YOU might have acquired yourself expensive names owing to your extravagant spending sprees, regular visits to the pubs and spending big sums of money, but the new term is here. Your account and pockets are almost empty yet your children have to go to school.
As a student, I felt secure going to school when my school fees was fully paid. I felt very comfortable as I walked straight with my head held high.
Yet, each time my school fees was not paid on time, I felt humiliated as I thought my name would be read among the defaulters.
My cousin Julie went through a similar dilemma. Her father promised to pay her tuition later in the semester. So optimistic, she waited until the last quarter of the semester, all in vain.
Her dad could not get her tuition fees and she did not sit for her final examinations. Fearing that the same fate would befall her, she did not bother reporting for the next semester. Sadly, her dad got the money that semester and it was too late, because Julie had not bothered to attend classes.
Students who fail to meet the demands of their schools often become anxious every time a teacher walks in. Those who have cleared all their dues will not be bothered. Their counterparts are affected and lose concentration, hence a decline in their academic performance.
One thing I realized is that these students are overcome by uncertainty and so the motivation to read lessens. Their minds will never relax when their tuition fees is not paid, because they are already traumatized.
They perform poorly especially if they are forced to run up and down to find their fees. Being dismissed from school exposes the financial woes of the student’s family. This indirectly affects the student’s confidence and image. And if this happens, they will only push the blame onto their parents.
It is a great challenge for a student to understand such a situation. It seems as if their world has been shattered.
I strongly urge parents to hold open discussions with their children and make them understand that you have delayed to pay their tuition because options have run out and not because you just do not care.
Some parents tend to become hostile when they are broke. As a parent, you only need to counsel your children instead of being hostile towards them. Loving parents bring healing and hope for their children.
Parents must also prioritize payment of school fees above other needs. You have all the time to start saving your kid’s school dues and stop considering your child’s education as second to other requirements.
Sometimes you find yourself in a fix after you have tried everything but failed. In this case endeavor to reach a compromise with the school authorities so that the child can attend school and sit for examinations without being hustled.
But this depends on the relationship that prevails between the school administration and the parent.
The author is a teacher at Kagarama secondary school