Emily Johnson
Wed, Aug 9, 2023 1:15 PM

Parents and Students Express Concerns Over Hike in School Fees

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Parents and Students Express Concerns Over Hike in School Fees
Parents and students across Nigeria have expressed their concerns and dissatisfaction with the recent hikes in school fees. This comes after the announcement of the students' loans bill by the Federal Government, which many believe will lead to further increases in fees. The University of Lagos (UNILAG) is one of the institutions that have already adjusted their fees, causing distress among parents and students. The issue has sparked a debate about the accessibility of higher education and the impact of these fee hikes on students and their families.

Parents and students alike have raised their voices to express their displeasure and concerns regarding the continuous increase in school fees across Nigeria. The recent announcement of the students' loans bill, also known as the Access to Higher Education Act 2023, has added fuel to the fire and has left many feeling pessimistic about the future of education in the country.

The Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) and other civil society groups have strongly condemned the Act, arguing that it will not increase access to tertiary education as intended but will instead perpetuate the cycle of disadvantage. One of the major criticisms of the Act is the introduction of a family income cap of N500,000 per annum, which some see as a tactic to shift from tuition-free education to tuition-based education.

The University of Lagos (UNILAG) was one of the first institutions to announce adjustments in their fees. The mandatory charges for new undergraduate students range from N126,325 for courses without laboratory/studio to N176,325 for courses with laboratory and studio lessons. Returning students are also required to pay increased fees, with charges of N100,750 for courses without laboratory and studio, and N140,250 for courses with laboratory and studio. Medical students are expected to pay N190,250.

These significant fee hikes have left many parents and students feeling devastated and overwhelmed. One parent, Mr. Monsuru Ajibola, is pleading for a downward review of the fees as he struggles to comprehend how he can afford the new charges. He believes that the loan program introduced by the government may not adequately meet the financial needs of the students and their families.

Mrs. Magdalene Uzor, a single mother of four, shares a similar sentiment. As a petty trader, she is struggling to provide for her daughter's education, let alone pay the mandatory charges of N190,000 for the upcoming session. She calls upon the Vice-Chancellor to consider the difficult circumstances faced by parents like her.

The Students Loan Act and the consequent fee hikes have been strongly criticized by Achike Chude, Deputy Chairman of Joint Action Front, and Tola Oresanwo, Director of Administration and Programme at the Coalition for Anti-corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL). They view these fee hikes as an attack on education in Nigeria and as a deliberate attempt to hinder access to tertiary education.

Students at the University of Lagos' Distance Learning Institute (DLI) have expressed their concern over a potential fee increase. Agboola Gabsiu, a self-sponsored student, worries that he may not be able to manage the situation. As someone who already struggles to afford his education, an additional increase in fees may prevent him from achieving his educational goals.

While some universities like the University of Ilorin have provided palliative measures, such as deploying buses for students and staff and offering free data to academic staff for virtual lectures, many parents and students are still grappling with the financial burden of higher education.

The outcry over the hike in school fees reflects the broader issue of the affordability and accessibility of education in Nigeria. It is a call to action for the government and educational institutions to reconsider their policies and find sustainable solutions that ensure every student has the opportunity to pursue their dreams without being hindered by exorbitant fees.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-08-09 News

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