Students of the Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ijebu Ode , Ogun State , on Monday embarked on a mass protest in Abeokuta against the increment in fees and payment of multiple taxes in the institution .
Scores of students of the institution , who came into the capital city in no fewer than seven ‘ Aluta buses’ , first stormed the Oke Ilewo secretariat of the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists , in Abeokuta .
The students carried placards with various inscriptions such as ‘ Say No to N10 , 200 Tax Clearance ’ , ‘ Amosun , Save TASUED, and Fund Education’ and ‘ Say no to N25 , 000 vocational studies fee ’ , among others.
The students , who spoke through the Student Union Government President of the institution , Sanni Adeyemi , complained that the acceptance fee of the new intakes had been increased from N30 , 000 to N 40 , 000 while the final clearance fee for graduating students had also been increased from N25 , 000 to N 45 , 000 .
Adeyemi said the school authorities had equally increased vocational studies fee from N1 , 000 to N25 , 000 , which he claimed had been turned to registration fee .
The students further condemned the payment of N10 , 200 student tax and described as unjustifiable the N1 , 500 fee for the reprint of lost final clearance in the institution ’ s admission office .
With all these fees, the students said that education had been commercialised in the school .
Adeyemi said , “ Education ought to be the leading social responsibility of the government . It is supposed to be seen as the major way of giving back to society but it has turned to a source of revenue for some people.
“ Education is totally commercialised in TASUED . You pay for everything . ”
The students further claimed that the management had told them during meetings that “ the alleged state government has failed to give the school what the school deserves in terms of funding . ”
Apart from protesting over what they termed ‘ irrelevant and outrageous payment , ’ the students complained about the alleged high – handedness of the authorities of the institution which they claimed had muzzled students ’ union by threatening the executive members with arrest , suspension and expulsion .
They also said the institution lacked basic facilities such as toilets and power supply.
They demanded that the state government should provide adequate funding for the institution , improve on the facilities , and stop the victimisation of student union leaders .
The students , thereafter took their protest to the Oke Mosan state secretariat where they met with the State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun .
The governor, however , persuaded them to proceed to the MKO International Stadium , Kuto , which is about 500 metres away from the secretariat .
Amosun and the state Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Modupe Mujota, joined the students to trek down there.
Addressing them the governor promised to invite the management of the school and resolve the issues .
He said his administration had paid the sum of N 52 bn for four and half years as subventions to tertiary institutions in the state .
He said , “If you want your certificate to be worthwhile it will not be free.
“ All the things you are saying that you don ’ t want to pay for this , you don ’ t want to pay for that , then you will not get the right person to come and teach you .
“ That is why we have subsidised education heavily . Please you can go to other institutions and ask them.
The Vice- Chancellor of the institution , Prof . Oluyemisi Obilade , in her reaction , denied the allegation of increment in school fees.
She said , “ Tax payment is a civic and statutory responsibility of citizens to the Ogun State Government. The said N10 , 000 is only payable in lieu of non – possession of valid Ogun State Tax Clearance Certificate .
“ The University is , therefore , not involved in the collection of the said tax . It only demands the clearance certificate of parents /sponsor (s ) . ”