Amidst escalating cost of living in the country, some educational institutions have announced significant increases in tuition and other fees, while others are planning to do so in order to cope with the effects of the removal of subsidy on petrol.
This is putting parents on the edge as the current academic session draws to a close for primary and secondary schools, while the calendar of tertiary institutions has been impacted by incessant strikes and crises.
On Friday, primary and secondary schools in Lagos and some other states brought the academic calendar to a close and some informed parents and guardians of pupils to prepare for a significant rise in fees when the next academic session begins in September.
Leading the school owners who had announced tuition fees increment was the Federal Government, which through the Federal Ministry of Education announced an upward review of school fees for new students into its secondary schools otherwise known as Federal Unity Colleges from N19,000 to N100,000.
This was contained in a directive from the office of the Director of Senior Secondary Education Department of the ministry with reference number ADF/120/DSSE/I, dated May 25, 2023, and addressed to all principals of Federal Unity Colleges.
According to the circular titled, ‘Approved fees/ charges for Federal Unity Colleges (1st term) for new students’, signed by the Director of Senior Secondary Education, Hajia Binta Abdulkadir, new students are expected to pay N100,000 instead of the previous N45,000.
The latest fee/charge increment will affect virtually all aspects and activities of the schools, including tuition and boarding, uniform, textbooks, exercise books, prospectus, caution fee, identity card, stationery, clubs and societies, sports, extra lesson and insurance, among others.
“Please be informed that the ministry has approved only the under-listed fees and charges for all Unity Colleges,” the memo read in part.
Similarly, the management of the University of Lagos, Akoka, reportedly increased the fees for undergraduates in the institution.
This was contained in a statement dated July 20, 2023, by the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, UNILAG branch, following a meeting with the top management of the institution.
The union said in the statement that fees would be increased for undergraduate students in the next academic session.
Students of the institution previously paid N19,000 for tuition, but the management has now fixed N190,250 for students studying Medicine, while for courses that require laboratories and studios are to pay N140,250.
According to SSANU, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Folasade Ogunsola, met with representatives of the three non-academic staff unions on Thursday to discuss issues concerning members’ welfare.
“During the meeting, the proposed fees for undergraduate students of UNILAG were disclosed. Students without lab and studio use will pay N100,750, those with lab use will pay N140,250 and the College of Medicine will pay N190,250,” the statement said.
The SSANU representative at the meeting, Rasaki Yusuf, however, asked for a rebate for staff members with children in the university, but the vice-chancellor insisted that the new charges were set nationally and could not be modified for specific categories of students.
Ogunsola, however, gave the option of staff paying in instalments but with a condition to pay up one month before final exams. The UNILAG management later issued a statement confirming the development.
The statement said, “After careful deliberations with its stakeholders (students, parents/guardians, staff unions and alumni, among others), the University of Lagos Management has reviewed the obligatory fees (mandatory charges for an academic session/year) of new and returning undergraduate students of the university.
“The adjustment in fees, which will take effect from the first semester of the 2023/2024 academic session, is in view of the prevailing economic realities and the need for the university to be able to meet its obligations to its students, staff and municipal service providers, among others.“It is also pertinent to note that the university has not increased its obligatory fees in recent years. Management, therefore, seeks the kind understanding and support of students and other stakeholders with the assurance of its commitment to ensuring that students get the best learning experience.”
Written by: Kevin Nwabueze
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