Alumni Pleads With Govt., Says Management Must Be More Prudent, Creative
By: Adesola Ikulajolu
After a meeting on Sunday ended in deadlock, the student union leaders in Ondo has directed that no one should pay the increased fee and should not resume.
EDUTORIAL learnt that the meeting was to resolve the tension created by the increase in school fees of the Ondo state-owned Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko.
The meeting which held at the residence of the chairman of the governing council of the institution Tunji Abayomi, in Ijapo Estate, Akure, had in attendance executives of the student union, past student leaders in the school, NANS and NAOSS leaders, the schools management led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Igbekele Ajíbefun and the Education Commissioner, Femi Agagu.
The over 4 hours meeting was full of shouting march from the students and the management, as both parties failed to shift ground.
Addressing the journalists separately at the end of the meeting, Student Union President of the institution, Olawale Ijanusi, National President, National Association of Ondo State Students, Emmanuel Akeredolu and the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, JCC Ondo State axis, community Adewumi all directed students of the University not to pay the new fee and remain at home until further notice.
Meanwhile, the Alumni Association of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, has pleaded with the Visitor to the Varsity and Governor of the state, Arakunrin Olowarotimi Akeredolu, to reconsider the new school regime for the institution, while urging the students to be malleable on their no-increment position.
The Alumni Association made the please yesterday in a statement signed by its President, Mr. Patrick Oluyide.
The statement reads, “In appealing to the good conscience of Governor Akeredolu, we would like to say that, progressing in one stride from N23, 000 to N200, 000 would amount to changing a public institution to a private one overnight. It must also be noted that the majority of the student population are from a very humble background and to whom such increase would spell an end to their dreams.
“In every way possible, the mathematics of this hike far outweighs the economic capacity of the simple and ordinary people of the state. Such a move could make a well-intentioned initiative counterproductive. Our position is that if there must be an increase, it should be affordable, done in instalments and not drastically.”
Commending the level of maturity being deployed by the students to tackle the challenges, the association, however, said, “It is important to also say, that without any reference to what the educational policy of the government of the day could be, the economic environment in which we find ourselves today does require that you reconsider the no- increment position”
The Association pointed out to the University Management that though increment of the fee could form part of the Varsity’s Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, “For whatever justification, the current increment is exorbitant, astronomical and unrealistic. Increment from N23, 000 or N35, 000 to N120, 000; N150, 000; N180, 000 and N200, 000 is rather unexplainable, especially in a public Institution that has gained the reputation for quality and affordability.
“The N51, 000 non-refundable acceptance fee for fresh students when added to this increase obviously leaves a sour taste in the mind of several parents who have made such payment in good faith of our reputation of quality and affordability.”
It urged the University Management to be “more prudent and frugal in its management of already scarce resources and creatively consider boosting the IGR of the institution, beginning with the production of essential and daily items consumed by the university community and continually seek other sources of revenue, as the public institutions of today cannot any longer depend on a mono-source of income.”
See the new school fee regime:
- Faculties of Arts and Education: Fresh Students N150, 000, Returning Students – N120,000;
- Faculties of Science, Agric, Social and Management Sciences: Fresh Students – N180, 000, Returning Students – N150, 000;
- Faculty of Law: Fresh Students – N200, 000, Returning Students – N150, 000.
The old fees were between N23, 000 and N35, 000