The Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko has unveiled a new policy of “No payment of tuition fees, no defence” for the students of the institution.
The new order by the institution states that finishing students who have not paid their complete school fees will not be permitted to defend their final projects. Those who went on Industrial Training popularly referred to as Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) and are owing tuition fees will not also have the privilege to defend their training program.
Speaking with one of the returning students who was not supervised after her Teaching Practice, Shayo Apata from the department of Human Kinetics and Health Education confirmed that the new policy had been implemented, saying: “Those who have paid were supervised while those who haven’t paid were not supervised.”
“It is a very bad decision from the management. Students are not running away without paying the money, they will still pay because every student wants to do their clearance and go for Service (NYSC).”
“They should consider we the students. Most of us who haven’t paid till date don’t have it at the moment because some of us are sponsoring ourselves just to get educated.”
Diwura Williams from the Department of Animal and Environmental Biology explains that the policy is heartbreaking and noted that it should be reversed.
“It breaks my heart to see that an institution created towards the betterment of its wards is now one that keeps driving them to the verge of insanity and absurdity. It’s hard enough without a consistent salary for Ondo state civil servants who happen to be our parents and older siblings. Giving us a condition that most equals to no School fee, then drop out is just sheer wickedness. I find it annoying, but most especially, inhumane,” she said.
She went on to implore that the policy is revised as most of the students in the school are on the verge of dropping out.
“They need to review this policy. If not, so many of us are on the verge of becoming a dropout. Something needs to be done,” she said.
Ajobiewe Blessing, who is a 400 level student, said the school has shifted from its initial policy of allowing students to pay their tuition fees twice and also the extra cost of N2,000 for those who fail to make payments when due.
“On this new policy, I will say at the initial time when the school fee was increased, there was an agreement made by the school management and representatives of the students. The agreement was that, students will be allowed to pay their tuition fees twice and that there will be late registration which will attract an extra cost of N2000 for students who do not pay their tuition fees in due time. But now, they have backslid this agreement.”
Blessing pointed out that a larger percentage of parents in the Ondo state are civil servants who have not received their salaries in a few months.
“Many parents are predominantly farmers whom Fulani herdsmen have destroyed their farmland and produce. Seventy-five per cent of AAUA students are indigenous people of Ondo State where most parents are civil servants who the state government has not paid their salary for the past 6 months while some are paid half payment. Where do they expect the parents to get the fees?”
“This new policy of the school management is uncalled for. Most of the students sponsored themselves to school. The policy to me is not acceptable. It is like denying the students their rights.”
Adesola Ikulajolu, a graduating student of Mass Communication who was also interviewed, sees the new rule as a very harsh one especially for the final year students who find it hard to pay for their tuition.
“The new policy is a strict rule to make the students pay their tuition fee, but then, it is quite harsh. Especially for the final year students, some of whom are still battling to pay their fees. It was a shocker to me and unexpected,” he said.
“The school should try to relax that strict policy, at least for the current final year. Of course, they will surely pay their fee before leaving the school.”
All efforts to speak with the newly appointed Dean of Students’ Affairs in the institution, Professor Akanbi were unsuccessful as he did not pick calls nor reply to text messages sent to him.
Contacting the Students’ Union Public Relations Officer, Adegbeniyi Oluwafemi, known as Barryfem, proved abortive as he declined the interview saying, “The Union is not in support. I can’t grant an interview now though.”
It was, however, learnt that the Students’ Union President, Obagunwa Oluwasegun (Supreme), and the Senate President of the Union, Amodu Abiola (Eja Nla), have been accused of embezzlement, fraud, misappropriation of funds and gross misconduct of over a Million Naira by other executive members of the union.
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