After reading some posts on free SHS, I have decided to share a bit of my experience with school fees when I was in secondary school. Before 2003, while in basic school, I had no idea what poverty was. I was always almost the first to pay my fees on the first day of school each term. In 2003, my father died intestate and my mother who was a petty trader had to take over the task of educating four of us. Paying my basic school fees was now even a challenge.
Prior to writing my BECE, we were ejected from the company bungalow so my mother struggled to complete our house so we could get a place to lay our heads. My mother was not in a position to pay for electricity connection so we resorted to kerosene lamps and candles. These were my lighting sources every night and dawn as I studied for my BECE. One thing consumed me and kept me going; my desire to go to Wesley Girls’ High School.
In 2005 when I gained admission to Wesley Girls’ High School, my joy knew no bounds. The battle had been won. Wrong! A much more formidable battle loomed. My three siblings were all in tertiary institutions then and my mother was hawking used clothings (‘foos’). We had sold every electrical appliance which commanded any price at all. My mum had sold every single new cloth she had, save the few old ones which were rejected at the pawnshop. How were we going to pay my admission fee? Forget for a moment about provisions and other items on the prospectus.