School Fees Increase: Don’t Snuff Life out of Us, Parents Urge Tinubu - 9japarrot


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Monday 24 July 2023

School Fees Increase: Don’t Snuff Life out of Us, Parents Urge Tinubu

By Nurat Uthman

Parents, under the aegis of the National Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria, NAPTAN, have called on President Bola Tinubu to apply the brake to the spate of increments in tuition fees and others by government-owned schools.

The parents said life was being snuffed out of them as a result of such increases in almost all sectors, such as fuel, electricity and now school fees.

According to them, the increases are becoming too many and pouring on the citizens like heavy rainfall.

Speaking in a chat with Vanguard yesterday, the Deputy National President of NAPTAN, Adeolu Ogunbanjo, urged the President to, as a matter of urgency, put a stop to the tuition fee hike in public schools.

“It is unfortunate. We support the President regarding the removal of the oil subsidy, but it does not mean everything should just be hiked at the same time.

”You still want to remove subsidy on electricity, and also hike tuition fees at the same time. That will be too killing on parents and their children.

“The President should by tomorrow, mandate schools to revert to their old fees. They should not snuff the life out of parents and their children.

”He should temper justice with mercy. The moment  the government increases fees payable in its schools, others will follow – the state governments and private school owners. He should just stop it,” he stated.

Giving advice to the President on how to bring down the cost of fuel in Nigeria, Ogunbanjo said though licenses had been given to some importers to bring in fuel, the solution did not lie in that step.

He said: “Prices of petroleum products would still continue to be on the high side as long as they are imported and the process is dollar-denominated.

"What he needs to do is to encourage modular refineries. That will bring succour to the people and the country entirely. He should address that and set standards for those operating such modular refineries if he is not pleased with what they are doing now.

“While the modular refineries are working and meeting the people’s needs in their own little ways, then the big ones, such as Dangote Refinery, can come on stream.

”The huge impact of the subsidy removal is already affecting businesses and many may close down. If that happens, it is still parents that will be the worst for it if they lose their jobs and still have family commitments to handle.”

Recall that federal government’s unity colleges recently increased fees from N45,000 to N100,000 and the federal universities have done the same.

The University of Lagos, UNILAG, for instance, this weekend increased fees from N19,000 to N190,250.

Parents are apprehensive that by the time new session begins for primary and secondary schools in September this year, a number of parents might find it difficult to cope with fees and buying books.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU and the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, had expressed fears that the introduction of the Student Loan Scheme by the government would lead to hike in tuition fees.

Presidents of both unions, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke and Dr Anderson Ezeibe, had said the government would just be referring any indigent student who cannot pay fees to approach the Student Loan Board, but wondered how many of such students the board would be able to assist.

They also faulted the repayment method and timelines.

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