Wednesday, 6th December 2023

Outrage over proposed tuition fee hike in UI as ERC, youths condemn the proposed hike

By Rotimi Agboluaje, Ibadan
14 August 2023   |   2:38 am
Education Rights Campaign {ERC}, University of Ibadan and Yoruba Youth Socio-Cultural Association {YYSA}have kicked against the proposed hike in school fee for the 2022/2023 academic session by the University of Ibadan {UI}.

University of Ibadan

Education Rights Campaign {ERC}, University of Ibadan and Yoruba Youth Socio-Cultural Association {YYSA}have kicked against the proposed hike in school fee for the 2022/2023 academic session by the University of Ibadan {UI}.

News filtered in over the weekend that the university has made a proposal to the National Universities Commission {NUC} to jerk up its fees. A document sighted by The Guardian shows the proposed fees.

In a statement by the Oyo State Coordinator of ERC, Ben Taffee, the group condemned the proposed fees hike.

Taffee said: ”The attention of the Education Rights Campaign, ERC, University of Ibadan branch has been drawn to the news of the proposed hike in school fee for the 2022/2023 academic session by the Prof. Adebowale-led administration of the University. According to this proposal, a returning student is expected to pay between #121,000 and #173,850 while the new students pay between #213,500 and #318,000. The proposed fee hike does not include levy for field trip, teaching practice and other professional levies which are mandatory for students depending on the course of study.

”The ERC condemns and rejects the proposed fee hike. This hike at a time when the mass of the Nigerian working people are still struggling to cope with the adverse effects of socio-economic dislocations occasioned by over #200 hike in the price of petrol and devaluation of Naira by the Tinubu-led Federal Government is inhuman. It also shows that Prof Adebowale-led administration of the University is highly insensitive to the plight and suffering of the Nigerian poor working people, who constitute the majority of the parents of students of the university.

”Moreover, even without the devastating economic crisis that Nigerians are going through at this present time, ERC does not see any justification for a new hike in fee. According to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, public education is a social service. It is meant to be free and adequately funded by the government, not students nor their poor parents. Besides, as far as we are concerned the previous fee hikes have not translated into any significant improvement in the learning and living conditions of the university. Instead, the condition has gone from bad to worse.

”Again , the proposed fee hike is a flagrant violation of the recent directive by the Federal Government, FG, that forbids the administration of any of the federal universities in the country to effect any form of fee hike. It has also exposed the deceit in the FG’s claim that the savings from the so-called subsidy removal shall be invested in social services like education. Except this proposed fee hike is resisted and defeated, it will not only increase the hardships mass of the Nigerian are going through at this present time but also force many of the students currently in the university to drop out”.

ERC therefore demanded an immediate reversal of the proposed fee hikes while calling on Tobiloba-led Students’ Union to commence the process of a mass mobilisation of students in the university towards building a resistance to prevail on the Adebowale-led university administration to drop the intention to hike the school fee.

”The ERC also calls on the SU leadership to immediately convene a mass meeting of students to commence discussion as to how to build such a resistance against the proposed fee hike. This must also include an effort to make an appeal for solidarity and support of the workers unions which include ASUU, SSANU, NAAT and NASU as well as civil society organisations within and outside the University”, he added.

Also, YYSA through its National President, Habib Olalekan Hammed, said increasing tuition fees is not only condemnable but pain-racked. ”Nigerians are seriously suffering from the effects of subsidy removal which has led to runaway increases in the prices of foodstuffs, goods and services.

”The monthly salaries of civil and public servants have not been reviewed despite all costs of living while traders are complaining of low patronage of customers. The amount of money people spend daily on transportation to their workplaces, shops and business centers is now unbearable.

”Although, corruption has engulfed our institutions of learning across the country and must be curtailed. It is the reason behind the extortion in various academic organizations. But notwithstanding, the government on its part must do the needful.

”Moreover, the Federal Government of Nigeria only issued a statement to warn institutions not to increase tuition fee but neither putting anything in place to cushion the effects of subsidy on schools’ expenses nor providing standby palliatives to mitigate suffering of the masses”.

He added that removing subsidies on PMS and electricity is indeed advisable but making education affordable is an applaudable practice of great countries of the world, saying,
”Borrowing students’ education loan is not as effective as making it affordable for them by reducing school Fees. That is one of the major things an average parent can benefit directly from government”.

Dr Ebenezer Tide Olalere, Dominican University, Samonda, Ibadan, said: ”The strategy of the new Federal Government is to increase the cost of every item of goods and services.

So, if the figure is not totally true, it may not be far from the truth. The implication is that many students, mainly children of the poor, may drop out. Yes,the government has promised to give a loan to poor students but how attractive are the conditions? Apart from this, how sure is getting a job after graduation to pay back such a loan. So many questions without answers”.

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