Why The Boarding School Is A No! No! For Me


Permit me to discuss this topic from the viewpoint of a parent, an educator and a one-time boarder.

I attended a Unity school when Unity Schools were the talk of the town. In those days, if as a parent your child wasn’t in a Federal school, you would do all within your reach to ensure he/she gets in and if your child wasn’t in a Federal school, you just “couldn’t feel among”. The days when we wrote two main secondary entrance exams – Federal and State, the days when we were EDUCATED, the days when children from different tribes lived together not even understanding that we were different. The days when we had TEACHERS!

I was sent off to a boarding school as the first child at age 11. I remember that day very well. I remember my mum crying while we packed my things into the boot of the car as we got set to leave Enugu for Onitsha. My siblings by the entrance to the door of the house with mixed feelings, my little self not wanting to see tears drop from my mum’s eyes, joining in the tear flow, though eager to get to the school.

The school was far from what I thought. The moment my parents drove off, my cousin who was with me needed to report to the dining hall as she was the dining prefect. It wasn’t easy for me. I cried early the next morning when it was time to take a bath. The struggle for space to take a bath. Oh dear! Whenever I went home, I didn’t want to go back.

Was it worth it? I ask myself today. “What really was the reason my parents took me to a boarding school?”. Seeking answers from my parents, it was because the school then was known for high moral standards and sound education. My older cousins had gone there and their parents spoke good about the school.

Could these be the same reasons parents send their kids off to boarding schools these days? Speaking with a parent, her reason was – “Let me have my lone time again”. Ok yes! This is one out of the many parents I know. But really have you asked yourself why that child should be sent to “that” boarding school?

Also speaking with a non-boarder, I asked, “would you have loved to attend a boarding school if given the opportunity back then?” her answer was “yes” for the reasons that she would be more time conscious, independent and would have started praying earlier enough. Hmmmmmm….

Let’s bring it to the home. Don’t you think if we parents perform our parenting roles as we should, there would be little or no reasons to want to ship the children off to boarding schools?

Excuse number 1 – We may not be able to monitor him well to study appropriately and without distractions if at home.

Excuse Number 2 – She will learn independence at school.

My question is, at age 8/9 or 11 (as we see today), is that child ready with all the family values to be able to stand up to the negatives from external forces?

Oh yes! You may say. My child has a guardian in school. One thing we as parents don’t know is that “that” one guardian has many other children to care for and if you as a parent cannot give enough attention to your ONE child, how then would you expect “one guardian” to cater for fifteen children?

As a boarder, I had a school guardian. He was a man, and so his wife did the “guardian work”. One of the mid-term break periods, I went to collect my leftover pocket money. As a child, you would often remember how much you had after each collection. Getting to her house, she turned me back saying my money had finished. I couldn’t believe it! I cried that day like never before. You won’t also believe that having asked her to lend me some, she hesitated saying, I told a lie to get money. That experience remains fresh in my heart after twenty whole years!

Considering that experience, I can only imagine what Kaziem, the nine-year-old who died over the weekend due to mismanagement of her health by the school authorities would have gone through. I have refused to deeply imagine that incident!

As an educator who manages a school, I can stand tall anywhere to say that most teachers and staff, in general, are nonchalant about their duties. If you are an entrepreneur today and expect that business to grow without your daily input, you gotta be joking. If it works for you please do well to email me the secret!

I ask again if you cannot give your children what they need till they attain the age of accountability, who will? The Guardian? The teacher? That child was given to you to parent! To parent means to raise a child up in such a way that when he/she grows, he doesn’t become a liability to the community. It means to take care of a child.

