James Sowole in Akure
Crisis is brewing between the Ondo State Government and the students of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA) over the delay in their resumption for the new academic session.
The students, who are yet to resume since December 2017 when the 2016/2017 academic session ended, alleged that the government intentionally delayed their resumption over plans to increase the tuition.
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu had at the university’s seventh convocation ceremony last December, announced that his government will carry out an upward review of the tuition fees in line with current realities.
However, the students called on the governor “to immediately shelve the plan to increase the fees suspecting that the delay in their resumption was due to the proposed tuition hike. They criticised the university authority’s refusal to state the reason for the delay in resumption of academic activities.
The Students’ Union President, ljanusi Olawale said the students have resolved to resist the hike in fees.
Speaking during a radio programme monitored in Akure, Olawale said the only thing they heard from the commissioner for education was that the tuition would be decided by the governing council of the institution.
“Increasing the tuition should not be an idea that should come at this time. That is the reason we will say no to that because we believe education is our right and not a choice. Our parents are paying their taxes and we understand Ondo State is dominated by civil servants.
“The government is not increasing the salaries of our parents, so why are they saying they want to increase fees,” Olawale said.
Reacting to the situation, the institutionâ€™s spokesman, Sola Imoru in a statement, said the management is using the protracted break period to restructure sections of the institution.
“The university is using the period of the break to put in place all necessary structures, including repair of facilities, especially at this period of a paradigm shift in the state’s education sector, to ensure a conducive campus and a serene learning environment on resumption.
“We assure our stakeholders that management is as concerned as the parents and students about the issue of resumption and would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the university resumes for a new session very soon,” he said.