Controversies Lifestyle

The High Cost Of Schooling In Lekki & Environs [Nigeria]

Has anybody bothered to take a census of the number of Public schools on the Victoria Island/Lekki axis, even down the Lagos-Epe Expressway to Ajah and Environs? You will be forgiven if you think there are none. Little wonder private schools are dotted all over the landscape making brisk business which, in my estimation, is now in the multi million dollar range. Yet another dimension to this is the differentiation in the fees being charged by schools on this axis and elsewhere in Lagos. Cases abound of schools with multi campuses charging higher fees than they do elsewhere outside this axis. My child in elementary school probably pays per term about what i paid for my education throughout my undergraduate years, even if you add to it feeding fees, money fleeced from parents for fictitious handouts and fees and even factor in the inflation over the years.

school-children_0_5Perhaps, what is most worrisome is what you get for the money you pay. You would expect to get world class education for the “world class” fees you pay, right? But that is not always the case. Instances abound of falsification of records of students’ performances in a bid to impress parents that they are getting value for what they are paying for.

Those that had their elementary and high school education in the 1970s and 1980s would better appreciate the level of decline in our educational system. The glory days of the Federal Government Unity Schools (Federal Government Colleges, Queens and Kings Colleges, etc); State Government schools, including the former missionary schools (St. Finbar’s, St Gregory’s, Igbogi College, etc) are long gone. Even with the high level of rascality exhibited by students in these schools way back then, it was hard to find any private school that could touch these elite schools then.

The story has changed so much these days for these government schools and the private schools have cashed in – in a big way.

The Government seems to always find a reason to shy away from its responsibilities to the educational sector, leaving the citizenry in the hands of the promoters of these high priced schools.

Well, i guess i can only rant and rave. But why do i always feel this way everytime school fees for the kids is due?


Vanity, My Favourite Sin

I have watched The Devil’s Advocate a number of times and in my estimation, i think it is probably one of Al Pacino’s best outing so far. As the movie ended, the Devil, played by Al Pacino, stated, “Vanity is my favorite sin.” The wicked smile and stare rang true because most of us know that vanity and ego can corrupt us all. Human frailties can easily be seen in others. Although, when we look inward, vanity can be difficult to expose.

Vanity, that word aptly describes the new craze in Nigeria for latest gadgets, notwithstanding that most of us can barely afford the least of them. For most, the need to convey the impression that we are bigger than we actually are or that “my phone is better than yours” is deeply embedded in our psyche.

Vanity, plain vanity.

Well, for me, I am just a gadget addict, plain and simple. I freely confess to that. I like gadgets of all kinds, even when i know i have very little need for them.The need to continually keep pace with technological innovations keeps me going most times. Is this also vanity? Does this also fall within human weakness that the Devil was referring to?

I buy many of these devices thinking that it will make my life better and meet all of my needs. I try as many of these gadgets as possible, and buy far too many of them than i will ever need. Some of them become useful tools in my work and others make my life more enjoyable. However, Inevitably, they all fall short in some key areas, and the quest for the perfect gadget begins anew. Call it a rat race if you like.

Thankfully, i have not gotten to the point of using my kids school fees to satisfy this craving.

If you find yourself chasing the perfect mobile gadget, rest assured you are not alone. Maybe you are in denial that you are truly addicted to these little devices, and that is okay. Don’t worry, you’re only human and the Devil knows it.



My Name Is Wale, I Am A Junkie

twincamThe first semester of my second year at the university was like no other. I literarily handed over the bulk of my living allowance in exchange for my first stereo player, an Original “Sharp Twincam Cassette Player”, cost me about N4,500. This was almost two decades ago.

You see, first semesters were probably the best time to embark on such “projects”. It is a start of a new session and you get to have just a little extra money on you than you ordinarily would, thanks to the inflated school fees and course handouts fees i get from my Pop, both real and cooked up ones.

A year or so later, through the same routine, I got myself a SEGA GENESIS game console, coincidentally, for the same magical amount of N4,500. It really did not matter much to me that I would be arriving in school without new “baffs” (clothes) for the new semester, my gadgets were more than enough consolation.

I have always been what can be termed a gadget junkie, music freak and a movie addict. It is not something I am always proud of and thankfully, growing older has weaned me from some of these vices, at least the obsolete ones!

Before I trashed them over a decade ago, I had well over 200 cassette tapes. Yeah, laugh about it, cassettes were kind of cool back then. And recently, just a few months back, I also (reluctanctly) threw out my vast collections of CDs and DVDs, running into hundreds too. Of course I still retained a few favourites, just about 30 of them (smile). Funnily, i am yet to come to terms with doing away with the LPs i got from my Pop from way back. Albums from Fela (Zombie), Bongos Ikwue (rumoured to have had a thing or two to do with Maryam Babangida, former Nigerian first lady), Cloud 7, Prince Adekunle, Sonny Okosuns, Osibisa, Sonya Spence and a host of others. Old nostalgic vibes, they don’t just make them that way again.

Also, my over 25,000 MP3 collections and a 500GB hard drive full of movies would not be going into the recycle bin anytime soon. I do pride myself that I run a music library that most radio stations would be envious of.

Most people have their addictions too; alcohol, women, sports and the likes but for me, I kind of get a high playing with my “toys” and dreaming of what next to lay my large paws on.This perpetual cycle kind of gives me something to look forward to, something to keep me going.

Yes, i know it is an addiction and a bondage, but i am absolutely loving it!!!