Gone are the days when Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko was one of the most sought-after Institution for aspirants in the nation, irrespective of financial status.
Despite the recent reduction, a tremendous effort of the school’s Management at making life easier,
it is still an herculean task for some students (returning or fresh) to pay tuition fees conveniently.
This brings the focus on the Varsity Management, currently headed by the Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof Olugbenga Ige.
A critical look into the steps taken by the Management, since the increment in the early months of 2018, reveals conspicuously that the Management is as ‘handicapped’ as the students in actualizing their visions of rapid developments. Yet, they are leaving no stone unturned with the limited resources at their disposal.
Recently, the institution opened an Agro-shop to sell farm products, a commendable effort towards the generation of internal revenue. There have also been persistent calls for Partnerships in different sectors too.
With lean resources, the Management also organized production of handsanitizers for the host community, Akungba-Akoko during the lockdown period. Meanwhile, infrastructural developments is ongoing in the campus premises.
It is therefore no lie that the management is stretching thin just to live up to the expectation of a 21st-century Citadel of learning.
Not for the lack of efforts at encouraging students to pay, but the crisis won’t let go in a hurry.
Among the steps taken by the Management to foster ease of payment brought about the policy of paying the tuition fee twice in a session.
This action was a fall from previous years when students pay completely before the commencement of first semester examination.
An attempt to go tough on students once made the administration declare a ‘no payment, new exam‘ policy, a move that met fierce resistance from students, which forced the Management to declare a two-week mid-semester break on April 25, 2019.
As much as the onus is on the management to ensure development in the institution, reality dictates that plans cannot be actualized without revenue.
Also, it is no longer news that the student populace find no joy in coughing out the exorbitant tuition fee as lots of students still complain of owing payments for two semesters or more.
This is therefore a call on the private sector to get more involved in the education sector generally. And particularly, investors, with opportunities open for satisfaction of needs in public higher institutions, will surely smile at their Return-On-Investment (ROI).
A point of reference is the housing sector. The institution only boast of three female hostels (all within the campus) and a boy’s hostel along Ikare Road, a distance of about a kilometer from the school premises. This means more than 65% of the students are residing off-campus.
The agricultural sector is not left out. In a previous interview with the Pro-Chancellor Dr. Tunji Abayomi, he disclosed that the university is edging towards agricultural innovation. This gives room for investors in this sector to enjoy a win-win relationship with the institution, especially with the lands laying fallow within the school premises.
The banking sector can also enjoy a thriving environment and relationship with the University. Only four commercial banks are available to satisfy the transaction needs of the students. It must be noted that these banks not only attend to students but residents of neighboring communities. Competition is always a good thing, so they say.
The Management, entrepreneurs and industries are urged to relieve the financial strain on the students by partnering in different forms for the benefit of all.
Achieving this will surely bring out the best in students and provide an enabling environment for a 21st century Citadel of learning, properly called.
Phillip Anjorin is a Student Journalist in Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko in Ondo state who writes for different media outfits. He’s a volunteer, phonetographer and lover of nature.