School Fees Hike: PLASU Students, Others beg for Reduction

Students of Plateau State University,  Bokkos, have appealed to management of the state owned university to consider the current hardship in the state and country and reduce the proposed school fees increment to make it affordable.

President of the Students Union Government, SUG of the institution, Comrade Gomos Mundi Timothy while speaking in an interview noted that the call became imperative, considering the fact that some of the students toil to sponsors themselves in the university because of their poor background.

Comrade Gomos revealed that though the management of the institution had explained to them during their meeting on the need for the upward review of the school fees to enable them run the university, which according to him their reasons are germane but still appealed for reduction in the final decision.

“The plea of the students union was for a reduction that will accommodate the numerous students who cannot afford the hiked fees. Because taking Plateau State into consideration, most of the indigenes of Plateau State are either peasant farmers or civil servants and you know the condition of civil servants in the state as well as the farmers. So most of the students sponsor themselves in school.

“We are not saying there should be no increment, but we are saying that at least it should be minimal, let them shift ground from the proposed review so that we would come to a common ground.

“Statistically, the review is 122.2% increment, so in our first negotiations we interceded that at least it should be 50% increase, that is from N36,000 to N54,000 for returning indigene students, but negotiating further we noticed that cannot be sufficient to run the university, so we are appealing if it can be N65,000 or N60,000, so that it can lessen the burden on the students and our poor parents” the SUG president appealed.

When contacted on the school fees increment, the Public Relations Officer of the University, Mr. John Agam said the issue is beyond him and is not in the position to response to it.

The proposed review of the school fees of Plateau State University, Bokkos from findings, is that returning indigene students are to pay N80,000 and new indigene students are to pay N90,000. Meanwhile the above fees will double for non-indigenes.

Before now, returning indigene students of the institution were paying N36,000 while new students were paying N40,000. Non indigene students were paying double of what the indigenes students were paying.

Already, the University’s management has announced Monday 11 September, 2023 for commencement of registration by the students and the school portal is already open for that purpose.

With current situation in the country, government of other states like Kaduna, Kano, Adamawa and Taraba have subsidized the school fees of their state owned institutions.

Other issues raised by some of the students was the issue of security and electricity. They said those of them staying in the hostel are vulnerable to insecurity and lack power supply.

They alleged that it is only during examination that sometimes the school would start the institution’s generator to supply power to students in the hostel.

Speaking with an Alumni of the institution, who is now member representing Pankshin North in the Plateau State House of Assembly, Mr. Dewan Kudangbena Gabriel on the issue, he sympathized with the students over the increment and called on the Plateau State Government to intervene to enable management of the institution stop the proposed upward review.

In his words, “If they cannot subsidize then at least they should revert to the old school fees that hitherto the students were paying. But any increment is like adding petrol to fire.

“The State Government needs to come in, because the management are saying they have not been getting the needed funding from the government to run the institution and that is why they are increasing the fees so that they can manage the school. So if the government steps in and release the needed funds then there will be no need for any increment.

“The management are banking on the fact that the money the state government is supposed to give them to run the university has not been given, that is why the management is hiking the school fees to meet up with their running cost.”

He appealed to Governor Caleb Mutfwang to fund the state university in order to ease the burden on the students and the parents.

Also speaking, the Plateau State House of Assembly Standing Committee Chairman on Education and member representing Barkin Ladi, Hon. Philip Jwe, said he would not want to blame the management of the university for increasing the fees and will neither  ignore the plea of the students because for quality education one needs to consider the current situation of things in the society.

“30-45% of the students are the ones sponsoring themselves in school and looking at the current situation now, would they be thinking of feeding themselves or thinking of paying school fees? And aside school fees, sometimes the school fees is not even the issue, because after the registration you will talk of departmental charges, hand outs and so many other things.

“So I’m pleading with the management of the university to look into it, considering that without the students the university cannot stand and without the resources the students cannot learn. As a professional teacher, my plea is for the government to intervene in order to balance the equation, so that the heat should not be on the students alone” he appealed.

Another plea and concerned raised by the chairman House Committee on Education was the issue of constant strike by the university. Noting that some of the students do pay House rents after the school fees and sometimes the students would stay at home for close to a year due to strike which the landlord is not concern about, so the students would resume after a year of strike and pay again.

About Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *