The Federal Government has been advised to introduce the payment of tuition fees in federal universities to meet the demands of the striking lecturers and end the ongoing strike embarked on by members of the Academic Staff Union of University.
An educationist, Dr Oluwatosin Adebayo, said this on Friday while speaking in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, at the 2022 stakeholders’ forum and presentation of scholarship awards to over 1,000 indigent admission seekers from the South-West.
Adebayo, who is the African Regional President of Scholarship Aids Initiatives, a non-governmental organisation, insisted that payment of tuition fees by students of federal universities remained one of the viable solutions to the poor funding of education in the country. The Federal Government as part of efforts at promoting free education had in 2018 barred all federal universities from charging tuition fees.
But Adebayo argued that free education, especially at the tertiary institution level, was no longer achievable in the country, hence such universities must charge tuition fees to augment the subventions coming from the government.
Speaking on the theme, ‘Incessant strike action in the tertiary institutions: The present and future effect on Nigeria education and economic system’, Adebayo lamented that strike had never made any positive impact but destroyed the education sector.
“We have never seen any positive impact that this strike method has brought out. I believe that there should be other ways in which ASUU and the government come together and resolve their differences. Strike is not the best solution because it is killing our educational system, the system is going down, our certificates are not being recognized anywhere any longer and we keep on deceiving ourselves.
“I’m a lecturer as well and we have suggested many things to resolve crisis instead of strike. Part of what we have suggested is that, students of federal universities should be paying school fees. Students of Federal universities don’t pay tuition fees.
“Education is expensive; the Federal Government must allow students of Federal universities to pay school fees. The parents are ready to pay and the money generated from this school can be used to finance whatever the problem is”, Adebayo said.
Adebayo that although, education remains the right of every Nigerian, “but the Federal government lacks the capacity to provide free education”, urging the government to stop making promises it cannot fulfill.