By; FUNMI ADERINTO, Kaduna
Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Dr Hadiza Balarabe has said that the increment in tuition fees at the Kaduna State University (KASU) was painful but necessary because it is the only way that the institution can stay afloat.
Dr Balarabe who made this statement when representatives of the students met with senior government officials over the hike in tuition fees, said ‘’we understand the pain, we are also pained but sometimes, some decisions are taken for the betterment of the generality of the people.’’
She explained that the fee hike is to enable KASU to be a top ranking university and ‘’we want you to be proud that you went to one of the best schools. We want Kaduna State students to hold their heads high wherever they might be and be proud to represent Kaduna.’’
The Deputy Governor further said that Kaduna State Government was spending about N5 billion on KASU as the N26,000 that students were paying was not enough to pay lecturers for three months.
Speaking during the meeting, Secretary to Kaduna State Government, Malam Balarabe Abbas Lawal pointed out that university education in the country is collapsing because of inadequate funding.
‘’There are primary schools in Kaduna State that charge N100,000. There are secondary schools that charge as high as N500,000. And you expect university education will cost N27,000? It doesn’t make sense,’’ he said.
The SSG further said that ‘’ for a long time we have been deceiving ourselves. The earlier we wake up and come to the realization that we need to do something about university education in the state and in the country as a whole, the better.’’
According to him, ‘’the standard of degrees that are churned out in Nigeria is the lowest in the world. We send our children to Ghana, Uganda and Republic of Benin for education. Why? Because our system is collapsing. Why? Because there is no funding. ‘’
Also speaking, Chief of Staff Muhammad Sani Abdullahi argued that the equipment and libraries that are necessary to enable good education do ‘’ not come freely or cheaply.
‘’ So, you can either decide if you want to stick to the lowest common denominator and get the basic university education or to go cutting edge and get what you will be proud of and what we will all be proud of,’’ he said.
The Chief of Staff advised the students’ representatives ‘’ to go back and discuss with your colleagues and get them to see reasons.’’
Earlier, the Representatives of the students thanked the government for introducing free primary and secondary education but KASU tuition fees of N100,000 is too high.
According to them, ‘’we don’t want a total reversal but a 50% increase is ok. Even at the old rate of N27, 000, not many people could afford it.’’