Some aggrieved students of the Kaduna State University (KASU) on Wednesday alleged that the recent hike in their school fees by the Kaduna State Government appeared to be a continuous attempt to deny them their right to education.
The students, who staged a peaceful protest within the premises of their campus, described the action of the State Government under Governor Nasir El-Rufai as a deliberate attempt to make education inaccessible by the masses in addition to N80,000 hostel charges and sacking of their parents who would have raised the fees.
If the state government remains adamant about this development, 75 percent of them and colleagues in other state-owned higher institutions may be forced to discontinue their studies as most of them are hitherto battle to pay the old rate which was between N24,000 and N35,000, they said off-protest.
Speaking to newsmen on behalf of the protesting students, President, National Association of Science Students, Abubakar Buhari said, the old fee was between N24,000 and N26,000 depending on the course of study for indigenes while non-indigenes pay between N31,000 and N36,000 depending on the course of study.
According to him, the new fees schedule in the student’s portal showed that returning students would pay a flat rate of N100,000 irrespective of the course of study and indigenisation, the new students, indigenes would pay N150,000 for art and humanities and N171,000 for sciences while non-indigenes would pay N221,000 minimum.
For social sciences, he said that indigenes would pay N170,000, non-indigenes would pay N200,000 while indigenes admittstudyingudy medicine would pay N300,000 while non-indigenes would pay N400,000.
“We are protesting to draw the attention of the state government to revert to the old fee rates or reduce the feed to a rate that parents and caregiver will be able to pay.
“This is because most of our students find it difficult to pay the old rate and with this increase, only the children of the elites can afford university education in the state institution.
“I assure you if this news fees regime is implemented, 75 percent of our students will drop out. The question is must a son of a carpenter become a carpenter? Must a son of a peasant farmer become one? Don’t we have a right to education a social responsibility? He queried.
He cautioned that the failure of the State government to rescind its decision may heighten insecurity in the state as drop out may venture into sophisticated crimes as means of survival.
President, Nigerian Association of Microbiology Students, Yusuf Rahama noted that education was one key thing that keeps students away from the street vices including banditry and kidnapping. The school was keeping the ladies from becoming prostitute because education was meant to secure their future. But with this new development, what do you think will become of us if we drop out of school? Of course, we will become liability he society.
“Our parents are being sacked and we that are trying to acquire education to help them, the government, by increasing the fees is indirectly asking us to also go and sit at home.
“This is not fair. The government should decrease the fees since some of our parents are being sacked and can no longer afford to pay our fees,” he said.