Some students of the Kaduna State University, KASU are protesting the recent hike in schools fees by the State government.
The students in their numbers went round the school premises in Kaduna, calling for the reversal of the increase which they described as highly exorbitant and might force 75 percent of them out of school.
President, National Association of Science Students, Abubakar Buhari, who spoke on behalf of the protesting students said the old fee was between N24,000 and N26,000 depending on the course of study for indigenes, and non-indigenes pay between N31,000 and N36,000 depending on course of study.
He however disclosed that, the new fees schedule in the student’s portal shows that returning students would pay a flat rate of N100,000 irrespective of the course of study and indigenisation.
While for the new students, indigenes will pay N150,000 for art and humanities and N171,000 for sciences while non-indigenes would pay N221,000 minimum.
He said, “For social sciences, indigenes will pay N170,000, non-indigenes will pay N200,000 while indigenes admitted to study medicine are expected to pay N300,000 and non-indigenes are to pay N400,000.”
Buhari said the students are protesting to draw the attention of the State government to revert to the old fee rates or reduce the fees to a rate that parents and caregivers can afford to pay.
“This is because most of our students find it difficult to pay the old rate and with this increment, only the children of the elites can afford University education in the State institution”.
“I assure you if this new fees is implemented, 75 percent of our students will drop out. Must a son of a carpenter become a carpenter or that of a famer become a famer? We have a right to education and social responsibility”, he lamented.
Buhari said that governments’ decision to increase the fees which is likely to result to dropping out of students from school can lead them to join banditry or arm robbery.
Similarly, the President of Nigerian Association of Microbiology Students, Yusuf Rahama, said that education was what was keeping students away from the street, joining bad groups and prostitution.
“But with this new development, what do you think will become of us if we drop out of school? Of course, we will become liability to the society. Our parents have been sacked and we that are trying to acquire education to help them, the government has increased the fees. Government is indirectly asking us to also go and sit at home,” Yusuf added.
Also speaking, a 300-level student of Chemistry Department, Blessing Audu said her parent cannot afford over N100,000 to pay her school fees and pay N80,000 for hostel accommodation.
She expressed uncertainty about her future if the government insist on implementing the new fees.
It can be recalled that the Commissioner of Education, Dr Shehu Makarfi had in April confirmed the tuition fees increase in all the state-owned tertiary institutions.
Makarfi explained that the decision was to reposition the schools to deliver quality skills and training to solve 21st century challenges.
He said that KASU had been directed to increase the tuition fees from N24,000 to a minimum of N150,000.
He added that the minimum fees for National Diploma and Higher National Diploma programmes had been pegged at a minimum of N75,000 and N100,000 respectively.
The Commissioner added that the National Certificate in Education, NCE programme was also increased to N75,000.
Source: Voice of Nigeria