Plastic bottles as alternative for school fees in Lagos

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Parents of students of Morit International School, Ajegunle,
Lagos, and the school management have reached an agreement on how parent can
pay their wards’ fees with waste plastic bottles.

The agreement is made possible after the school adopted the
Recycles Pay Education Project, an initiative of African Clean up Initiative
(ACI), an environmental non-governmental organisation in Lagos.

This initiative was accepted by the school management in
order to ease the burden of parents’ difficulty in the payment of their wards’

Meanwhile the Proprietor of the school, Patrick Mbamara
described the effort as a welcome initiative, as it aids parent off the
financial burden.

He said “It is helping to cushion the financial burden
of parents in the school. We have a history of parents finding it difficult to
pay each term school fees of N7, 500.

“The money from the PET bottles is not much but it
balances for what the parents can pay. My staff and I are happy with this
initiative. It has improved parents’ payment of school fees and it teaches the
children how to manage their waste and promote a cleaner environment.”

On the other hand, Alex Akhigbe, Chief Environmental Officer
of the ACI, noted that the money gotten by each parent might seem little but it
is valuable. He went further to explain that a kilo of the plastics goes for
N20 to N25, adding that little amount of money gotten helps to balance up the
school fees.

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He said “PET bottles in the past were seen as waste but
they are not anymore.

“Parents can raise money from collecting them and
making them available to recyclers. They in turn convert them to other products
usable by man.

“The recyclers weigh the plastic bottles and pen the
kilogramme each parent brought. A kilogramme goes for N20 to N25 per kilo,
depending on the recycler. If a parent comes with 10kilo, he or she will get
N200 to N250. It looks like a huge effort is required. However, it’s valuable
to the environment and parents struggling to pay their children’s fees.

“Recyclers come two times a week to collect the sorted
waste from the parents. This is to encourage parents who do not have space in
their homes to be storing the waste.”

Recently, the management of the Miss Earth Nigeria surprised
20 of the parents with active participation in the project by awarding their
wards scholarship during the ‘Pick that plastic and stay in school’ project,
held in the school.

The scholarship served as part payment of the school fees.
The gathered recyclable brought by the parents will be used to complete the
school fees for the term.

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