SOME students of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Osun State, have protested the hike in their school fees by taking to the university gate to protest.
The students, led by the President of the Students’ Union, Abbas Akinremi, in the early hours of Tuesday, October 3, shut the institution’s main gate to restrict vehicular movement.
In different social media posts sighted by The ICIR, the students, with hashtags’FeeMustFall” and “SaveOAUStudents,” also called on the government to investigate the situation.
“I cannot afford to drop out. #FeeMustFall”, “My Mama dey sell Fufu, my papa dey ride Okada. Where you won make I see 90k? #FeeMustFall,” one of the placards read.
Similarly, via its X handle, the union stated that it saw no reason for celebrating Independence Day when Nigeria’s education sector ‘is bleeding.’
The body wrote: “Why celebrate Independence Day when the educational sector is bleeding? Mr. Minister of Education, Nigeria Federal Government, we call on you all. Education is a right, not a privilege. #FeeMustFall #SaveOAUStudents.”
The protest came a few days after the union urged students of the institution to suspend payment of tuition fees following the slash in fee hike by the institution’s management.
On Wednesday, September 13, the institution’s management announced adjustments to the tuition fees.
This led to an immediate reaction from the students as the union requested that the management reverse the increment, citing the current economic challenges in the country.
A September 18 statement signed by Akinremi demanded the Federal Government reverse the tuition fee hike.
Part of the statement read: “Today, we are here to address the pressing issue of sudden fee hikes and the alarming state of education funding in Nigeria. Education is the cornerstone of development and progress for any nation. So, it’s sad that in a country as great as ours, education is becoming a choice only the rich can make.
“The current situation in Nigeria paints a grim picture, with chronically low funding for education having severe repercussions on our society. Inadequate funding has limited access to quality education, hinders academic resources, and already created many financial burdens for students and their families.”
In the same vein, the students union, on September 26, directed all students to suspend payment of tuition fees.
A statement jointly signed by Akinremi and the union’s secretary-general, Akinboni Opeyemi, noted that there was no agreement with the school management regarding the fees hike.