The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, has warned that about 50% of Nigerian university students may drop out of school within the next two years if the Nigerian government fails to stop the continuous fee hike in universities.
Osodeke made the warning while speaking on the current situation in the Nigerian education sector on Channels TV on Sunday night, The Guardian reports.
He said that the heavy fees being imposed on students across the nation would result in a massive dropout of students, due to their inability to cope with the payments.
“If nothing is done about these heavy fees being introduced by schools all over the country, in the next two or three years, more than 40 to 50 percent of these children who are in school today will drop out,” Osodeke said.
Osodeke stated that a looming national problem if his prediction of a massive dropout of students nationwide comes to reality, noting that these students would become willing tools in the hands of those who want to make the “country ungovernable”.
“This is what we are saying: create the environment we have in the 60s and 70s. When I was a student, the government was paying me for being a student. Let’s have an environment where the children of the poor can have access to education.
“School fees of N300,000; how can the children of someone who earns N50,000 a month be able to pay such a fee?”
He urged the government to increase budgetary allocation to education to at least 15 percent of the total budget sum, saying with an increase in budget allocation to education, parents would be relieved of the burden of paying high fees for their children.
Commenting on the government’s student loan policy, the ASUU president expressed pessimism that the student loan policy would fail, adding that for the loan policy to work, it has to be reviewed.
“When you are talking about student loans, you have to be comprehensive. There is nothing to show that it would work.
“There is a need for a review. Check what happened in the past and see how we can move forward. But for us, our idea is that instead of calling it a loan, let us call it a grant.”