Kwara Poly: Resolving the school fees impasse


At a time like this, when the economy is down and families are struggling to survive, it is heart-warming to learn that some of our political leaders in the state have come to the rescue of ordinary everyday people with their intervention to stem what can potentially disrupt the peace of the capital and by extension the state. As the yuletide season approaches, it is incumbent on all stakeholders to tow the path of reason.
This is why we are elated at the decision by the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki to intervene on the side of restive students of the Kwara State Polytechnic who have not relented in their quest to get the government or other authorities to help appeal to their school’s management to reverse the increments. The increment had become loudly contentious and in fact has attracted serious backlash among the students and their guardians. The former governor of the state disagreed with the authorities of the Institution that there had not been increment of school fees in the institution.
From media reports, the state government equally agree that there should not be any increment. Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed had in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communication, Dr. Muyideen Akorede, directed that the institution maintained the status quo regarding its fees to ensure that students of all backgrounds in the state retained access to quality higher education as provided by the institution.
For several weeks now, there had been sustained calm and agitation against fee increment by students of the institution. This stems primarily from the struggles families are going through now. Even so, there has to be justification for any increment and attendant improvement either in terms of infrastructural improvement or quality of teachers. Surely, there are other ways of making money for the school apart from government subventions and fees. Management should think,
All the same, we sympathise with the school’s management who will have to device practical strategies to keep the institution afloat. Kwara Poly was built to service public interest not for profit. Although, running institutions of such magnitude needs increased subvention too.
While intervening, Saraki in a statement on Monday through the Kwara State Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Alhaji Sulyman Buhari stated that Kwara Poly authorities had increased its fees contrary to its claim. “Students from my constituency sent me the details of the school fees that the Registrar of the Kwara State Polytechnic released for the 2017/2018 academic session through Whatsapp.
“After reviewing it, I found out that there has been a deliberate attempt to confuse and mislead the state government and the general public.
“It is obvious that a second-year student in 2017/18 is now expected to pay N20,000 more than second-year students paid in the 2016/17 session. This is contrary to the claim contained in the statement released by the institution just last week.”
He added, “With the present economic situation, this increment is unacceptable. I stand by my earlier position that education must be affordable for every willing citizen because it is the bedrock of development. Any increase in the school fees must be stopped now. I appeal to all concerned students and their families to remain calm. I am sure that the government will revisit this issue.”
The management of the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin had insisted that it had not increased school fees for the 2017/2018 academic session. The institution’s Rector, Alhaji Mas’ud Elelu had disclosed that for the 2016/2017 academic session ND I indigenous students paid N52,500 while non-indigenes paid N72,500.
He said, “For the 2017/2018 academic session, ND II, indigenous students are to pay N52,000 while non-indigenes are to pay N7200.
“For HND I 2016/2017 academic session, indigenous students paid N59,000 while non-indigenes paid N76,000. For the 2017/2018 academic session, HND 2 indigenous students are to pay N58,500 while non-indigenes are expected to pay N75,500. No fee has been increased and that the management of the institution has not received approval for such.”
Every stakeholder must now meet to iron out gray areas. Matters surrounding fees are very critical to maintaining peace because students can easily be agitated over money issues. We commend students for maintaining the peace so far. We urge the state government, the senate president, school management and students to sit together and agree on a workable solution going forward. And at all times, matters such as this should not be allowed to degenerate to the level of name calling.

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