ASUU President Warns High School Fees Could Lead to Future Crisis
By Bliss Okperan
The National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, has warned the rising school fees of tertiary institutions in Nigeria could backfire in the future if nothing is done by the federal government to stop it.
Speaking on Channels TV Sunday Night, the union leader said in two years’ time, about 40 to 50 per cent of students in universities across the country could drop out of school because of their inability to pay the high fees.
The don urged the federal government to stop the arbitrary increment in school fees by the universities to prevent the situation where the dropouts would be a willing tool for criminals and others.
“If nothing is done about these heavy fees being introduced by schools all over the country, in the next two or three years, more than 40 to 50 per cent of these children who are in school today will drop out.
“Today, universities are arbitrarily increasing school fees. Is that correct in an environment today where the minimum wage is N30,000 per month when you have to pay rent, pay heavily for transportation and you are enforcing it on the students?” he queried.
Mr Osodeke further asked, “School fees of N300,000, how can the children of someone who earns N50,000 a month be able to pay such a fee?”
“When they drop out, they will become a big source for recruitment for those who want this country to be ungovernable.
“This is what we are saying, create the environment we had in the 60s and 70s. When I was a student, the government was paying me for being a student. Let’s have an environment where the children of the poor can have access to education,” he said.