By: Adesola Ikulajolu
Students of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba -Akoko (AAUA) in Ondo State have rejected the state government plan to increase tuition fee payable to the institution.
The students who have taken to Social Media with the hashtag #LowAAUATuitionCall4Resumption, is calling on Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN to stop the plan.
It could be recalled that Governor Akeredolu has said during the 7th Convocation Ceremony of the Varsity held last year December that the tuition fee in AAUA would be revised upwardly. This has since caused various reactions from the students who are scared of the effect the increment would have on their education.
“Let me say without equivocation that the fees being paid in this school will be reviewed. I am not ready to tell anyone falsehood. We are here to say the truth because as you are aware, we would support this university but I beg of you, let us see it that way.”
“All universities we have around here, go and check what they pay and you would see it. If you want, come and advise the government and let us know. But I can assure you all that we would review the fees that we are charging for this university. It is better for you (students) to prepare your minds for it because we are not going to make decisions based on political considerations,” the governor had said.
Meanwhile, the students are due for resumption after closing last year December for the 2016/2017 academic session. All indications are pointed towards the proposed plan to increase the tuition fee. The students have then raised concern over the issue.
Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer of the University, Mr. Sola Imoru while reacting in a statement, revealed that the management is restructuring some sections of the institution which is taken quite some time.
In the statement, he said, “The university is using the period of the break to put in place all necessary structures, including repair of facilities, especially at this period of a paradigm shift in the state’s education sector, to ensure a conducive campus and a serene learning environment on resumption.”
“We assure our stakeholders that management is as concerned as the parents and students about the issue of resumption and would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the university resumes for a new session very soon.”
On the other hand, President of the Students’ Union, Comrade Ijanusi Olawale during a radio programme on ADABA FM in Akure alongside other executives of the Union had said that the students would not accept any increase in the tuition fee.
Comr.Ijanusi lamented the silence of the government over the plan while quoting the Commissioner for Education who said, “that the tuition fee would be decided by the Governing Council of the institution.”
He maintained that the issue of few increments should not be coming at this moment and that despite the current sum; the university was rated as the best state university in Nigeria by a foreign agency two times.
The Union President further highlighted the fact that Ondo State is dominated by Civil Servants and salaries are not being increased, therefore there shouldn’t be a plan to increase tuition fee.
Comr. Ijanusi said in the broadcast: “Increasing the tuition should not be an idea that should come at this time. That is the reason why we will say no to that because we believe education is our right and not a choice. Our parents are paying their taxes and we understand Ondo State is dominated by civil servants. The government is not increasing the salaries of our parents, so why are they saying they want to increase fees.”
Meanwhile, in a bid to intensify and show their displeasure, the students with a body named ‘Coalition of Aaua Media’ has taken to Social Media to express their grievances.
The body is a combination of all media outfits in the institution which includes Echo Media, Oasis Media, Sparkle Media, PalitoMedia, Forte Voices, Legal Kekenke, Empire Media amongst others.
The aim is to seek audience and appeal to the Governor to be lenient in his decision. They also plead with major stakeholders to wade in the act in their favour.