The article is written to expose the gap between the rich and the poor in our society.
Every morning, when you see pupils going to school, there are three (3) categories of them.
This set of pupils is the fortunate ones born into rich families. It's an understatement to call the school they attend "PRIVATE SCHOOL"; rather, it's ADVANCED PRIVATE SCHOOL. Their school fees begin from One hundred Thousand Naira and above. Their parents do convey them to school in exotic-tinted cars like Venza, brand new Toyota Corolla & Camry. Their lifestyles are usually opulent and flamboyant. They have glowing skins, are always over-pampered, and lack morals. Inside their lunch boxes, apart from enough food and chicken (or egg) for lunch, they are also varieties of expensive cookies, nutrient-oriented carbonated drinks, beverages, and bottled water in their lunch boxes (That's why chronic pile is not usually far away from them). Their command of English is usually top-notch! The affluence of their parents is accentuated in their glowing skin. Their parents are well-connected to guarantee a good future for them.
In this category, we have children of Middle-Class Civil Servants. Oftentimes, their parents are usually customers at Cooperative societies, frequently seeking loans in order to pay their school fees and give them better lives, at least better than that of their parents, because their meager salaries could not adequately take care of their financial needs of the family. Their tuition fees are usually 30,000 per pupil or below. The general belief of parents of children in this category is that once their children are given proper education, they could later be fortunate in the future to turn around the fortunes of the family. Over 60% of pupils in this category are usually morally upright and disciplined because they are raised in a strict environment.
This category of pupils is the sons and daughters of the peasants, poor and less-privileged. They are usually found in Public Primary & Secondary Schools across Nigeria. No car to take them to school. They walk barefooted to school, sometimes without shoes. By merely seeing them going to school, they look pauperized, tattered, haggard, and malnourished. No school bag and lunch box. They only convey their books to school in polythene bags. After breakfast in the morning, just N20 to buy biscuits during break and no lunch until they return back home. Accidentally & luckily, we've had a few of them who were extremely brilliant and later went on to turn around the fortunes of their respective families.
Lesson to be learned:
Irrespective of the category your children belong to, the truth is that no one can outrun his or her destiny. Being in category B or C today doesn't mean you will remain in that category forever. It's just a normal temporary struggling stage. And being in Category A doesn't mean you will remain there forever, though no one prays to retrogress. In 2018, I was fortunate to be one of the five (5) youth shortlisted to represent Nigeria for an ECOWAS Seminar/Programme in five (5) West African countries and one (1) Southern African country. Out of the 5 of us, I was the only one that belonged to Category B; the remaining four belonged to Category A, including a son of a serving Minister. By merely looking at my skin and that of 4 others, the difference was so clear. But the education my parents gave me made me compete with them favorably. Of course, with education, you can go places without any stigmatization.
Dear parents of pupils in Category A, never look down on pupils in Category B & C. If you have them around you and you have the financial wherewithal, there's nothing wrong in assisting them (especially those in Category C) by providing for their basic needs like food and school fees. You can walk into any public school around you and pay the school fees of those poor pupils. By doing this, you are helping humanity and society. God will reward you, even if they do not appreciate the kind gesture.
Dear parents of Pupils in Category B, being disadvantaged financially does not mean you could not render assistance too. For instance, if you are conveying your own children to school and you see pupils in Category C walking to school, you can give them a lift, and when they get to their destination and want to disembark, you can magnanimously give them N20 each to buy biscuit in school. Those little things matter a lot.
Dear parents of Pupils in Category C, irrespective of your pitiable condition, strive hard to give your children formal education and a good moral upbringing. Most Heads of State and presidents we've had in Nigeria, like Olusegun Obasanjo and others, are children of the pauperized.
In all, the Government at all levels needs to breach the gap between the rich and the poor through well-enacted policies. When the gap between the rich and poor is wide, crimes and criminalities will be inevitable because everyone will result in any means for survival. The Middle Class is fast delving into extinction.
The story is about an encounter I had with a young lady who was trying to make ends meet.
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