In a small, bustling private school in Abuja, Nigeria, Mr. Adebayo, a dedicated head teacher, juggles the demanding responsibilities of his role with the harsh realities of inadequate compensation. Despite holding a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and overseeing the entire school’s academic activities, Mr. Adebayo earns a modest 40,000 Naira per month—a sum that barely covers basic living expenses in the increasingly expensive city of Abuja.

Personal Struggles
For Mr. Adebayo, the low salary poses significant hardships. As the sole breadwinner for his family, which includes his wife and three school-aged children, he finds it increasingly difficult to make ends meet. In a heartfelt interview, Mr. Adebayo opens up about his daily struggles.
“Every month, I have to prioritize which bills to pay and often have to forgo essential needs. It’s a constant struggle to ensure my children’s education while managing household expenses. Sometimes, I can’t even afford to buy textbooks or pay for extracurricular activities for my kids,” he says, his voice tinged with frustration and worry.

Despite his unwavering dedication to his students and his role as a head teacher, Mr. Adebayo admits that the financial strain is taking a toll on his personal well-being and family life. The stress of balancing work demands with financial responsibilities often leaves him feeling exhausted and underappreciated.
“There are days when I question my career choice,” he confides. “I love teaching and shaping young minds, but it’s disheartening to see my efforts go unrewarded financially. My wife and I often have to make sacrifices, cutting down on basic necessities just to get by.”

Mr. Adebayo’s situation is not unique. Many private school teachers in Nigeria face similar challenges. The average salary for private school teachers is often significantly lower than that of their counterparts in government schools, despite the critical role they play in educating the next generation.
“It’s ironic that as a head teacher, I am supposed to be a role model and a source of inspiration for my students, yet I struggle to provide the basics for my own family,” Mr. Adebayo laments. “How can we expect teachers to give their best when they are constantly worried about their finances?”

Impact on Family Life
The financial difficulties extend beyond just basic living expenses. Mr. Adebayo’s children are directly affected by the economic strain. “My children sometimes miss out on school trips and extracurricular activities because we simply cannot afford them. It’s heartbreaking to see them miss out on opportunities due to financial constraints,” he shares.

Despite these challenges, Mr. Adebayo remains committed to his profession. He speaks passionately about the joy he derives from teaching and the fulfillment of seeing his students succeed. However, the harsh reality of his financial situation often overshadows these moments of joy.
“Teaching is my passion, but passion alone cannot feed my family,” he says. “We need to see a change in how teachers are compensated. Our dedication should be matched with fair salaries that reflect the importance of our work.”

Mr. Adebayo’s story is a deep reminder of the sacrifices and dedication of teachers in Nigeria. Despite being overworked and underpaid, he continues to strive for the betterment of his students. His situation calls for a critical evaluation of the compensation structures for private school teachers and the urgent need for reforms that ensure they are adequately rewarded for their invaluable contributions to society.