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The ICIR gathered that the school management would meet with Students Union Government (SUG) of the university to clarify the amount payable by students in each department of the university.
Governor Nasir el-Rufai government had, last week, increased tuitions in all state-owned tertiary institutions in the state, leaving managements of some of the schools to decide what students in some faculties and departments should pay.
The decision led to ‘false’ figures going viral on social media as new fees decided by the government.
But the state government specifically directed KASU to raise its fees from about N26,000 to between N300,000 and N500,000, while polytechnics and colleges of education owned by the state were to have their fees raised to between N75,000 and N100,000.
While KASU, which is concluding its second semester examination and already giving admission to its new students, is battling with anger that the decision has raised among its students, current strike by Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) does not allow any collective action from students at the state’s polytechnic.
There have not been major actions from students of the state college of education; college of nursing and midwifery, and college of health sciences, according to findings by our reporter.
State-run tertiary institutions in the state are Kaduna State University (KASU); Nuhu Bamali Polytechnic, Zaria; Kaduna State College of Education Gidan Waya; Kaduna State College of Nursing and Midwifery Kafanchan; and Shehu Idris College of Health Sciences, Makarfi.
Despite anger among the students, KASU’s SUG has been using different channels to appeal to the students for calm.
It has also been meeting with prominent people within and outside the state to urge the government to rescind its decision.
Appeal message seeking calm among the students by the SUG said leaders of thought within and outside the state had been contacted by the SUG leadership to prevail on the government to suspend the hike.
The statement, signed by its President Abdulrazaq Shuaibu Labbo and seen by our reporter, was titled, ‘Progress Report on the Increment of KASU Tuition Fee.’
It revealed that the SUG met with prominent persons like Sheik Muhammad Kabir Gombe, the governor’s wife and Dr. Tukur Adam Almanar.
“All the report we are getting from different angles are good news. and we thanking God Almighty for that. The university management promised to update us on the development on Tuesday,” part of the statement read.
The SUG’s efforts followed denial by the school management that it had increased the fees to about N500,000 for its students studying Medicine.
In a statement on the university’s website, the management said it met with students of the university on Thursday, April 22, and allayed their fears.
But, it admitted there would be upward review in the school fees.
“Management wishes to state that though tuition fees would be reviewed upward with specific fees on each course, it is yet to be announced. The figures being spread in the social media are false. The public will be informed on any new developments within the shortest possible time,” part of the statement read.
Commissioner for Education Shehu Muhammad Makarfi, who announced the hike, told The ICIR on Friday that the decision “is one of the available options now among others.”
Makarfi had said while announcing the hike that it would help in repositioning the schools to deliver quality skills and training to meet the state contemporary knowledge and ICT needs.
Meanwhile, KASU chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) rejected the decision in a statement during the week.
It said in the statement signed by its Chairman Peter Adamu that 75 per cent of students in the school might drop out because of inability to pay the fees.
The teachers also accused the government, which recently sacked about 4,000 of its employees, of further making lives difficult for the people and putting education out of their reach.
Some of the students of the institution who spoke with our reporter condemned the hike and said it would be difficult for their parents to pay.
Hauwau Usman said, “I feel so bad because my parents can’t afford it.”
Aba Hanan Abdul Majeed told The ICIR: “We are two studying at KASU. If we are to pay 600,000 for a year, how much are we paying for six years? It’s too much.”
Rabilu Musa Salisu said, “We feel so bad because a lot of our mates cannot afford to pay the money. Truly, the money is too much.”
Another student, Amaka Jude, said: “The fee is much. Most of us are coming from very poor homes. Please help us beg the government to reduce it so that we can also study.”
Our reporter also found some of the students who had just been admitted into KASU saying they might reject the offer because of the hike.
Kaduna State has witnessed geometric leap in criminalities in recent months, resulting in unprecedented insecurity and deaths in the state.
Banditry, which appears to dominate the crimes, saw 949 kidnapped and 323 killed in the state in the last three months, according to report.
The ICIR had reported in March this year how deaths from insecurity in Kaduna state were three times higher than those of North-East states in 2020.
Two recent abductions of students in the state are still causing pains for many homes in the country.
Gunmen stormed Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in Mando, Kaduna State, and abducted 39 students on March 11.
Similarly, The ICIR reported that five of the unspecified number of students kidnapped at Greenfield University, a private school in the state on April 20, had been killed.
Governor el-Rufai has repeatedly vowed he would not negotiate with the criminals but would support the military to eliminate them, even though there was report that he had secretly withdrawn his only child attending a public school in the state.