Students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) have made good on their promise to continue protests after the school’s management failed to reverse their tuition increment.
Although they did not set out 48 hours later as planned, the students began another round of protests on Wednesday.
They have demanded the reversal of all obligatory fees and other sundry charges and are calling on the federal government to adequately fund education.
“The burden of funding education cannot be placed on poor students and their parents,” one student told FIJ on Wednesday.
FIJ understands that the students orchestrated protests against the school after Folasade Ogunsola, the university’s vice chancellor, maintained that the revised school fees would stand and stayed silent on recommendations made to the school in an August 6 meeting with student representatives.
The students had recommended that the management halt the implementation of the fee hike and set up a joint committee consisting of student representatives, the university’s management and all other stakeholders to review the school’s budget.
This, according to them, would inform them of the true state of the school’s finances and if there was truly a need to increase the fees and to what extent.
Femi Adeyeye, one of the leaders of the Students Solidarity Group Against Fee Hike, told FIJ that the hike was undemocratic as the students were not carried along.
“If there is a need for an increment, why can’t we all come together, both students and the university management, and hold a press conference to call on the government to fund the university instead of just hiking fees and putting the responsibility of funding education on the shoulders of poor students and their parents?” he said.
On July 21, the University of Lagos announced an increase in tuition from N19,000 to N100,750 for non-lab/studio courses, N140,250 for lab/studio courses and N190,250 for medical students.
The vice chancellor, however, pledged that no student will drop out as a result of the increase. Ogunsola outlined some options that the school was providing to help students cope with the increase during a virtual media briefing on Saturday.
“The fee payment system has been reconfigured to allow the installment payment option three times before the closure of the academic session,” the vice chancellor said.
“The student work-study programme has been revitalised to accommodate increased remuneration. Interested students can access the programme through the office of the dean of the student affairs division.
“Students have the opportunity to access various scholarship opportunities, including the UNILAG Scholars Award for exceptionally brilliant students, through the office of the Dean, Student Affairs Division.”
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