The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Kaduna State University (KASU) Chapter, says 75 per cent of the university’s students may drop out of school due to the monumental increase in tuition fees.
Kaduna state ASUU Chairman, Dr Peter Adamu said in a statement yesterday, that the students might have to leave because their parents could not afford to pay.
Adamu urged the state government to rescind its decision to hike the tuition fees and engage relevant stakeholders on the issue in line with its Open Government Partnership.
According to him, education is a right and not a privilege; funding of education, as stipulated in the Nigerian Constitution, is the sole responsibility of the government, not parents.
He said the university had over 19,000 students, with more than 17,000 of them from the state.
Adamu added that 70 per cent of the indigenous students were sons and daughters of peasant farmers, civil servants and petty traders.
“Worse still, the State Government had sacked a good number of its workforce, among them, are parents and guardians of our students.
“These people struggle every day against the current economic downturn to pay the fees of their children.
“Raising school fees by over 500 per cent will, without doubt, send thousands of the students out of school.
“A significant majority of prospective students will be denied entry and this may have a devastating impact on the government’s quest to develop viable human capital in the state,” he said.
The ASUU chairman said the increase would further widen the existing gap between the rich and the poor.
He pointed out that the consequences of the upward review would be unquantifiable.
“And this is coming at the time when our streets are becoming unsafe due to spurge in thuggery, banditry and kidnappings.
“These crimes and many other related social vices have always been associated with lack of education and job opportunities as well as truancy,” he said.
Recall that the Commissioner of Education, Dr Shehu Makarfi, on Monday, confirmed the tuition fees increase in all the state-owned tertiary institutions.
Makarfi explained that the decision was to reposition the schools to deliver quality skills and training to solve 21st-century challenges.
He said that KASU had been directed to increase the tuition fees from N24,000 to a minimum of N150,000.
He added that the minimum fees for National Diploma and Higher National Diploma programmes had been pegged at a minimum of N75,000 and N100,000 respectively.
The commissioner also said that the National Certificate in Education (NCE) programme was also increased to N75,000.