Students under the aegis of the National Association of Nigerian Students trooped out on Monday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital to ask the Federal Government to slash school fees by 70 per cent.
The students, who gathered at the Idi Ape area of Ibadan from where they are moving toward the State Secretariat, where the Governor’s Office is located are calling on the government to increase funding for the education sector. They said the economic situation in the country and the unaffordable fees were depriving many students of access to education.
The students, who were armed with placards decried the poor funding of the education sector which they described as the bedrock of development. They said the Federal Government had not given proper attention to the sector hence the massive decay there.
The Chairman, NANS Joint Campus Committee in Oyo State Axis, Mayowa Opakunle, said in an interview with our correspondent that students across the six states of the South West were part of the protest.
He said the Federal Government had refused to make education its priority despite the calls that the education sector should be well funded for the development of the nation and its people.
Opakunle said, “Whether the Federal Government meets the demands of the ASUU through the backdoor meetings or not, our agitation for improved funding and education system will continue.
“Government must provide a waiver for all Nigerian students (tertiary, secondary, and primary) in form of scholarship for a session or slash the fees payable by 60/70 per cent. This would help to cushion the effects of the lockdown on parents that lost their jobs and means of livelihood and businesses. It would also serve as a palliative for students whose parents/guardians’ means of livelihood have been cut short as a result of the lockdown.
“We want between 60 and 70 per cent slash in school fees as a form of palliative for all Nigerian students. We shall not stop asking for this. There are spending huge amounts of money on unimportant things and leaving out education.
“Federal Government wants schools to resume without having any plan for the students. How logical is that? The government should be accountable, responsible, and responsive to the people and people alone. The interests of the people must be protected always. We are not asking for too much.”
The students said the TETFUND should consider funding of selected students with innovative ideas across all tertiary institutions in the country just the way lecturers were being sponsored for research and conferences.