Thursday, January 23, 2014

ANOTHER UNI PROTEST: Students In Jonathan's Hometown Protest Increase In Tuition Fees


photo - Students In Jonathan's Hometown Protest Increase In Tuition Fees
On Thursday, activities of the Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa State, were paralyzed by students who protested increase in school fees and a six-week forced break.
Students have blocked the roads to the Otuoke Community and the institution, saying the increase from N55,000 to N 85,000 is unacceptable.
A number of business outlets in the hometown of Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan also had to close because of the protest.
The students say the increase in tuition fees does not correspond to the facilities available.
"We are studying under very tedious conditions," one of the students lamented. "We don't have power and water, most of us buy water and contribute money to buy power generating set."
However, Vice Chancellor of the university Professor Mobolaji Aluko has denied the insinuations. He explained that the pioneer set of students were already in the first semester of their second year, while the second set were in the second semester of their first year because the flood that ravaged the state in 2012 affected the academic calendar of the university.
"The students who are in their first academic year, second semester, had all paid these fees. No increase in fees. What they mean by increase in fees is that the pioneer students pay a certain fee schedule and the non-pioneer students pay a certain fee schedule," he maintained.
"We have the second set of students and we have the third set of students.”
"When the pioneers came in, their fees were N45,000 for tuition and accommodation. By the end of their first year before this second set came in, we increased it to N50,000, but separated the accommodation fees from it. It is for pioneer students and they will pay that till they graduate.
"The second set of students, humanities and social science, paid N72,000, and science students will pay N80,000. Of the fees, N16,000 of it was for acceptance fees, I.D cards fees paid only once.
"After the first year, they will be paying N50,000 for humanities and social sciences and N58,000 for science students," the Vice Chancellor said.
The students also opposed the decision by the University management to impose six weeks break to, as it has been explained, adjust the academic calendar.
One of the students has wondered why the students are sent home when the University was not affected by the ASUU strike.
The university is one of the public universities established by the Goodluck Jonathan's administration.

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