Education, they say, is the best legacy you can give to your child. So how much does it cost to give a child a good education? This question is not easy to answer considering that “education” is not the really the same product across board.
It is generally agreed that the quality of education is different from school to school and even from country to country. This is why there are usually differences in school fees from one school to another. However, the cost of education can also be influenced by location as well as the quality of facilities available in a school and most importantly the quality of the teachers.
The cost of education usually varies depending on the location of the parent or guardian and the perceived quality of the school that the parent is willing to enroll the child. The cost of educating a child will also depend on how early that child starts school.
Some parents send their child to what is called play group from as early as 2 years. This will be an additional cost of training a child. For example, in a commercial city like Lagos, placing your child in a play group could cost as low as N50,000 a term in some schools on the Mainland to as high as N500,000 per term on the Island and Lekki Axis of Lagos.
The cost of nursery school education also varies from as low as N10, 000 per term in schools outside Lagos to as high N1 million or more per term for schools on Lagos Island, Ikeja, Abuja, Port Harcourt and select schools across the country. Majority of Primary and Secondary schools are also priced in the same range depending on location. However, on the Lagos Island and in selected exclusive schools located especially in Ogun State and Abuja, secondary school students could pay as high as N2 million to N5 million per term, especially if they are in the boarding house.
For university education, there is also a choice between public and private universities in Nigeria or going abroad, which is the trend for many parents that can afford it. The public universities, owned by the state or federal government, are usually relatively cheap. Tuition fee is usually between N50, 000 to N200, 000 per semester. For private universities however, the cost ranges from N500, 000 per semester to well over a million naira per semester.
If you decide to send your child abroad, you have a choice between fellow African countries (with Ghana and South Africa preferred) Eastern Europe (where education is almost free), United Kingdom, Canada and America where education is very costly but the quality perceived to be high and the environment more desirable
So, obviously calculating the cost of education for a child is a bit complicated. But we will take an educated guess for three typical persons, a low income person whose child attends public school all through, a middle income person, who chooses the private education root, and a relative high income person who chooses the private education plus the child doing his or her tertiary education abroad.
For a low income parent with a child that goes through the public education root from primary school to University, the total cost is likely to be between N1 million to N2 million assuming he or she spends an average of N50, 000 per year per child in primary and secondary school and an average of N100, 000 per year in the university. For many low income Nigerians, this is usually a heavy cost since they usually have multiple children and sometime more than two are in school at the same time.
For middle income households, the cost rises steeply. Their children will usually go through pre-nursery, nursery and primary school education, and then secondary and tertiary university, all through the private education root. Money issues estimates is that the middle income family will spend between N11.8 million to N15 million to train his or her child from pre-nursery to University.
For the high income person, the cost of education doubles to an average of N30 million since it is assumed that the child will do a minimum of tertiary education abroad and most likely in UK, Canada or America where the average tuition per year without feeding will be in excess of N2 million per annum.
Educating a child is quite an expensive business and it is not going to get cheaper. Parents-“Beware.” The estimated cost in this article could actually be more than less across the three different scenarios.