It is a new session for schools in Nigeria. Secondary school students are planning to go back to school. The burden of what to get will always be on the parents and guardians. The school and students will communicate with each guardian or parent on some back-to-school essentials.
Resumption of this period may seem exciting for students after the experience they had during the lockdown from Covid. Most people now appreciate social gatherings and learning in a classroom with other students. Since the pandemic, it feels like getting back to normal.
Parents are also excited about their kids going to school, though it means it is time to spend some money. Every year during resumption periods, shop aisles are full of school supplies. You will also find adverts on social media platforms on school supplies minus the ones you see on shop aisles.
You will find an array of colours and fancy materials. However, you have to focus on what is essential and will be vital for your children's education. Parents also need to remember that secondary school students are pickier than primary school students and their shopping list is more than that of your primary school kids.
While shopping, you need to consider whether they are day or boarding school students. The list for your boarding school kids will be similar but different from those in a day school in Nigeria.
Some schools may have already sent out their lists of required supplies or posted them on their website. If they haven't, here's a Superprof guide that delivers a general list of back-to-school must-haves.
We also strongly recommend you discuss this with your secondary school students while making a shopping list.
School Uniforms For Secondary Students
All Nigerian kids have to wear school uniforms regardless of what school they attend, private or public.
All schools in Nigeria follow a uniform dress code. Each secondary school has uniforms, which distinguishes them from other secondary schools. By a student's uniform and crest, you can sometimes tell the school they are attending.
School uniforms are a practice which dates to the 16th century in the United Kingdom. Uniforms in Nigeria are from the pioneering work of the missionaries and the British who colonised us. Of course, no primary or secondary student in Nigeria is complete without their school uniform.
The good that about uniforms for students is that they don't have to worry about appearances, along with all the rest of the peer pressure of what is in vogue.
The list of must-have secondary school items in Nigeria is a bit longer than for primary school students, but there is a saving grace: if you can still fit in any of your uniforms, you don't have to buy new ones.
Unlike primary school students who grow so fast each term, you can still be lucky that your secondary kids still fit into their uniforms from the previous session. That is unless you have moved house - thereby causing a change in schools.
Most schools have their crest sewn on its uniform. If your child is starting secondary school, you need to get a list of the uniforms they would need. In Nigeria, you need to know that junior secondary school uniforms are usually different from senior secondary school uniforms.
If your child is moving to the senior secondary school level, their uniform may change from a pinafore to a skirt for girls and short to long trousers for the boys. This change is unique to each secondary school.
The cost of some school uniforms may be on the high side. Some Nigerian parents usually buy from the school and subsequently go to the market for similar materials to sew for their kids to save costs. What can make a complete set of uniforms in one school is usually different from another.
Some schools' complete uniform consists of ties, berets, blazers, cardigans, bows, caps etc.
Some schools' uniform policy demands that their cardigans meet their uniform guidelines - a specific colour with their crest. Other schools don't mind if students wear their own, provided it meets the criteria.
Be sure to check with their school to see if what is on your shopping list meets the school's regulations for acceptable outerwear.
Here's a list of what you can get for your secondary school students asides from things like blazers and cardigans that are outworn:
- three to five button-down shirts
- at least one tie - two would be better
- at least two pairs of trousers; the same number of skirts or pinafore for female students
- uniform-compliant shoes and socks;
If your child is going to boarding school, you need to get a list of the types of uniforms they will wear during their stay in school. The list you should get should comprise uniforms for the hostel, sleepwear, Friday or Sunday service, weekend uniforms etc.
Uniforms For Secondary School Physical Education(PE)
Sports are part of education for Nigerian students at primary and secondary schools. Sports in secondary schools are usually broader than what they must have participated in at the primary level. Secondary school PE programmes are much more.
Some schools offer physical activities like swimming, boxing, volleyball, dancing, ballet, tennis, basketball, football etc. It means that for whichever sporting activity your child decides to join, they will have to get uniforms for them.
For instance, if your child's school's PE activity includes a swimming component, they will need swimwear, swimming goggles and a towel.
Once you know the PE programme your child wants to join each session, use it to get the uniforms according to the school's requirements. If your child still fits into their old uniform, you do not have to get new ones for them.
Students will need trainers and gym shoes because this more advanced curriculum will likely include indoor and outdoor sports activities. If their gym shoes or sneakers are in relatively good condition and fit well, there's also no need to buy new ones.
We recommend a talk with your secondary school children about what PE programme they will join, so you can reach the school to know what will be on your shopping list.
Stationery For Secondary Students
Stationery is a necessity in every back-to-school shopping list.
Whereas most primary schools provide students with most of what they need to write with and write on, many secondary schools rely on students bringing their notebooks, pencils and other learning tools.
The stationary shopping list for secondary school students is usually longer as the students are required to take more subjects. For example, mathematics classes will now demand they have maths sets, graph books, a 30-centimetre ruler, a scientific calculator etc.
Secondary school students will have classes in technical drawing, fine arts, music, languages, chemistry, biology, home economics, food and nutrition that may require their unique stationery. Regardless of the subject, find out from the school the textbooks/stationery for your shopping list.
Regardless of the requirements or subject, here's a list of stationery that you should have on your shopping list that can never be a waste.
- Writing pens/biros
- Coloured pencils
- Exercise books
- Plain papers
- Maths set
- Textbooks, Dictionary, Notebooks
Other Back-to-School Supplies For Secondary Students
We all know that students' back-to-supplies will go beyond their uniforms and stationery.
Some of these supplies will not be on the list you may get from the school, and of course, as a parent, you know it is a necessity and should be on your list. If you are sure what some of them might be, this last segment in this article will help.
Since Covid, many students have been intentional about their hygiene, so adding hand sanitiser to your shopping list is vital.
Schools do their best to keep their supplies up, but there may be instances when the dispensers run out, and there's a long queue to clean one's hands. Getting them a travel-sized bottle of sanitiser could help reduce congestion in high-traffic areas, even if the school's own are empty.
And, speaking of backpacks.
Secondary school students need bigger bag packs than primary school students. If this is your child's first year in secondary school, their old backpack from primary school might not be up to the task.
If their school has a uniform backpack all students must carry, you will have little choice but to buy according to the requirement. However, if students are allowed to use any bag, make sure it is their taste, durable and can carry everything they'll need.
Other miscellaneous you should consider buying are:
- Lunch boxes
- Water bottles
- Book covers
- Folders to hold handouts and assignments.
- A big pencil case
- Combination lock or a padlock with keys: if their school assigns a locker to each student.
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