NAUS threatens nationwide protests against high fees in varsities
VC canvasses deregulation of education sector
National Association of University Students (NAUS) has threatened to hit the streets over the high fees charged by universities across the country.It said the measure could increase the number of dropouts in no distant time. In a statement in Ado Ekiti yesterday, NAUS National Vice President, South West, David Aridiogo, said there might be nationwide protests in all universities that decided to put heavy financial burdens on students through obnoxious fees.
The students warned the managements of universities to stop transferring the burden of underfunding by governments to students who should enjoy their right to education. They students called for immediate reduction in acceptance and tuition fees payable in universities to avert confrontation with the students’ body across the nation.
Aridiogo said it was pathetic that universities’ managements hide under underfunding to introduce all manners of fees that could deprive children of the poor necessary education.“In Ekiti State University, acceptance fee has increased from N70,000 to N100,000. The medical and law students are to pay N150,000.
“Beyond government’s inefficiency, the management of various universities in the country, especially in Ekiti, involving in evil activities with the introduction of levies and fees that are far outside their scope, all in the name of sourcing funds despite that it is expected of government to fund universities.
“We condemn in totality this trend in our universities and demand the abolition of alien fees, proper funding of education by the governments, democratisation of university administration and reversal of the increment in school fees in our universities,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor of Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), Ondo State, Prof. Igbekele Ajibefun, has advocated deregulation of the education sector, declaring that government alone can no longer finance education adequately in the country. He stated this in Akure yesterday during a media briefing for the ninth convocation of the institution.
Ajibefun said the funding of the sector solely by government was not sustainable due to paucity of fund. The vice chancellor, who advocated inclusive funding for the university system, justified the recent increment in the tuition of the institution, declaring that the old fee was unrealistic. He explained that it was long overdue and attributed the results achieved in the institution to the increment, which he said also impacted positively on the standard of teaching and learning.
“No doubt, when I came in five years ago, I was in a hurry to build on what was on the ground. Today, I make bold to say that we have not only sustained the success achieved in the past, but also opened new grounds of development and have taken the university to a greater height.“In total, we are presenting 3,804 graduands at this ninth convocation, with the Faculty of Education leading with 1,112, followed by the faculties of Science and Social and Management Sciences with 810 and 786 graduands respectively,” he said.
The Guardian gathered that 140 candidates would be conferred with Masters, while 28 will be conferred with Postgraduate Diploma. A total of 16 candidates will be conferred with Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree. “Of the total figure for first degree, 20 candidates made First Class; 933 earned Second Class (Upper Division), 2,007 bagged Second Class (Lower Division) while 623 and 28 are in Third Class and Pass category respectively,” he added.