Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, President of the Academic Staff Union of institutions, has warned that if the Federal Government does not halt the continual price rise in institutions, 40 to 50 percent of students will drop out within the next two years.
Osodeke said, “Today, universities are arbitrarily increasing tuition fees. Is that correct in an environment today where the minimum wage is N30,000 per month and where they have to pay rent and pay heavily for transportation? And you are enforcing this thing on the students?
“As a result of this – I can assure you that you can check if nothing is done about this heavy fee being introduced all over the country today – in the next two or three years, more than 40 to 50 per cent of these students who are in school would drop out.
“If you say school fees of N300,000, how can the children of somebody who earns N50,000 a month be able to pay such fee?”
Many public colleges have raised tuition prices in recent months in response to what they characterise as the country’s economic realities.
While some have reduced their costs in response to student demonstrations, ASUU National President Professor Emmanuel Osodeke is concerned that parents/guardians may find it difficult to pay the new fees.
However, he encouraged the government to enhance education budgetary allocation to at least 15% of overall budget sum.
He bemoaned that the 3.8 percent allotted to education in the previous budget was insufficient, claiming that an increase in budget allocation to education would relieve parents of the strain of paying expensive fees for their children.
Furthermore, he indicated his belief that the government’s student loan scheme will fail. He also stated that the lending policy must be examined in order for it to be effective.
To remedy the situation, Professor Osodeke asked the Federal Government to increase its educational budget “to at least 15 per cent from last year’s 3.8 per cent”.