SaharaReporters reports that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Kaduna State University chapter, said 75 per cent of the university’s students might drop out of school due to the massive increase in tuition fees.
The KASU Chairman, Dr Peter Adamu, said in a statement that the students might drop out because their parents could not afford to pay the new tuition introduced by Governor Nasir el-rufai led government.
Adamu urged the state government to rescind its decision to hike the tuition and engage relevant stakeholders on the issue in line with its Open Government Partnership.
He said education is a right and not a privilege, adding that education funding as stipulated in the Nigerian Constitution is the sole responsibility of the government, not parents.
He said the university has over 19,000 students, with more than 17,000 of them from the state.
Adamu added that 70 per cent of the indigenous students were sons and daughters of peasant farmers, civil servants and petty traders.
“Worse still, the state government has sacked a good number of its workforce; among them are parents and guardians of our students. These people struggle every day against the current economic downturn to pay the fees of their children.
“Raising school fees by over 500 per cent will, without doubt, send thousands of the students out of school.
“A significant majority of prospective students will be denied entry, and this may have a devastating impact on the government’s quest to develop viable human capital in the state,” he said.
The ASUU chairman said the increase would further widen the existing gap between the rich and the poor. He pointed out that the consequences of the upward review would be unquantifiable.
He added, “This is coming at the time when our streets are becoming unsafe due to spurge in thuggery, banditry and kidnappings. These crimes and many other related social vices have always been associated with lack of education and job opportunities as well as truancy.”
It will be recalled that the Commissioner of Education, Dr Shehu Makarfi, confirmed the tuition fees increase in all the state-owned tertiary institutions on Monday.
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 also said that the National Certificate in Education (NCE) programme was also increased to N75,000.
The management of the KASAU has denied knowledge of any increment in tuition fees as currently published and circulated on some social media. The management said an announcement had been made to the effect.
It, however, said there were planned upward reviews of fees for the school to meet certain challenges.