The National Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN), says the increase in tuition fee of tertiary institutions owned by the Kaduna State Government may force many students out of school.
President of the association, Alhaji Haruna Danjuma, expressed the concern in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Kaduna on Wednesday.
Danjuma also expressed concern that this might make the students to take to crime.
He said the increase could force some parents in rural areas who hitherto preferred to send their children to farm, to withdraw them from school without hesitation.
The president said most parents were prepared to withdraw their children from the state-owned university because the fee had been increased from less than N30, 000 to between N150, 000 and N500, 000.
According to him, majority of the students who find it difficult to pay the initial fee, are also ready to drop out since their parents cannot cope with the new increase.
“Our biggest worry is that these students will return home and may be involved in criminal activities either to raise the needed money to pay the fee or due to idleness.
“We are already overwhelmed with drug addicts and hoodlums and now thousands of our decent children will be forced to return home and join them due to education policy summersault,’’ Danjuma said.
He described the development as “complete contradiction” to Gov. El-Rufai’s commitment to ensure that every child of the poor in the state had decent and quality education.
“El-Rufai declared free education from basic schools up to senior secondary school, and we all thanked him for the efforts to live up to the responsibility of the government in educating its population.
“He also made a commitment that his administration will ensure that every child of the poor in the state must have decent and quality education, and we all applauded the commitment.
“But to our surprise, the same government has now taken tertiary education beyond the reach of the common man.
“This is not fair for parents and the students who will be forced to drop out of school,’’ he said.
The president called on the governor to have a rethink, adding that about 90 per cent of the students were children of the poor and vulnerable, struggling to feed and educate their wards.
According to him, the increase in tuition fee is a wrong move and counter-productive to the ongoing efforts aimed at human capital development in the state.
NAN reports that the Commissioner for Education, Dr Shehu Makarfi, on April 26, confirmed the tuition fee increase in all the state-owned tertiary institutions.
Makarfi had explained that the decision was to reposition the schools to deliver quality skills and training to solve the 21st century challenges.
He said that KASU had been directed to increase the tuition fee from N24, 000 to a minimum of N150, 000.
He added that the minimum fee for National Diploma and Higher National Diploma programmes had been pegged at a minimum of N75, 000 and N100, 000 respectively.
The commissioner also said that the National Certificate in Education (NCE), programme was also increased to N75, 000. (NAN)