Some thoughts on schools for young children in Nigeria

I came to Nigeria for the first time in 2011.  My husband lived here in his childhood and attended school in Lagos. There are good school, the problem is these are very expensive. There isn’t a free public school system comparable with those in the West. For a somewhat international standard kindergarten fees  range from $12-20K per year. We’re not talking cutting edge education either – most of the teaching is not done by internationally qualified teachers but local teachers or even ‘nannies’ supervised by someone who may or may not have international standard qualifications/training.   My son was in nursery here – a sought after nursery which cost about $500 per month. I really liked the head, she was so friendly and nice and knowledgeable.  My son loved nursery to death.   He’s a very sociable  chap and a bit of an attention whore like mummy on Karaoke night (lets not go there!).    BUT there were no native English speakers in the building.  The head was Lebanese/Nigerian. Her deputy was Lebanese. The rest of the staff were either Indian, Lebanese or Nigerian nannies who pretty much tend to grow up speaking their ethnic tongue first before learning English.  Also, I felt my son developed insecurities about his ‘lack’ of abilities so it was time for him to come home.  The culture here is to have your child in ‘school’ from the age of 2 whereas in the UK no raised eyebrows at your child being home until the age of 4.  It’s surprising homeschooling isn’t more popular as a lot of the fee paying mothers here don’t  work and there are nannies/cooks/drivers etc so there’s no pressing reason to shunt them into a nursery setting. I think it’s partly a status thing.  School is viewed as aspirational here (its also big business) – unfortunately 1 in 10 children in Nigeria have no access to education at all so keeping your child at home looks ‘village’.  Still on the lookout for other homeschooler since I’ve been here. That’s a challenge for me.  I’m really hoping my blog brings other naija homeschoolers out of the woodwork or even serves as an encouragement to others who want an alternative to paying high fees to educate their children.  Anyway interested in your thoughts.

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4 thoughts on “Some thoughts on schools for young children in Nigeria

  1. I’ve decided to homeschool and I’m trying to find out the homeschooling requirements in Nigeria. Yes, you brought me out of the woodwork.

  2. So happy I found your blog and started following on twitter. I have joked about homeschooling my 2 year old for a while now… After looking around at numerous nurseries I decided to keep her at home a bit longer. I haven’t been using a strict curriculum but have a pretty defined scheduled for her daily routine. Would love to know more as the thought of homeschooling is very attractive.

    • Hi Tomilayo, Snap! I had a similar experience to yourself although I didn’t look around enough at nurseries/schools I think. I think that would’ve been good for me to be as informed as possible as a homeschooling mum. There are definitely some good ones – nothing is perfect, even homeschool! I think I’m following you back on Twitter so feel free to DM me for any reason and thanks for reaching out! You, me and Olufunmike should do a homeschool day to share ideas and experiences!

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