As part of making school more accessible and help clean communities, a private school has appealed to parents and guardians to submit empty plastic bottles in exchange for payment of their wards' school fees.
A private school in Lagos, Nigeria, has begun accepting grocery plastic bags and bottles as an equivalent to school fees in an effort to make the school more accessible and help clean the community.
Morit International School, situated at Iyalode Street, Ajegunle, Lagos, initiated the 'Recycles Pay Education' project of African Clean-Up Initiative (ACI) to lessen financial burden on parents and ensure green environment.
Although the school is the ideal place for learning, you just have to pick plastic wastes to the school to pay fees in place of cash.
The proprietor, Patrick Nbamarah, disclosed that the school was established in 2014 and currently has a population of 120 pupils.
He said the school was set up to provide affordable and quality education for children of low income earners.
Pupils are charged N7,200 (GHc 104) for the crèche and nursery section while the primary section pay N8,200 (GHc 115) per term.
Mr. Nbamarah, said some parents still found it very difficult to pay the fees of their wards and considered withdrawing their children after owing fees for several terms.
“My passion is to see all children of school [going] age in school and because I do not want any of them roaming the streets during school hours, I sat down to think of an alternative way of meeting up with school fees because we also need money, however little, to run the school,’’ he explained.
He also revealed: “I had previous knowledge of recycling. So in partnership with ACI, I contacted WeCyclers, a recycling company, on the issue. Afterwards, I called for a PTA meeting where I brought the matter to the table.’’
He said each plastic sells for N1, that’s 14 Ghana pesewas, which means, 7,200 plastics make up the fee for a nursery pupil while a pupil in the primary section needs to bring 8,200 empty plastic bottles.
“The parents bring the plastics on designated days, while the recycling company buys from them and pays the money into the school account,’’ Mr. Nbamarah disclosed.
He stated that he only serves as a middleman, connecting the sellers to the buyer.
‘‘Parents are allowed to bring the plastics in bits until the required quantity is met so as to reduce stress while those who cannot get the quantity required are allowed to balance it up with cash.''
Mr. Nbamarah added that, “we keep records of the plastics as they are brought in until they are completed.’’
Surprisingly for him, the parents are enjoying the programme such that they want to turn us to their bank.
He said ''the parents want the school to collect plastic wastes from them and give them cash to enable them attend to their other needs.''
Mr. Nbamarah stated that the laudable idea has become a win-win situation for all; the environment, children, parents and the school.
He revealed that the school will begin the collection of empty sachets of water in exchange for school fees, starting the next academic term.
‘‘We believe that if we take these wastes off the streets, mother earth will smile at us for saving it. This will also go a long way to remove plastic and nylon wastes from gutters, drainage and canals. So to us, this is the best thing that has happened to the environment,” he said as he encouraged other schools to emulate Morit.
He urged environmentalists and governments to partner with the school on the programme by providing a larger space where parents can dump the empty plastic bottles for pick-up by the recycling company.
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