The Students Union Government (SUG) of the Lagos State University yesterday faulted the claim of the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Obafunwa, that the students did not drop out of school as a result of increase in tuition fee.
The students union rolled out facts and figures, which put the number of the students who dropped out from the institution since the new tuition regime was introduced three years ago at over 1,000.
The President of the SUG, Mr. Yusuf Temilola Nurudeen, gave the figure during a media chat, noting that the affected students quit because they could not afford the new fees.
Before the students staged protests, the president said the number of drop-outs was just 192, contending that the affected victims “could not afford the new tuition fee. But when we started the protest, we discovered that over 1,000 students have left the school because of the new fee.
“I have a list of students with me that are out of the school because they could not pay the tuition fee. We have the list of students who paid for the first session and could not pay for the second. I know of students who wrote examination in the first semester but could not afford the second.
“It is of no business to the vice-chancellor if the government decides to reduce the tuition fee or make it free. His own is to administer the school. On his own job, he is lagging. We have decided to face the government now. After this battle, he is next. We will make him realise his lapses.
“Probably, I want to challenge him to a public debate on this issue. He is too hypocritical about it. At first, we did sit with the management to set the new tuition fee. We discovered 192 students who have dropped out of school because they could not afford the new tuition fee,” Nurudeen said.
He argued that in the university, 1.0 “is the minimum CGP for a good standing student, meaning that such student can survive in the school. In LASU, if after one first session, he has less than 1.0 as CGP, the letter the university will issue to such student is advice to withdraw.”
Nurudeen added that the university did not issue any withdrawal letter “to students that have more than 1.0. Students are not sent away for academic reasons. I have students in my class who at their first year, they were advised to withdraw. But today, they survived it.
“I cannot remember the last time the university pasted names of students whose admission were withdrawn. The vice-chancellor should stop this propaganda and tell the state government what should be done in the school.”
He acknowledged that the state government earmarked about N1.3 billion for scholarship and bursary, but noted that only N200 million “is allocated to LASU students as bursary.”
According to him, the entire fund is meant for the students in the state, other states and international students. We discovered this as we perused the budget of the state government.
The SUG leader said N200 million was allocated because tuition fee has been increased, noting that it used “to be between N80 and N120 million. The bursary increase covers only the tuition fee. With the old tuition fee, students received 100 percent of their tuition fees, but with the increment, a law student whose tuition fee is N250, 000; what he or she receives as bursary is N80, 000.”