Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko has unveiled a new policy of “No payment of tuition fees, no defence” on the students of the institution. This new order is said to have been enforced by the management while students of the institution do not agree to it.
The new order by the institution is that finishing students who have not completed their schooling fee will not be permitted to defend their project works. Those who went on Industrial Training popularly referred to as Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) and are owing tuition fees will not also have the privilege to defend their training program.
It was also learnt that in Faulty of Education, students who went for Teaching Practice but have not paid their tuition fee have not been attended to for supervision.
In an interview with one of the returning students who have not been supervised after her Teaching Practice, Shayo Apata from the department of Human Kinetics and Health Education asserted the information received saying, “Those who have paid were supervised while those who haven’t paid were not supervised”
She explained the new policy is a sad one from the school management to punish the students.
In one of her statements, she said, “It is a very bad decision from the management. Students are not running away without paying the money, they will still pay because every student wants to do their clearance and go for Service (NYSC)”
She beseeches authorities of the institution to revisit the order because some of the students affected no one to finance their education.
“They should consider we the students. Most of us who haven’t paid till date don’t have it at the moment because some of us are sponsoring ourselves just to get educated.”
In 2018, the tuition fee of the school was increased by over 500% by the sitting governor of the state, Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN.
It was however confirmed that the school fee has been reduced by 20% as students in the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Social and Management Sciences who were paying N150,000 earlier now pay N120,000.
Faculties of Agriculture and Education students who were paying N150,000 before will now pay N100,000.
Faculty of Arts students who were paying N100,000 now pay N80,000.
Nonetheless, the tuition fee for the Faculty of Law students stays at N150,000.
In a talk with some of the students involved in this new policy, they articulated their dissatisfaction and beseech the school management to revisit the policy so they can have a way to defend their project works.
A student of the school, Diwura Williams from the Department of Animal and Environmental Biology explains that the policy by the school management is heartbreaking to see an institution created for advancement but demote by piloting students of the institution to the verge of obsession. She describes the action as being inhumane.
“It breaks my heart to see that an institution created towards the betterment of its wards is now one that keeps driving them to the verge of insanity and absurdity.
It’s hard enough without a consistent salary for Ondo state civil servants who happens to be our parents and older siblings. Giving us a condition that most equals to no School fee, then drop out is just sheer wickedness.
I find it annoying, but most especially, inhumane,” she said.
She however implores that the policy is revisited as most of the students in the school are on the brim of dropping out.
“They need to review this policy. If not, so many of us are on the verge of becoming a dropout. Something needs to be done,” she said.
A student, Ajobiewe Blessing who is a 400 level student said the school has shifted from the initial agreement of allowing students to pay their tuition fees twice and also the extra cost of N2,000 for those who fail to meet up with payment at when due.
“On this new policy (No tuition payment, no project defence), I will say at the initial time when the school fee was increased, there was an agreement made by the school management and representatives of the students. The agreement was that, students will be allowed to pay their tuition fees twice and that there will be late registration which will attract an extra cost of 2000 for students who do not pay their tuition fees in due time. But now, they have backslid this agreement.”
Blessing pointed out that a larger percentage of parents in the Ondo state are civil servants to who the present governor is owing salaries for months.
“Many parents are predominantly farmers who Fulani herdsmen have destroyed their farmland and produce. 75% of AAUA students are indigenous people of Ondo State where most parents are civil servants who the state government has not paid their salary for the past 6 months while some are paid half payment. Where do they expect the parents to get the fees?.”
He referred to the decision of the school to be what is uncalled for as most of the students pay their tuition fees themselves.
“This new policy of the school management is uncalled for. Most of the students sponsored themselves to school. The policy to me is not acceptable. It is like denying the students their rights.”
Adesola Ikulajolu, a graduating student of Mass Communication who was also interviewed sees the new rule as a very harsh one especially for the final year students who find it hard to pay for their tuition.
“The new policy is a strict rule to make the students pay their tuition fee but then, it is quite harsh. Especially for the final year students, some of whom are still battling to pay their fees. It was a shocker to me and unexpected,” he said.
Adesola who is also affected by the policy urged the management of the school to devise easy measures on the students rather than being harsh.
“The school should try to relax that strict policy, at least for the current final year. Of course, they will surely pay their fee before leaving the school.”
All efforts to speak with the newly appointed Dean of Students’ Affairs in the institution, Professor Akanbi was unsuccessful as he did not pick calls nor reply to text messages sent to him.
Contacting the Students’ Union Public Relations Officer, Adegbeniyi Oluwafemi known as Barryfem, declined the interview saying, “The Union is not in support. I can’t grant an interview now though.”
It was however learnt that the Students’ Union President, Obagunwa Oluwasegun (Supreme); Senate President of the Union, Amodu Abiola (Eja Nla) have been accused of embezzlement, fraud, misappropriation of fund and gross misconduct of over a million Naira by other executive members of the union.
Olufemi Damilola is a versatile, cerebral and eloquent media personnel who has won several media awards and finds interest in service to humanity through writing.