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UI, AAU Under Fire Over Hike In Tuition Fees: Education : Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum (116 views)

UI, AAU Under Fire Over Hike In Tuition Fees

By Adenosine (M)April 12, 2018, 09:26:04 AM


Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the authorities of the University of Ibadan (UI) and Adekunle Ajasin University (AAUA) to immediately reverse their increment in fees.

While the UI increased fees for students’ professional training and accommodation, AAUA increased its tuition fees.

The organization said the universities ought to have carefully considered the effects of high fees on accessibility and the vision of education that they seek to achieve.

SERAP in a statement on Thursday by its deputy director, Timothy Adewale said: “The universities are advised to find solutions to their funding difficulties elsewhere. But if they fail to reverse these fees within 7 days of the publication of this statement, SERAP would take appropriate legal action to compel them to do so.

“The dramatic increases would have the effect of discriminating against disadvantaged students who may be unable to pay the new fees, and who are not granted any exemption, thereby creating a classification based on the economic and social status of their parents. The increases would also undermine the students’ rights to education and equal protection guarantees.

“The inability of the students or their parents to pay these fees would result in an absolute deprivation of a meaningful opportunity for the students to enjoy educational benefit. Increasing fees because the authorities are not adequately funding the two institutions is victimising the students over an issue they have neither control nor responsibility.

“Students that are unable to pay these fees may become disillusioned, gradually disassociate from the universities, and eventually drop out entirely. When a student is excluded from gaining the full benefits available in public school because of inability to pay fees, the effect is exclusion which naturally imposes a lifetime hardship on a discrete class of students not accountable for their disabling status.

“SERAP also urges the leadership of the National Assembly to come up with legislation that would: end arbitrary imposition of fees in our public schools; grant exemptions to students from disadvantaged background; ensure that our universities are adequately funded on an equitable basis to ensure the proper exercise of the rights to equal protection of law and education and redress inequalities in education provision.

“The right to education is too important to be left to the budgetary circumstances of individual university or socio-economic status of parents and families. Any perceived financial hardship faced by the UI and AAUA cannot justify the violations of the students’ constitutional guarantees of equal protection and Nigeria’s international obligations to ensure equal access to the right to education. The right to education is not a commodity for sale.

“Nigeria cannot continue to compete and prosper in the global arena when university students are chased away because they cannot afford to pay fees. And if Nigeria cannot compete, it cannot lead. If our students continue to face victimisation, discrimination and exclusion on the grounds of their socio-economic status, Nigeria will become a nation of limited human potential. It would be tragic if the authorities at UI and AAUA and the government of President Muhammadu Buhari allow this to happen.”

Source Dailypost.ng



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