A school in Lagos is plying the unusual route, perhaps the road not taken, to give succour to indigent parents and hope to children living in the slum as it offers them access to education.
What many perceived as waste has become a medium of exchange to get access to education at Morit International School, cited in Ajegunle slum.
Through the RecyclesPay Educational Project, parents at the school are allowed to pay their children’s fees with cleanly sorted plastic bottles gathered from the environment.
A recycling company, Wecyclers collect the bottles twice a month and weighs what the parents brought.
The recyclers weigh the plastic bottles and record the kilogramme each parent brought. A kilogramme of PET bottles reportedly goes for N20 to N25 per kilo depending on the recycler. If a parent comes with 10 kilo, he or she will get N200 to N250.
One of the parents, Sherifat Okunowo in an interview with BBC, said the initiative has eased her burden of paying school fees.
“I struggle to pay the fees, sometimes I pay half and later pay the balance, but with the introduction of this initiative, it has been easy for me to pay the school fees.”
Founder of African Clean Up Initiative said
“Most of the parents are now beginning to see values in plastic bottles and don’t see it as waste any longer. They see it as a solution”
He described the Recycle Pay Educational project is perhaps the first in Africa, I stand to be corrected, where a model is being created that will allow parents to pay the school fees of their children using plastic bottles, pure water sachets, cans and perhaps cartons as well.
“This for us is a way of giving back to the community because this is what we are passionate about as an organisation.”
He added that the initiative has reduced the burden on parents as they pay on time and the little they have made out of the Recycle Pay Project in balancing their fee has really helped them subsidise or reduce the burden of school fees payment in the school.
“We now collect fees faster. For me it’s a win-win situation, the school wins, the children win, the parents win and everybody involves wins.
“We want to impact 10,000 within the next six years and that means it’s not meant for Ajegunle or Lagos State alone, it’s a project that is meant to go round Nigeria