Amosun vows summon mgt
By Daud Olatunji
ABEOKUTA – Hundreds of Students of Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), on Monday protested against poor funding by the Ogun State government and alleged extortion by their school authority.
The students who stormed the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) secretariat, in Abeokuta in their hundreds expressed their grievances over the institutions high level of extortion.
The students carried placards with inscriptions such as ” Say No to N10,200 Tax Clearance, Amosun Save TASUED, Save TASUED and Fund Education Coalition and Say no to N25,000 vocational studies fee.
Leading the protesters, the President, Student Union Government of the Institution, Sanni Adeyemi, who spoke on behalf of the students, some policies have been enacted by the institution at the detriment of the students.
Adeyemi explained that some of the harsh policies ranged from incremental fees and dues under the guise of raising Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for smooth running of the institution.
“The acceptance fee of new intakes has been increased from N30,000 to N40,000 while the final clearance fee for graduating students has also been increased from N25,000 to N45,000.
“I also want to let the people know that the Vocational studies fee was also increased from N1,000 to N25,000 which is too ridiculous.
“It is only in Ogun State that students would be asked to pay N10,200 tax clearance every session.
“We are made to realise by the university management that there is need for all the increment and introduction of fees and dues as the state government has failed to give the school fund.
“According to the information at hand, it is clearly stated that the state had failed to give TASUED a kobo for the past 24 months, ” he said.
He called on the government to accord TASUED adequate and reasonable funds to ensure smooth running of the university.
The students, thereafter took their protest to the State secretariat where they met with the State governor, Ibikunle Amosun.
The governor, however, persuaded the students to move down to the Moshood Abiola stadium where he trekked with them to the stadium.
Addressing the students after listening to their grievances, the governor promised to invite the management of the school on how to resolve the issues.
He said that out of all the issues raised by the student, only the issue of non payment of subventions to the School concerned the government while others were administrative issues.
He disclosed that his administration had paid the sum of N52billion for four and half years as subventions to tertiary institutions in the state.
Amosun explained that education in primary and secondary schools are free but that of tertiary institution could not be free but could be subsidised by the government.
“If you want your certificate to be worthwhile it will not be free.
“All the things you are saying that you don’t want to pay for this, you don’t want to pay for that then you will not get the right person to come and teach you or anything”.
“That is why we have subsidised heavily, please can you go to other institutions and ask them .
“In Nigeria today, the money given to all the states, Ogun is number 26 out 36 states and in the context of the five States in the Southwest, Ogun is number five so there is little to go ground’.
In its reaction, The Vice-Chancellor, Oluyemisi Ibilade in a statement , denied the allegation, stressing that the authority has not increased the school fees in the last three years, contrary to the claims by the protesting students.
Obilade said “It is on record that the management has not increased school fees in the last three years. The school fees is still N66,500 for returning undergraduates and N76,500 for fresh students’.
“The caution fee cannot be part of school fees as it is only paid by students who fail to conclude registration within stipulated time. The fee is actually to make students to register on time and avoid past situation where some students will be at 400 level with their registration yet to be concluded. Instances abound of students who at the point of graduation are found to be deficient in one admission requirement or the other and/or having incomplete data with the regulatory bodies.
“Registration fees are paid in all universities, just as students Union fees. It is in the bid to plug loopholes and enhance accountability that made Management, Deans and HODS to come together and agree that the fees be streamlined and paid together in one lump.
“Tax payment is a civic and statutory responsibility of citizens to the Ogun State Government. The said N10,000 is only payable in lieu of non possession of valid Ogun State Tax Clearance Certificate. The University is, therefore, not involved in the collection of the said tax. It only demands for the clearance certificate of parents/sponsor(s)’,the statement reads
“We have no apologies on TASUED standard that students with more than two carry-overs will not go for teaching practice. TASUED is a University of Education and we will be doing a disservice to the State and Nation if we allow students with inadequate knowledge to teach in the classrooms. Research has shown that it is more difficult to unlearn a wrong thing’.
“TASUED today is much sought after by applicants, and it is over subscribed by many intending students even after the NUC had increased our carrying capacity/quota from 3,500 to 5813.
“TASUED today is even rated well above many other universities that have been in the existence decades before TASUED was established, being placed 43rd out of 118 Universities in the country.
“We are not unmindful of the fact that this may be bad news for enemies of progress who want to bring TASUED to its knees for reasons best known to them. TASUED belongs to all of us collectively, it is GOD’s ow n project and it must not only survive but thrive”, she said.