Hike in School Fees: Lawan meets regulatory Agencies in Education Sector
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan on Tuesday held a meeting with heads of regulatory agencies in education sector to douse the brewing tension over an alleged hike in registration fees in some tertiary Institutions.
In attendance at the meeting were the Executive Secretary of the National University Commission(NUC), Professor Abubakar Rasheed, Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Colleges of Education(NCCE), Professor Paulinus Chijoke Okwelle and Hajia Bilkisu Salihijo Ahmad representing the National Board for Technical Education( NBTE).
In his opening remarks, the Senate President told his guests that he convened the meeting as a follow-up to an earlier engagement which he had last week with the Coalition of Northern Groups – Students’ Wing which brought a complaint of a plan by some tertiary institutions to hike registration fees.
“We felt that we actually owe it a duty to listen to our students and of course also hear from you because we need to establish beyond reasonable doubt what the situation is,” Lawan said.
The Senate President cautioned that “whatever situations we find ourselves, we must not do anything that will jeopardise the position of our students particularly at a time that is so difficult.
“We understand that our tertiary Institutions have need for more resources but we equally understand that our students are mostly from very poor background and we must do everything possible to protect those who are so vulnerable.
“The finances for their education must never be hurdles between them and actualising their dreams. So we have to find out how this situation is and we take the appropriate measures.
“Because you represent the supervising bodies for our tertiary Institutions, we felt that we should start with you, listen to you and then we can now find a way out of this.”
He assured the students that the National Assembly and indeed the government would always work to protect and support them to continue with their education.
Responding on behalf of his other colleagues, the NUC Executive Secretary, Professor Rasheed commended the Senate President for his timely intervention.
“Your concern is shared by all of us. It will, at this point, be difficult to know exactly which Universities are violating or not. But after this meeting, we shall consult all the Universities with a template to complete and tell us exactly what charges they have.
“We shall advertise. If we are misled, we shall be able to get to know. We understand that the Universities cannot be forced to charge uniform fees across the country because they have different demands and they come from different situations.
“Possibly a University in Lagos or Port harcourt may charge slightly more than Universities in some rural areas. But there should be a base line.
“One University cannot charge 20,000 naira while the other charges 150,000 naira to Nigerian students where tuition has been free since 1978 at the undergraduate level.
“We are happy that you have now raised this alarm on time and I will go back immediately, consult Vice Chancellors and if possible we shall bring them to a meeting to discuss whatever resolution we arrive at, at the end of this meeting,” Professor Rasheed said.
ASUU Tasks Tinubu, Others On Educational Reform
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has asked the government at all levels to look into revamping Nigeria’s public schools, the primary, secondary and tertiary institutions before they go extinct.
The union said these are the majority of schools that are available to the bulk of citizens.
The union made the request at its 22nd National Delegates’ Conference of the at the University of Jos.
The conference was to review activities of the union in the past two years where principal officers were elected as well as deliberate on issues affecting the members and the nation at large.
The vice-chancellor of the University of Jos, Professor Tanko Ishaya, in his speech to the delegates, recalled how public schools, especially the primary and secondary schools used to be the envy of the people in which the majority of present leaders were beneficiaries, but the schools have been neglected.
“We are seeing the proliferation of private universities coming up and not enough resources coming into public institutions.
“When I look at this trend, I see that if care is not taken, the public university education situation may actually become similar to what we are having in primary education and secondary education.
“We must have a clear perspective of this trend with respect to thinking about, what is it that we should do in order to ensure that the public institution actually continues to be sustained,” he said.
The ASUU National President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, also lamented the dwindling standard of public schools which he said is gradually taking its toll on the masses who cannot afford the private institutions or to send their wards outside the country for schooling.
“The ruling class have elected to be sending their children and ward either to the foreign institution or to hardly expensive private universities largely owned by the ruling class members, while neglecting the perilous state of the public institutions,” he said.
The delegates’ conference in addition to having the holistic review of policies and reports from principal officers also elected new officers for the union and grant charters to new branches.
JAMB To Release 2023 UTME Results May 2, Reschedules Outstanding Candidates
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says results for the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) will be released on Tuesday, May 2, 2023.
JAMB spokesman, Fabian Benjamin, in a statement, also said all candidates, who could not sit the 2023 UTME within their scheduled time owing to no fault of theirs, would be rescheduled to take the examination on Saturday, May 6, 2023.
He said the candidates under these categories are those who were verified at their centres but could not sit the examination, those who could not be biometrically verified, and those with mismatched data.
“The Board would be releasing the results of candidates, who have taken the examination so far on Tuesday, 2nd May, 2023. The Board had delayed the release to ensure that all necessary screening are concluded besides ensuring that the mean and standard deviation are reasonably obtained before releasing these results.
“As candidates check their results on Tuesday, 2nd May, 2023, those who sat the examination but had challenges without being aware of such, would not see their results but would instead see their notification for rescheduled examination.
“Consequently, all candidates who sat the examination are urged to check their results on or before Thursday, 8th May, 2023,” the statement read.
He said out of the 1,586,765 candidates that indicated interest in sitting the examination, only 80,166 are now outstanding.
“On the first day of the 2023 UTME, a number of candidates in some centres could not sit the examination as well as in some centres in subsequent days due to diverse reasons. Though a reasonable number of them have been rescheduled and have taken the examination, some are yet to take their examination.
“As part of the decisions reached at the end of an emergency management meeting held on Sunday, 31st April, 2023, the Board has fixed Saturday, 6th May, 2023, for all categories of candidates who have not sat their examination, as listed below, to take their examination,” the statement added.
Abia Varsity: Ikpeazu fumes over fee hike, orders return to old fee
Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has ordered the immediate cancellation of the increment of the Abia State University (ABSU) tuition fee.
Invoice given some fresh students which went viral on Monday, April 17, showed that undergraduates in some departments had their fees hitting the roof from N122,000 to N500,000.
Seeing the lofty hike, Ikpeazu who is a Visitor to ABSU, directed the management of the university led by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Maxwell Ogbulu, to immediately cancel the increase in school fees announced on Monday.
Governor Ikpeazu, who gave the directive via a statement issued on Tuesday, April 18, by his Chief Press Secretary, Onyebuchi Ememanka, said the increase which is by over 350 percent is unacceptable to the Abia State Government, especially given the current economic realities in the country.
The governor while acknowledging that it is becoming increasingly challenging for ABSU to play its role under the current fiscal regime, however, said the university management must “understand clearly that it must ensure that children of the poor in the state are given the opportunity to access tertiary education.”
Ikpeazu further directed the university management to engage with all relevant stakeholders in the university community and have robust discussions before contemplating any hike in school fees.
The governor, however, assured the people of Abia State that the state government will continue to support the institution with subventions.
He equally assured all students, parents, and guardians of the university that their interests will consistently be protected by the Abia State Government.
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