The Ika Weekly Newspaper considers as ill-timed, thoughtless and a decision reached in bad light, the recent upward review of students’ school fees by the management/authority of Ogwuashi-Uku Polytechnic. A development that has fueled a disquiet relationship between the students and the school management with the students threatening massive protest, if the management of the school insists on implementing the new school fees/service charge regime introduced recently.
The school authority, in a statement released on January 10, 2022, stated that all new students of Delta State origin undertaking the Ordinary National Diploma (OND), are to pay the sum of N75,500, while non-Deltans are to pay N99,180.
Also, new Delta State students in Higher National Diploma (HND) would pay N80,500, while non-Deltans are to pay N99,180. Moreover, the old OND students would pay N60,400 for Deltans, while non-Deltans would payN72,900. As for the HND, non- Deltans would pay N71,650, while Deltans are to pay N60,400.
Essentially, we call on the school management to halt the present move particularly as their argument that the increment was necessitated by the need to sustain qualitative education and conducive environment for learning in line with global best standard, can no longer hold water when faced with embarrassing fact.
We also call the Delta state Government to immediately call on the Rector and of course the Governing board of the institution to rescind this decision/thoughtless hike in school fees.
In fact, it is not only laughable that a government that prides itself as lovers of the youths in the state will equally turn 360 degrees to hinder these youths from accessing education via astronomical increase in fees.
At this point, Ika Weekly Newspaper is tempted to ask; if the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s led administration has forgotten that education is the right of our children? Or have we as a state forgotten that education is the bedrock of development? If we have forgotten all these, what about the age-long believe that; with sound educational institutions, society is as good as made -as the institutions will turn out all rounded manpower to continue with the development of the society driven by well thought out ideas, policies, programmes, and projects?
We hold the opinion that if truly the present state government loves the youths/students as they claim, the best way to demonstrate such love is not through increment in school fees.
To this end, if providing quality education is the interest of the state government, we suggest that the state should make effort to increase state budgetary allocation to education and not by taxing the students or their parents of which majority of them are either without jobs or are retirees whose pensions are not promptly paid.