Despite repeated threats by the Vice-Chancellor that their school would be shut down, students of Kaduna State University staged a protest on Wednesday against the hiked tuition fees from N26,000 to N150,000, N300,000 and N500,000 depending on the faculty and if the student is an indigene or non-indigene of the state.
Speaking with FIJ, a student who preferred not to be identified for fear of victimization, said the increment would force up to 90 per cent of students to drop out of the school.
On Monday, the students met with Prof. Muhammad Tanko, the Vice Chancellor of the university, but he threatened that if the students dared protest for even 30 minutes, he would shut the school down until December. He told the students to do their worst after telling them to go on consultation instead of protests.
The students had however been in consultation with stakeholders across the state since the first week of Ramadan.
“We have been pleading with them so that they can talk to the governor, so that he will help reduce the tuition fee or maybe he will counsel the institution about the hike in tuition fee,” the student said.
The meeting on Monday, which was the first between the students and the Vice-Chancellor, did not inspire hope of any change. Prof. Tanko was in support of the hike and backed the decision of Nasir el-Rufai, the Kaduna State governor, to increase the tuition fee.
The protests will go on for three days and more students have promised to show up.
“The turnout tomorrow will be very high; many people are telling us they will turn out tomorrow,” the student said.
The demand of the students is a 50 per cent increment in fee as compared to the astronomic more than 500 per cent that was imposed on them. This proposition was however kicked against by the university management, whom, according to students, gave the state the proposed new tuition fee.
The increment in tuition fees took place in April and was met with uproar on Twitter. Officials of the Kaduna State University had initially denied the figures published across newspapers. However, days later, Dr. Shehu Makarfi, Kaduna State Commissioner for Education, confirmed that the state had increased tuition fees across all state-owned tertiary institutions.
“Nobody consulted the students; we just saw it on our portal,” the student added. “And there is no official announcement about the school fees until now.”
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