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Schools’ end of session party and its gains

Schools’ end of session party and its gains

By Maria Famakinwa
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It has now become a tradition to see schools, especially privately owned ones throwing big parties to celebrate end of the session academic work, bringing together the parents, students and the school management. School within the Akure metropolis were not left out in this celebration as the last weeks had been agog with different activities to mark the end of the session parties.

In preparation towards this, parents were made to pay a particular amount depending on what each school charged for the party alongside the school fees. Failure on the side of any parent to pay for the party will disqualify his/her child from partaking in the celebration. To private school owners, it is a good idea of marking the end of an academic calendar year where students are promoted to the next class and the school in turn admits new set of students.

Opinions however differs on who actually benefit from the end of session party as most parents maintained that end of the session party is another way school owners exploit them in order to advertise their schools while some view it as the best way to send forth students to another class.

A parent, whose child was one of the graduating students, Mrs Taiwo Akinpoola described end of the session party as a thoughtful idea to mark the end of an academic session but added that private school owners had seized the opportunity to exploit parents. “I did not want to pay for the party but the school management made it compulsory for all graduating pupils and my child insisted that he wanted to attend the party because of his friends.

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Aside the party fees, parents also paid for graduating gowns yet, the school management did not seem it fit to offer parents a bottle of mineral. Parents were not happy with this treatment. Even the gifts given to graduand were not commensurate with the money paid for the party. The private school owners make sure that they buy gifts that will not affect their gains and pocket the balance forgetting that if parents who are the major stakeholders in school business did not get value for what they labour to pay for, it can go a long way to affect the school growth and development.”

Sharing similar sentiment, another parent, Mr Ladi Idowu, explained that privately owned schools often look to end of the session party because they benefit immensely from it. “For instance, a school with just 100 pupils who paid #1000 for end of the session party will make more money because half of the money cannot be spent for the party and the balance goes to them. Aside making huge profit, end of the session party is also an avenue for private owned schools to engage in an unhealthy rivalry by trying to outdo one another in order to gain more students in the next session.”

Idowu argued further that end of the session party is mostly common among private schools to rake in money. “Though, government schools also organise end of the session activities but it is to present prizes to some outstanding students and it is not compulsory as it is the case of private schools.”

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In the submission of Ifeoluwa Oluwatosin, a student in one of the private schools in Akure said that though they paid  for the end of the session party, but the enjoyment they derive from such gathering which comes up once in a year cannot be quantified. “Apart from the gifts, I had enough time to play with my friends. We took pictures, dance and acted drama. It is one of my best experience in years. I am looking forward to seeing another end of the session party.”

In the submission of a school proprietor, Mr Ayodele Oluwole, explained that private school owners do not benefit much from the end of the session party as being speculated expect for the fact that it is an opportunity to showcase school talents and other activities.

“Instead of making gains, school management collects money from pupils to make the event befitting. Such party makes pupils to be happy because they have enough time to play as the saying goes that all work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy. End of the session party helps children to learn more about our culture like dressing, language, cultural dance and also helps to discover pupils natural talents aside academics”.

On whether school management benefits from it said,” Take for instance, a child paid #2000 for party, out of which the school management will rent chairs and canopies, buy minerals, cook for the students  and also give them gifts at the end of the ceremony, how do we make gain in all these? Parents need to appreciate proprietors  because by the time you deduct all these expenses from the token they contributed with the current economic situation, school benefit nothing.

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Though, end of the session party advertises schools, but the major reason for organising it is for parents to see what schools are doing to better their children’s lives since most of them are not always available during the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) meeting. Organising end of the session party also stress proprietors but since it is the new trend, one has no option in order not to lose one students to other schools.”

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