On the recent debate on acceptance fee charged by the higher institutions, I want to emphatically state that, I am not in any way supporting all auxiliary charges payment students undergoes in most universities, especially, the federal institutions.
It has become profoundly and profusely necessary for clarifications to be made on certain key national issues, as raised by members of the 9th Assembly.
Aside from the acceptance fees charged, which am not sure that all universities do engage in. There are some minor charges that also goe on in the universities. But school fees are free.
The universities use such strategies to augment the paucity of funds in the universities through federal allocations. The universities have two main types of fundings, internally generated revenue and federal allocations. In some remote cases, private and individuals donations respectively.
Recall that in 2020 budget appropriation, out of over #10 trillion, only about #48 billion was allocated to education. This is not enough. Education ought to have the highest allocations in any federal budget as advised by the UN 6%, while EFCC built its headquarters with over #24b.
If that money is channel into one federal university with good monitoring, that university will become a world-renowned and world-class institutions.
The lawmakers are right by frowning on the auxiliary charges in the federal key institutions, but more should be done by them during budget preparation to increase the universities allocations.
I want the lawmakers to know that the universities staffers need:
1. Good offices to work in.
2. A healthy environment to carry out their researches
3. State of the art facilities
4. Internet access on campuses for the staff and students
5. More allocations for R&D research and development, for world-class research.
6. Review of salaries like it is in other federal establishments.
The students need more:
2. Classrooms well equipped
5. Study friendly environments etc.
The national assembly has lots of roles to play in rebranding and revamping our universities aside the debate on acceptance fees charge.
I believe that, with better funding and good critical attention to the universities, education will be not just free, but good and globally sound to our beloved students.
I know that the executive secretary education of national University council (NUC) will comment on this debate soon. The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will make it position known when the push and debate persist.
The fact remains, our universities need critical financial attention by the government at all levels and well-meaning individuals, thoughts and opinion leaders. The universities extra charges are based on low funding. With better financial allocation, no university will collect money from students for a developmental project or program on the campuses.
Rwang Patrick Stephen
Department of Political Science, Federal University of Kashere, Gombe State
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