…as Ultimatum lapse on Tuesday
The Student Union of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife has warned the authority of the University to as a matter of urgency reverse the recent increments in the tuition fees or be ready to face a massive student protest across the State.
To this end, the Student union has given the school management a five-day ultimatum to reverse the status quo, threatening to shut down the institution, if the authorities do otherwise.
In a World press conference addressed by Student Union president, Comrade Abbas Akinremi Ojo with other student body executives held at Ken Saro Wiwa Building of the institution hinted that they have held a meeting with the school management and demanded an outright reversal of the old regime of school fees.
According to him, the significance of student unions worldwide has a robust platform that brings all students together it help advocate for for rights of the Students and create positive change within student communities.
” We shall continue to stand united and make a difference together
“Our last congress of Great Ife held on the 14th of September ended with the following resolutions agreed:
“That the management should make it a duty to reverse the increment in school fees
“All financial institutions, remit, especially ignore and suspend any payment from OAU pending the time the Union will write to them; otherwise, their branches in Ife and OAU campus will be shut down.
” The congress agreed that the university management be given a 5-day ultimatum to engage the Leadership of the Union. Afterward, we hit the street and shut down the activities on campus and the entire country if the ultimatum isn’t Met.
“As a student body, we’ve played our part in these resolutions by holding a Twitter space with over 4000 students in attendance who all consensually agree the fee hike is way out of pocket.
‘We’ve also written to all respective banks to halt the acceptance of fee payments from any student until a better resolution has been achieved. As much as we don’t want to, we are currently running out of options and might have to shut down all activities on campus and progressively on all campuses throughout the country if the school authorities remain adamant
“While the school authority’s go-to excuse for School fee hike is that the federal government has stopped funding OAU, the recent release dated 15th of September listed OAU as number 9 of
the top 10 funded universities with a budget allocation of N13.48.
” We are here to address the pressing issue of sudden fee hikes and the alarming state of education funding in Nigeria. Education is the cornerstone of development and progress for any nation. So, it’s sad that in a country as great as ours, education is becoming a choice only the rich can make.
The Student Union president said the current situation in Nigeria paints a grim picture, with chronically low funding for education having severe repercussions on our society.
According to him inadequate funding has limited access to quality education, hinders academic resources, and already created many financial burdens for students and their families.
“As education plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of our youth, the lack of resources and investment in this sector profoundly impacts their overall development. From dilapidated school infrastructures to insufficient teaching materials and outdated curriculums, students are deprived of a quality education that could empower them to reach their full potential.
Comrade Ojo disclosed that With rising School fees and limited access to scholarships, families must bear the financial strain of ensuring their children receive a decent education.
“This perpetuates a cycle of inequality, as those from less privileged backgrounds are further marginalized, hindering their chances of upward social mobility. We must address this issue and alleviate the burden on these families,
“It’s bothersome that students of a federal university like OAU pay a fee over a hundred thousand naira and that fresh students pay almost double in a school where many students have single parents who are government workers earning a minimum wage of thirty thousand naira.
While saying all hope is not lost as there are viable solutions to tackle this problem, called on the federal government to take decisive action
to address the situation.
He said the Government should realise that education as such should be treated as a fundamental right rather than a privilege it entails
Comrade Ojo suggested an adequate increase in the budget allocation for education and ensured that schools are well-equipped, staffed, and capable of providing quality education.
” Implementing policies that address the barriers to education, such as ensuring accessibility to Schools for Students by guiding against arbitrary increment. and enhancing investment in lecturer training and professional development programs to improve the quality of instruction.
” Establishing scholarship and financial aid programs to alleviate the burden on students and families.
He however hinted that all these measures must be taken adding that it’s the responsibility of the citizens to hold our government accountable.
“We must demand transparency in allocating and utilizing education funds, ensuring they are used appropriately and effectively.
“I urge the federal government to prioritize education and recognize the urgent need to alleviate these funding anomalies. As stewards of our nation’s progress, they must invest in future generations and create an environment where every student, regardless of their background, has an equal opportunity to excel.
” It is only through collective action that we can bring about positive change and build a brighter future for Nigeria” he stated