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Trauma students face when fees are not paid on time

By Vision Reporter

Added 22nd December 2009 03:00 AM

YOU might have acquired your self the name Big Spender this Christmas, owing to your extravagant spending sprees, regular visits to the pubs and spending of millions of shillings. Come January, you will have exhausted both your account and month’s advan

YOU might have acquired your self the name Big Spender this Christmas, owing to your extravagant spending sprees, regular visits to the pubs and spending of millions of shillings. Come January, you will have exhausted both your account and month’s advan

By Gilbert Kidimu

YOU might have acquired your self the name Big Spender this Christmas, owing to your extravagant spending sprees, regular visits to the pubs and spending of millions of shillings. Come January, you will have exhausted both your account and month’s advance. Your pockets will be virtually empty and guess what? Children have to report to school.

As a student, I felt secure going to school when my fees was fully paid. I felt a deep-seated right to walk straight with my head held high.

However, whenever my fees was not completed, I thought my name would at any moment be read among the fees defaulters, consequently humiliating me before fellow students.

A friend at university went through a similar predicament. His father told him that tuition would be paid later that semester. Full of hope, he waited until the last quarter of the semester when the bad news was broken to him that Dad could not get the fees. This was after three months of preparation for exams, which he did not sit for. He did not report for the next semester fearing the same fate would befall him.

Ironically, dad got the money but his son had not bothered to attended lectures.
Research shows that in the examination rooms, students who have defaulted on school fees payment get anxious when an invigilator walks in. Whereas those, who have cleared tuition fees will not be bothered. Their counterparts are affected and lose concentration. In the end, their academic performance declines.

“Students are overcome by uncertainty and so the motivation to read for exams lessens,” reveals Paul Nyende, a Doctor of psychology at Makerere University. Ida Namanda, a senior tutor at Shimoni teachers college, says students do not relax when their school fees are not paid.

“They are pessimistic doubting their fees will be paid at all. Why should I bother reading yet I am not going to sit for papers anyway?” asks Namanda
She adds that if a student is not well prepared, he or she likely to perform poorly especially if they are compelled to run up and down trying to find the tuition fees.

According to Nyende, students also feel out of place when others have cleared tuition fees while they have not. Sometimes at assemblies, names of fees defaulters are read out loud.

“It feels quite humiliating when the selection is done openly and the list of defaulters made public,” says Nyende.
Namanda says being dismissed from school exposes the financial woes of the student’s family. This indirectly affects the student’s self-esteem and self-image.

It can cause psychological torture that a student collapses when faced with the possibility of missing exams. It is a great challenge for a student to understand such a situation. It seems as if their world has been shattered.

OPTIONS WHEN YOU FAIL TO RAISE SCHOOL DUES

THE following precuations can be taken to avoid disappointments for both the parent and child because of failure to pay school fees:
  • Parents should hold open discussions with their children. The children need to understand that you have delayed to pay because options have run out and not because you just do not care.

  • Parents should counsel the children instead of being hostile to a child who is already traumatised by the failure to pay school fees. A parents counsel is more therapeutic than any other. Give your children hope by helping them look past the painful moment.

  • Parents must prioritise payment of school fees above other needs. People have often considered their children’s education second to other requirements.

  • If a parent tried and failed raise the required school fees, they should endeavour and reach a compromise with the school authorities so that the child can attend school and sit the examinations without being hustled.

  • Needy students in school should be identified and helped by the school authorities, parents or guardians to seek support from the ministry of education and non-governmental organisations.

  • The other option is to seek student bursaries or student loans. Astudent can receive a student loan and start paying back as soon as he or she starts working. Private companies such as telecommunications service providers, breweries and banks offer students loans. Such companies may require that the student works for them after completing studies and in that regard, pay back the loan.

  • Students should not hesitate to look for part-time jobs if other options have failed. Look for clerical jobs, one can be a pump attendant or a waiter, provided the job does not affect your study.

  • Trauma students face when fees are not paid on time

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