The management of Caleb University, Imota, Lagos at the weekend justified the demand for parents to pay school fees and other charges, insisting academic activities were not disrupted as a result of the closure of schools nationwide due to the Coronaviru disease.
But some parents in a letter to the university management, rejected the school fees and other charges. It reminded the institution of the current situation in the country that has affected the financial position of parents due to COVID -19.
In a statement signed by the spokesperson of Caleb University, Mr. Elvis Otobo, said the institution commenced e-learning without interrupting its academic calendar, successfully conducted academic training and other regular activities on the university’s online platform, with student enrolment on the e-learning platform moving from 8 percent on April 20 to almost 100 percent by the beginning of July 2020.
Otobo words: “The university early in the semester granted all students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and lecturers, free access to various e-library resources, to enhance, research, learning, and teaching experience and capacity.
“Numerous other social, political, and spiritual activities, are also going on virtually. The Student Representatives Council (SRC) elections are ongoing, with students currently campaigning to solicit votes for various positions. Activities will culminate in manifesto presentation and the inauguration of the new executive, virtually,” the statement partly reads.
The solicitor for the university, Mr. Femi Falana, said universities in the country collect tuition and other fees at the commencement of each academic session and also when schools are closed, thus no refund is made.
Falana explained that there is a recognised parent body in the university through which all complaints can be lodged to the school, adding “the school cannot recognise any other parent’s body.”
Some concerned parents of Caleb University rejected the fees and other charges by the institution amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
The concerned parents disclosed that they wrote to the university management through their lawyer and the institution replied through its solicitor, which demanded for the names of all the parents involved before it can give any response.
“This issue started in March, some of us live abroad and we have been trying to get a hold of the school after they said they would start online lectures.
“Not only did they charge full school fees, but they also charged services which were not provided such as accommodation, internet, library, hospital, and others,” one of the parents explained.
Expressing concern about the university management position, the 121 parents, who signed the letter, faulted the demand for payment of full tuition fees during the COVID-19 pandemic, payment for hostel accommodation and other services that were not being provided as a result of COVID-19.
On the commencement of learning through an ineffective and abysmal online learning portal, the parents picked holes on the system and migration of students to the online platform without conversations with parents and guardians.
The concerned parents observed that the university took such decisions on a “Parent Forum” which comprises less than 7 percent of 250 out of over 40 parent’s population of the university