ERC CONDEMNS MICHAEL OKPARA UNIVERSITY MANAGEMENT’S INSENSITIVITY TO STUDENTS’ PLIGHT
* WE DEMAND IMMEDIATE REOPENING OF THE SCHOOL, WITHOUT VICTIMIZING ANY STUDENT
* WE CALL FOR A REVERSAL OF THE EXORBITANT FEES WHICH IS THE REASON MANY STUDENTS ARE UNABLE TO MAKE PAYMENT; ALL STUDENTS MUST BE ALLOWED TO SIT FOR THE EXAMS
The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) strongly condemns the insensitivity of the management of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, for denying thousands of students access to write their semester examination over non-payment of school fees. This insensitive act is what led to the protest of students who were fearful that the university management is was trying to mortgage their future. It is important to note that the university management had last year increased the school fees of students by about 200%. This callous act has meant that many of the students could not make payment and those who managed to do so made it under extremely difficult conditions.
Students who are affected by this inhumane policy staged a protest, instead of resolving the crisis by meeting the demands of these students, the university shutdown the school and labeled the protesting students as ‘hoodlums’. This vindictive act is condemnable. It shows the university management is uninterested in issues that affect the academic life of students. If the protest of students was violent, there is no better place to logically place the blame other than the doorstep of the university management who had inhumanely increased the school fees to an un-affordable figure. Many of these students are from poor and working class backgrounds, whose parents are already faced with the devastating inflation and other anti-people policies of the Tinubu-led government.
The ERC calls for immediate reopening of the school to allow all students write their examination without any form of hindrance or victimisation of any students for taking part in the protest. We also demand the immediate reversal of the fee increment as it is the major cause of this crisis. It is also necessary to add that the abysmal funding of public education by the government and corrupt practices of administrators of tertiary institutions will continue to create more crises. Therefore, we charge students and education workers to fight against all attacks on public education and for improved funding and democratic management of schools.
Deputy National Coordinator
Adaramoye Michael Lenin
National Mobilisation Officer
Email: [email protected]