By Philip Yatai
Students of the Kaduna State University (KASU) on Wednesday protested the hike in school fees by the authorities and called on the state government to intervene.
The students informed the state government that the hike in some courses to N300,000 and N400,000 from N36,000 would force many students out of school.
Mr Abubakar Buhari, President of, National Association of Science Students, who spoke on behalf of the protesting students, said that the old fee was between N24,000 and N26,000 for indigenes, depending on the course of study.
Buhari said that that non-indigenes pay between N31,000 and 36,000, also depending on the course of study.
He said the students were shocked when the student’s portal showed that for new students, indigenes would now pay N150, 000 for art and humanities and N171, 000 for sciences while non-indigenes will pay N221,000.
According to him, for social sciences, indigenes will pay N170, 000; non-indigenes will pay N200, 000 while indigenes admitted studying medicine will pay N300,000 and N400,000 for non-indigenes.
“We are protesting to draw the attention of the state government to revert to the old rates or reduce the fees so that parents and caregiver will be able to pay.
“This is because most of our students find it difficult to pay the old rate and with this increase, only the children of the rich can afford university education in the state institution,’’ he said.
The student’s leaders stressed that if the new fee remained, 75 per cent of students would drop out of school.
Mr Yusuf Rahama, President of the Nigerian Association of Microbiology Students, said that education was capable of keeping students away from the streets and from being criminals.
Rahama urged the state government to intervene because they do not want to be a liability to society.
Blessing Audu, a 300-level student of the Chemistry Department, said that her parents could not afford the over N100,000 fees and also pay N80,000 for hostel accommodation.
Audu expressed uncertainty about her future if the government insisted on implementing the new fees.
She appealed to the state government to revert to the old fees for the sake of the children of the poor.
Recall that the Commissioner for Education, Dr Shehu Makarfi, had in April hinted at the increase in tuition fees in all the state-owned tertiary institutions.
Makarfi explained that the decision was to reposition the schools to deliver quality education to meet 21st-century challenges.