“ There is no excuse for any government to increase school fees abnormally for whatsoever reason because education should not be seen as a profit making venture“
Student bodies in Ogun state have described the recent hike in school fees across the state’s tertiary institution as pathetic, unfair and unacceptable.
They voiced concern that the state will soon have the highest percentage of dropouts in Nigeria, pointing out that the increase in school fees is intended to make life intolerable for both students and the state’s population as a whole.
This outcry was made on Thursday in a press conference organized by the leadership of NANS and NAOSS held in Abeokuta, the state capital.
While expressing dissatisfaction and disaappointment over the insensitivity of school management and her governing councils, Comrade Adeyanju Oluwafemi, chairman of the NANS Ogun JCC, Thomas Mathew, national president of NAOSS, and other student leaders emphasized that the education sector should not be seen as a means of generating funds.
“ We wish to express our displeasure and disappointment over the insensitivity of school managements and her governing councils in Ogun State towards the plights of students and decaying education.
“ The student community have watched with dismay the way school managements with the approval of the governing councils appointed by this administration has been lackadaisical in handling our tertiary institutions. Most of our tertiary institutions over the years have been rendered incapacitated following poor funding an allegation they have always levied against the state government.
“ It is no rumor that the government has almost abandoned tertiary education this is evident in the current deplorable state of our campuses across the State. Our schools are now filled with decaying infrastructure, inadequate teaching and non teaching staff, unconducive learning environment and salaries of staff are being owed.
“ Most pathetic is the recent hike in school fees across our tertiary institutions. This is unfair and unacceptable.
“ At Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), returning students are now to pay N180,000 as against N76,500 per session, while new students are now to pay as much N230,000.
“ The school fees of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY), has been jacked up from N62,000 to N120,000 for Science students while non science students are to pay between N150,000 to N155,000 as against N55,000.
“ For OSPOTECH, the school fees was increased from N67,000 to N109,000 for indigenous students, while non indigenous students are now to pay N124,000 as against N77,400.
“ These are just a few examples of the abnormal increment in school fees of tertiary institutions in the State despite the economic hardship.
“ We want to believe that this hike in school fees is targeted at making life unbearable for students and the entire people of the State. This is a clear indication that the Governor is trying to prevent vulnerable students in Ogun State from accessing affordable and qualitative education. We are Afraid if this is made to stand Ogun State will soon be the state with the highest number of drop outs in Nigeria .
According to them, tertiary institutions should be viewed as a means of preparing young people for the future rather than as a way to produce IGR.
“ There is no excuse for any government to increase school fees abnormally for whatsoever reason, because education should not be seen as a profit making venture ! In as much as we are concerned as progressive inclined Nigerian student leaders, we understand the need for government to diversify and seek funds, however the education sector should not be seen as an avenue to source for funds.
Meantime, the student bodies issued a four-day ultimatum, warning that a lengthy protest would follow if the state government did not reverse all increases.
“ We hereby give the Ogun State Government a four-day ultimatum to reverse all increments in State owned institutions in the stage ! If nothing is done at the expiration of this ultimatum, we shall have no option other than to mobilize all affected institutions, and affiliated National Student Bodies to a marathon protest at the governor’s office until all increments are reversed across board and our demands met.
They however urged security agencies not to interfere in the protest because they “will have the monsters they created to combat with.”
“ Finally we are warning security agents especially the police not to make attempt to sabotage this genuine struggle because they will have the monsters they made to combat with!