IT is not strange development that Nigeria’s economy is in recession. The best economies in the world have been hard-hit by economic meltdown, with the attendant closure of many businesses, job haemorrhage, considerable budget cuts and other unpleasant experiences.
However, quite as many as have been hit have survived the onslaught. The trick is: their citizens, though with the benefit of coherently articulated government policies in place, have fuelled growth and catalysed their economies out of recessional grip by shifting focus from traditional business lines to what have been called recession-proof businesses.
These are businesses that are largely insulated from the punches of recession. One of such enterprises, to which Nigerians may shift attention, is providing afterschool neighbourhood teaching service or what is simply called home lesson/tutorial for kids and teens.
Hard as the times may appear, parents still go the extra mile for their children to have qualitative education.
Starting an afterschool tutoring
Doing a little research on the area to cover and the kind of service to provide is the first step. The findings of the research should be factored in the drawing up a comprehensive tutoring plan. The niche to be targeted must have been identified in the research, which should also incorporate the unique desires of parents for their wards. The kids’ specific interests should also not be discountenanced.
The research can be done through drawing up a questionnaire to be administered on residents of the neighbourhood, seeking information from parents what specific needs will they want met or strengthened in their kids. The entrepreneur can also ask parents directly in a one-to-one interaction. The methodology to be adopted, whether formal training or informal one will also determine.
On the whole, the focus should be on not just training pupils to be bookish, but also to grow to be well-adjusted and roundly developed individuals.
A financial breakthrough
One young entrepreneur who is almost three years into the venture is Miss Adedoja Odubanwo. She offers after-school services to kids in her neighbourhood at Omole Estate, Lagos State. Odubanwo, who will be three years on the job in another three months, narrates to Sunday Tribune how the idea came, the challenges and prospects of the job.
“I used to work as a teacher in a private school and as you probably know, proprietors of private school don’t pay the teachers they employ well, but like to overstretch them. So, I called it quits with the school I was working before where I was paid N12, 000 monthly.
“For me, teaching is not just a means to an end. It is an end in itself. So, I started home lessons for kids in my area, providing after-school services to primary and secondary school pupils. I take them only English and Mathematics. But I occasionally add Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning.
“I started with a kid whose mother I approached. From the testimony of that parent and dramatic improvement in the standards of the child, more parents engaged my services. Before I could say Jack Robinson, I have more kids than I could handle. So, I gave others to my friends who also teach in the area.
“I charge based on what work I do as well as the school fees charged in the schools attended by the kids of my clients. The least I take is N10, 000 for kids in schools with below N100, 000 as fee. But for schools where they pay From N100, 000 and above, the minimum is N15, 000 and N20, 000 maximum per month. I have five kids.
“The job enables me to run my part-time HND programme in Ibadan, Oyo State, though I live in Lagos. I pay my school fee, feed and provide for my needs from what I make every month from the services rendered.
“Whoever is interested in this job should be well versed in teaching techniques and how to impart knowledge generally. The person must have a lot of patience, especially with the parents, many of whom could be naughty at times.
“For instance, on Monday (last week), I went to the home of one of the kids I teach but met no one. The following day, it was the same story. After several calls were not answered or returned, I sent an SMS to the parent. Not quite long afterwards, she called me and started yelling, asking what kind of message I sent to her. And this was a message whose tone is not in any way harmful or unfriendly. I apologised profusely after I had allowed her to let out her anger. The following day, I sent her a text message of another apology. She called and said she was not angry anymore.
“Another challenge is that some parents don’t want their children to be herded together with others. They want me to visit each flat and take their kids separately from others. So, I allot time. I do about five hours three days in a week. But as soon as I am through with my HND programme by November this year, I will add more kids and make more money,” she said.