaya, Ebute-metta, Sari-Iganmu, Itire and Apapa.
The CPE donation for low cost schools according to the founder was to support the parents who could not pay the little the school is charging per term and to encourage the school owners who were not discouraged about the fees the parents were owing or how much income they were making but have optimum aim to impact knowledge.
She said the idea came up when it was realized that despite the schools not up to standard as believed they still make education available in these communities.
“When I looked round, heavily populated communities, low income communities and very few government schools, the question on my mind is where will these children be without these schools, will government be able to absorb them but at the moment, the best option we can think of is how to support these schools and make them better and not closing them down,” Ogunde stated.
Explaining how the schools were chosen, the former President, AFED, Mrs. Dada said the association chose the schools on basis of those that are extremely in need of the support in order for them to continue to provide education to the children at these communities.
She told the beneficiaries to make sure they pay the outstanding fees they owe since CPE has helped them to pay for the new term. “Try and pay the fees because it is by giving these children education that their future can be secured.”
The schools visited include: Sabaoth Nursery and Primary School, Iwaya, Yaba Spring land Nursery and Primary School, Abule Ijesha, Yaba, Sam-aga Nursery and Primary School, Ebute-Metta, Dan-Esther Nursery and Primary School, Ebute-Metta, God’s Wisdom and Grace, Sari-Iganmu.
Others are Jenriseoluwa Nursery and Primary School, Sari-Iganmu, Christ Image Foundation and Excellent Schools, Itire, Neildwilsoa Nursery and Primary School, Itire, Vojem Schools and Covenant Nursery and Primary School also in Itire.
The parent mostly petty traders and widows explained why they could not pay the school fees but were glad at the initiative of CPE saying it will go a long way to ease what they are going through and pave way for the education of their children.
For Mrs. Modinat Alonge and Mrs. Lydia Joseph, parents of Sam-aga Nursery and Primary school pupils, the group has once again given them hope because they have lost hope of their children going back to school.
“We are grateful to CPE because they have indeed reduced the burden on us,” they said.
A total of N1, 005, 189 was contributed by the group with the aim of reaching out to three hundred students across the state with five students from each school receiving school fees of five thousand naira.
The team had visited a total number of sixteen schools with the aim of presenting the money to other schools in their next visit.