By: Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
Low-income schools may charge low fees, but they offer quality education, says Mrs Esther Dada, President, Association for Formidable Educational Development (AFED).
Mrs Dada, who spoke at a programme to mark the Lagos State literacy Day on Monday at the NIS Gymnasium, National Stadium, Lagos, said many low income schools offer better quality education than public schools.
“In some public schools, we have some Primary Five pupils who cannot read; and a primary 3 pupil (in our schools) can do better. Our children are good, we can showcase them anywhere. They are the returns of our hard work. We have confidence in them,” she said.
The AFED President said low-income schools exist because of the economic situation of many parents who cannot afford more expensive private schools yet seek quality above what is provided in public schools.
“We want to give back to the society. We are qualified school owners in the area of education; we major in education and that is why we are able to talk about it. When we hear low income schools, we begin to look at it like they are of low income quality; they are not giving low quality. We are giving quality education that is available at a low cost so that the parents will be carried along,” she said.
Mrs Dada, who runs the Peacock Schools, Ikorodu, said that the need to change public perception that low-income schools offer poor quality education informed why the association decided to showcase its pupils from low-income schools located in the six education districts of Lagos and Ogun State who read-aloud at the event.
The pupils, drawn from Primary 4-5 and aged between eight and 10, read from various storybooks without prompting by teachers.
In her remarks at the event, Mrs Ronke Soyombo, Director-General, Office of Education Quality Assurance, urged the schools to boost literacy in all schools.