The National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, has lamented that with the recent drastic hike in School fees across the country, due to President Bola Tinubu’s Federal Government’s refusal to take on its Constitutional responsibility of providing very affordable and free Education for Nigerians, some Students may be forced to drop out, learnt.
Recall, that many Public Universities have in recent months, drastically increased their tuition fees, owing to what they described as the country’s economic realities.
While some of them have made a meagre downward review after protests by Students, the National President of ASUU is afraid that parents/guardians would find it difficult to still pay the new fees.
He made his concerns when he featured on Channels Television’s ‘Sunday Politics’.
His words: “Today, Universities are arbitrarily increasing tuition fees.
“Is that correct in an environment today, where the minimum wage is N30,000 per month, and where they have to pay rent and pay heavily for transportation? And you are enforcing this thing on the Students?
“As a result of this, I can assure you that you can check if nothing is done about this heavy fee being introduced all over the country today, in the next two or three years, more than 40 to 50 percent of these Students who are in School would drop out.”
According to him, if such happens, these Students would become willing tools in the hands of those who want to make the “country ungovernable”.
He added: “That is what we are saying: create the environment we had in the ’60s and ’70s.
“When I was a Student, the government was paying me for being a Student. Let us have an environment where the children of the poor can have access to education, not closing them. If you say School fees of N300,000, how can the children of somebody who earns N50,000 a month be able to pay such fee?”
To remedy the situation, Professor Osodeke asked the Federal Government to increase its educational budget “to at least 15 percent from last year’s 3.8 percent”.
More news later…