It is no news that getting a good job as a fresh Nigerian graduate is a difficult task, due to the fact that the available lucrative jobs are not sufficient for the number of graduates in the country. As a result of this you may resort to taking up a private school teaching job to keep yourself busy while waiting for that dream job. You may also tell yourself that you can’t afford to be sitting at home doing nothing, and decides to give private school teaching a try.
It is a good idea to keep yourself busy and probably make some money to meet some of your needs why searching for that job, but taking up a private school teaching job is not an option. There are more rewarding jobs you can involve in that will offer your better financial reward than what a private school can offer. Without much ado, let me go straight to my points.
1. Poor salary: The salary paid by these mushroom private schools is too poor for your level of education and too small to meet your needs. Most of the schools pay you salary not based on what you are worth, but on what they can afford to pay. I remembered one of those schools offered to pay a friend 9,000 naira per month. Most of these schools cannot afford to pay more than 20,000 to university graduates and only very few of them can afford to pay such amount. You may say what about those international schools that pay as high as 100k-200k per month? It will shock you that schools of that type does not constitute more than 2% of the private schools will have in Nigeria. So how many graduates can they employ? This article focuses mainly on the remaining 98% of private schools whose owners are after nothing but profit making, I called them mushroom schools. But think about it, is it 10k, 15k, or 20k you are worth based on your level of education? Are you pleased with doing such job? If you can’t provide a yes answer to any of these questions it is high time you quit that job.
2. Too much of work: In order for these private schools owners to maximize their profit, they prefer to recruit few teachers and load them with tedious work that would have been effectively carried out if more teachers are involved.
If you teach in any of these schools, the minimum numbers of subjects you will be taking will be between 4-8 subjects. For example if you are science oriented, you will likely be given math, physics, chemistry, biology, integrated science, basic technology agricultural science to teach, if the school owner is considerate he may eliminate one or two.
It doesn’t end at taking these subjects; the number of classes you will be taking is another issue. For example of you are taking basic science, you may have to take it for jss1-3 class. Imagine where about 5 to 8 subjects are involved, then you will know you are in for a serious business.
It doesn’t end at that, these schools even with the loads of subjects you are taking will make the writing of lesson notes compulsory and must be submitted a week ahead. Writing a lesson note is a necessity for all teachers, but it would have been easier if too many subjects are not involved. Imagine a situation whereby you are taking five subjects, and many classes are involved, you will have to spend every bit of your spare time writing lesson note. And you call this work? As far as I am concern it is modern slavery.
3. Lack of opportunity for advancement: When you work for some organizations, a time comes when you will be promoted and have your salary increased. So when you work in this type of organization you have something to look forward to. The reward ahead will help to soot the pains of the job. However, working in a private school has no future. All you are doing is helping the school owners to build their empire after which you can be discarded at any time just like a tissue paper used to wipe the anus. If the school owner is so magnanimous to increase your pay, there is no way you can be earning 15,000 and have your pay raised to 50,000. The best they can do is to add a maximum of 5000 to what you were offered as at the time of entering the job, so what difference does that make?
4. Too many expenses: In addition to the poor salary offered by these schools, the money you expend working for them is a huge amount. You may want to know how. As a teacher you will be expected to look good at all times. This means your clothes must be properly washed and pressed with iron on regular basis. And if you are the type that like showing off, you will have to go for more wears so as to avoid wearing same cloth repeatedly within the week.
If your clothes must be neat always, it means you have to wash your cloth regularly. The more you wash, the more the cloth fades, and when your clothes fades you will be forced to buy new ones. Clothes that could last for two years will fade within few months when you wear them consistently. Furthermore, looking good demands good shoes. The same fate that befalls your clothes when you used them on regular basis is applicable to your shoes.
If you are a lady, you wouldn’t afford to leave your hair unkempt. To elevate your look you will need to make your hair regularly, doing so also requires cash.
What about your daily transport expenses? If you spend 200 hundred naira for transport every day, multiply it by the number of days you go to work in a week and subtract it from your salary, then you will know how much your are spending on transportation alone.
What about feeding during schools hours? Teaching involves talking and the more you talk, the more you lose energy, to regain energy, eating good food is a necessity. You will definitely spend a lot of money on food during school hour.
By the time you deduct all these expenses from your salary at the end of the month then you will find out that your take home cannot take you home. So what are you working for? Don’t you think you are wasting your time?
5. Salary irregularities: Even as ridiculous as the salary is, many of the proprietors don’t pay on time and even when they do they don’t pay in full. For example during the last month of a term, while the school is going on vacation, a teacher earning 15k per month may be paid 10k at the end of the term and be told that the balance will be received when the school resumes. I wonder why this is a common practice among these schools, I guess it is their own tactics of making teachers to come back. This may surprise you, but that is what most of the schools practice.
6. A reckless waste of your precious time: If you don’t want to consider any of the above reasons, the fact that taking a private school teaching job is a reckless waste of time is a good reason to consider. It was Benjamin Franklin who said, “he who love life should not waste time , for that is the stuff that life is made of.’’ If you agree with this truth, then you will choose something more rewarding than teaching in one of these private schools.
You may want to know how it is a waste of your time. Working in place where you have no hope of a better life for working for such organization is not worth your time. When you leave the school, you are starting all over again.
If you are well paid that would have been a reason to consider it , but in a situation where the salary is not even enough to meet your needs, then at the end of the day you will see that you have nothing to show for all your years of work. It is a pity that many have been victims of this, and they are seriously regretting it.
7. Lack of appreciation: Sometimes when you are appreciated for your efforts that alone will soot the pains of your labour and underemployment. But for most of these schools, that is not the case. Few of the school owners are humane and show genuine appreciation for the efforts their staffs are putting into the advancement of their respective schools. The truth is most of the school owners doesn’t show appreciation and are full of pride. They lack understanding and talk to you anyhow over every little mistake. Some will even go as far as being proud of the salary you are earning from them. It is always out of their mind that you are over-worked and under-paid.
8. Frustration: There is no way you won’t be frustrated working for these mushroom private schools when you consider how much efforts you put into getting your degree and your dream of a fantastic job after graduation, only to find yourself in a job that offers you less than 20k at the end of the month. As you go to work on daily basis, pondering on the disadvantages written above will start to make you to feel depressed. Your morale will become low and you may even start considering suicide if care is not taken.