By Amaka Abayomi
THOUGH the calendar still says December, with parents and children already in the Christmas and holiday mood, it is never too early for parents to start planing for the next school term as saving for back-to-school may take a back seat right now due to the festive season’s preparations.
As a new term draws nearer so fast, a Benin based mother of four, Mrs Nkechi Marchie, advises many unprepared parents to avoid scrambling to source for the funds to pay the fees of their ward(s) by setting aside the school fees before shopping for the christmas.
She said; “In order not to get cash trapped in January, there are two options to choose from for every prudent parent. They can pay the fees before school resumes. This implies that children’s school fees should be top on your budget as soon as you receive the December salary. Secondly, one can set the school fees aside before shopping for the christmas.”
In other to avoid being cash-trapped when schools resume in January, Vanguard Learning sought the opinions of parents and school administrators on the importance of early planning for the next term so as to ensure a memorable christmas celebration and smooth return to schools.
Pointing out that getting a new school term off on a good start can influence children’s attitude, confidence and performance socially and academically, a Port Harcourt based mother of three, Mrs. Chidimma Egbe, said “my children’s school fees are usually top priority as it is a handful. Festive period or not, we pay during the holiday because, apart from it being part of the school rules, we pay before the resumption date to avoid stories. So their fees will be paid sometime this week as they vacated last week.”
Bearing in mind that impressing guests would be top priority for parents, the Principal, Caro Favour Schools, Ajegunle, Lagos State, Mr. Mark Okoh, urged parents to first consider the fees of their wards before other expenditure.
He said; “people tend to forget that the period between December and January is usually a long one and people, almost always, encounter financial constraints till the month of February.
“Planning ahead for the next term has been made easier with numerous banking products and savings. If the fees can’t be paid till resumption, it can be kept save in a different bank account.”
A school principal, who did not want his name nor that of the school in print, advised parents to plan ahead so that they do not end up cash-strapped when schools resume.
The principal said; “with the different financial products and information available, it has become easy for parents to set up a little investment for children.
“Aside that, they should start saving for the next term as soon as the fees of the current term has been paid.”
But for a father of two, Mr. Folusho Oyefodunrin, his children’s next term’s school fees has taken the back burner as all he is focused on is how to cater to his extended family that would be spending the holiday with him.
“The truth is that I have not made plans for their fees as all the December groove would be taking place in my house and all I am thinking of is hustling for the funds to make it a blast.