NANS warns against hike in tuition fees, other charges
Parents flay Delta’s suspension of WASCE fees’ payment
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has warned tertiary institutions to stop any form of increase in tuition fees and extra charges on students.
In a communiqué issued by the NANS Zone B at the end of its 40th Senate meeting in Asaba, the union condemned the introduction of tuition fees in Delta State-owned tertiary institutions, maintaining, “Education is a right and not a privilege.”
It stated that in the light of the economic situation in the country, “it will amount to sheer wickedness to increase the fees payable in any institution in the state,” particularly at a time when some workers are being owed salaries.
The communiqué stated: “The Senate NANS Zone B rejects the introduction of tuition fee in Delta State tertiary institutions. The union hereby gives a seven-day ultimatum to return to status quo and further demand the reduction of the previous fees considering the economic situation of the country where most state governments are yet to pay their workers.”
Also, the NANS Senate rejects: “High fees being paid in Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma and Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu universities and subsequently demanded a reversal of the trend in AAU as well as reduction in fees in the latter institution.”
The students body described as fraudulent the collection of N1, 000 bank charges from students in the zone, and also rejected the payment of late fee charges, as practiced by virtually all tertiary institutions in the zone.
In another development, parents have described the Delta State government’s suspension of the payment of the West African Senior Certificate Examination (WASSCE) enrolment fees for candidates as insensitive to the poor.
The state government had on Thursday through the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Mr. Chinedu Ebie announced the suspension during a meeting with school principals and education stakeholders in Asaba.
Ebie told journalists that the decision was informed by the continual wastage of funds occasioned by the students’ patronage of
“miracle centres” outside the state.
But a cross section of parents and guardians, who spoke to our reporter described government’s decision as wicked.
One of them, Mr. Patrick Oporogo said: “It is wicked and a punishment of the poor. Why can’t the government stop students from going to miracle centers? The Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration is insensitive to the plight of the poor, I have three children who will be writing WASSCE, I have no money and no job, how do I cope?”
The Guardian investigation revealed that parents/guardians allegedly connive with their children by taking them to “miracle centres” outside the state to sit for the examination already paid for by the state government. As such, the number of registered absentee candidates continued to increase despite government’s efforts.
Meanwhile, the Secretary to the Delta State Government, Mr. Festus Ovie Agas has reiterated the determination of the state government towards ensuring that the state is free from the dreaded HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Speaking in Asaba at the weekend during a visit by officials of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and officials of the State Action Committee on Aids (SACA) in his office, Agas commended the agency for its interest in the state.