20 November 2017

Uganda: It Is Concert Time Again but Is the Stress Worth It?


Towards the end of each year, many schools plan major end-of-term activities.

Some of the schools, particularly the nurseries and private primary schools, market this as a major event in the life of their children; one where they show how the learners have been transformed since the year begun.

Others look at it as an effort to see off their children for the end of year festivities - hence the early December Christmas parties.

However, underneath all this is a major commercial agenda. The schools look at these end-of-year festivities as an opportunity to market them to potential clients, namely other parents with children.

Sadly, parents are lured into paying for these festivities. Every trick is then used to snare parents into paying for these festivities, whose cost can range from tens of thousands of shillings to nearly Shs 100,000 per child.

The money is ostensibly needed to purchase such exotic outfits as ballet costumes and lunch for a child, with more money needed for the parents if they are invited for the concert.

Some schools will recruit the parent's own children into the begging scheme, to ensure the money is paid, often on the grounds that they will not be invited for the fete. Others have been compelled to tell the children to persuade the parents to buy their teachers Christmas presents.

This behaviour is regularly frowned upon by parents, but unscrupulous school managers looking for an easy buck are undeterred. To say the least, this is unprofessional behaviour by the school managers, who are looking to pay for things that are of no consequence to both the children and the parents.

It is time for the schools to stop this behaviour. These concerts and fetes should be banned if they cannot be accommodated in the tuition fees charged by these schools. To recruit children into begging is shameful and parents ought to punish such schools by taking their children elsewhere.


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