Why my Child will not attend any Boarding School:

  1. They are too young to be shipped off to someone else to care for.
  2. No one will care for my children as I would. So as a mumpreneur, I’d rather schedule my time to suit them.
  3. Research shows that when a parent is involved in their child’s education, the child performs better. Practicing this with my children, whenever I teach my child a seemingly difficult topic, she understands it. And even if I don’t understand it at that point to teach, I ask questions till I understand it. This is because I know she will understand it better if I teach her.
  4. The schedules the boarding schools give, I can give perfectly without having to hurt my child’s self-esteem.
  5. My family has values, morals, and ethics peculiar to us which the children need to learn before attaining the age of accountability.
  6. I can teach independence without having to send them off to a different house.
  7. My children need to understand that family is everything. If they can learn to care for themselves as siblings, together they will change the world.

My views and reasons may be different from yours but some key questions are:

  1. Can the aim for which the child is shipped off to a boarding school be achieved at home?
  2. Will shipping the child to a boarding school cause more harm than good considering morals, values, ethics etc.

I’m a Twenty First Century Parent, I choose to parent intentionally and consciously!!!

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  1. Juwon on November 30, 2017 at 10:41 am

    Hmmm…really thought-provoking, Daisy. This is a very delicate topic.
    Morals were high back then, they are no longer so today. Back then, internet wasn’t as strong and widespread as it is today. So, today’s parent has even more demons to fight. However, just as the challenges have become more so also has the burden to make the two ends meet. Husband and wife have to work round the clock in order to pay bills. The more reason why at the slightest opportunity, we bundle the kids off to school. And heave a big sigh of relief.
    It’s tough. But we cannot continue to shirk in our responsibilities. Sometimes, even the kids that are at home are still not getting the attention of the parents. They are being raised by house-helps. And in this age where you can access any and everything in the world just by having an android phone in your palms, you will agree that it calls for more vigilance.
    Thanks for this piece and this reminder. As a teacher, I can identify

    • Daisy on November 30, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      Very insightful comment Juwon. Thanks for the kind words!

  2. ijeoma on November 30, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Very nice write up.I don’t think I would want my kids in a boarding house too even though I attended one.I still remember your experience Daisy and of course the world has gotten much worse.

    • Daisy on November 30, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      Oh yes Ijeoma! Experiences worth remembering. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Obyno on November 30, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    Beautiful write up!!!….I think it really depends on the kind of boarding house one attends and the schedule of the both parents. I and my siblings attended a christian boarding school primarily because my parents were civil servants with a typical 9-5 type job (putting lagos traffic in that equation, that means we only get to see our parents at night on weekdays and on weekends) hence making boarding school the only viable option at the time. Staying away from my parents at a young age was not fun at first but I quickly adjusted and this was due to the fact that my parents started preparing us for boarding school at a very young age and also completed thorough research on the boarding school that we eventually attended to make sure that it was in line with the morals and goals they wanted us to attain. Overall, I will say that i enjoyed living in boarding school for 6 years as it gave me first hand experience on how to live and adapt in a new environment at a very young age; a quality which most of my peers didn’t have at the time.
    Acknowledging the fact that times have changed and the world of teenagers is becoming something else especially with the emergence of internet and social media, I still think there are good christian boarding schools out there with the best interest of the kids that parents can explore.

    • Daisy on November 30, 2017 at 9:42 pm

      I understand your point Obyno. Also, permit me to add that when a parent in this Twenty First Century is able to answer the question “why is the child being sent to a boarding school?” without any iota of self centeredness on the part of the parent, then it is settled. After all, what works for one may not work for the other. But also being aware that it is about the child. Thanks for the kind words and for commenting.

  4. Molekor on December 1, 2017 at 9:02 am

    Nice piece Daisy, I too went to boarding school and yet will not send my kids to boarding school- at least not until they’re about 15. I am here with them to give them the talks my parents never gave me and hopefully raise strong confident men with the right values and outlook on life. Its not easy and it does take a lot of your time, but I think its worth the investment. Lets stop allowing our broken society do it for us. Things have changed immensely.

    • Daisy on December 1, 2017 at 12:43 pm

      A well noted point Molekor. Thanks for commenting!

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