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Increasing tuition fees may deepen Nigeria’s education crisis, says UK charity founder

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IA-Foundation

Last Updated on August 3, 2023 by Fellow Press

(Photo: Mrs Ibironke Adeagbo, Chief Executive Officer, IA-Foundation)

The Chief Executive Officer of the UK charity, IA-Foundation, Mrs Ibironke Adeagbo, has warned that increasing tuition fees in Nigerian universities could compound the crisis plaguing the country’s education sector.

Speaking against the backdrop of increases in tuition and other fees by some universities in Nigeria, Adeagbo said that a country currently having some 20.2 million children out-of-school should have no business increasing fees in schools.

She told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday that increasing fees of any sort should not be an option, until Nigeria came out of the woods and was able to put every child in school.

“The increment in tuition in Unity Schools is unacceptable because it can lead to more children dropping out of school,’’ Adeagbo said, calling on the Federal Government to take measures to ensure that every Nigerian child acquired basic education.

“The government should also introduce regulatory measures soonest, to compel private schools operators to curb unnecessary demands on parents such as forcing parents to pay expensive fees for uniforms and other related items.

“The government also needs to reduce the financial entry barriers into public schools as thousands of families cannot even afford to pay basic enrollment fees.

According to her, government needs to stay true to its promise of free basic education for all in Nigeria.

The IA-Foundation founder said that Nigeria should improve education standards in public schools and introduce strategic communication measures to address the prevailing negative notion about education in public schools.

She, however, lauded the Federal Government for inviting IA-Foundation to the just-concluded annual National Summit for NGOs Intervening in the Education Sector, hosted by the Federal Ministry of Education in Abuja.

Adeagbo said that her foundation’s participation in the summit had re-energised IA-Foundation’s commitment to campaigning for every Nigerian child to have access to basic education.

IA-Foundation, based in the south eastern city of Kent in England has been campaigning vigorously to promote education in Nigeria, which is Africa’s most populous nation.

Nigeria has an army of out-of-school kids, especially the girl-child, prevented from classrooms because of various problems, including poverty and banditry, according to UN agency UNESCO.

The organisation is mostly active in South Western Nigeria but it has been making efforts to expand its activities to other parts of Nigeria, according to the founder.

Education

Why we didn’t join strike– Private school proprietors

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Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Fellow Press

The National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Lagos State Chapter, says its members did not join the indefinite labour strike because they believe that strike is not the way to get a solution.

The President of the chapter, Mr Alaka Yusuf, told journalists on Tuesday in Lagos that strike would also disrupt learning and students’ progress.

He said that NAPPS operated on a planned academic calendar and could not afford to lose any day.

While public primary and secondary schools were under lock on Monday and Tuesday due to labour strike, private schools were open for operations.

The nationwide strike was called by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC).

The unions protested inclusiveness of negotiations with the Federal Government on a new minimum wage.

NLC and TUC have, however, suspended the strike for a week to give room for continued negotiations on a new minimum wage.

The suspension followed a meeting of the unions with Federal Government representatives on Monday.

Alaka said, “I want to say NAPPS has been advised by our president not go on strike but to be watchful during strike.

“Our schools are not affected, and we must ensure that our students learn adequately.

“We believe we are helping government to bridge the gap in education. When a child is not educated or loses a day to be educated, that child has lost a lot in his or her development.

“For us, going on strike is not a way to get solution to the nation’s problem,” he said.

Alaka said that NAPPS would prefer that NLC and TUC should continue to engage the Federal Government in dialogue for resolution of any conflict.

“However, we expect the government, too, to reason with the citizenry and see that everything that we are doing, especially now that inflation has risen, is commensurate,” Alaka said.

Mrs Adebola Olubodun, Principal of Grimes International College, a private school in Suberu Oje, Alagbado, Lagos State, also told NAN that the school did not go on strike.

”We are in school, teaching and learning are ongoing, students will be having their test this week.

“For us, there is no strike,” Olubodun said.

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Education

FG States when students loan will start in state universities

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Last Updated on May 31, 2024 by Fellow Press

The student loan scheme will be open to state-owned tertiary institutions in three weeks.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, May 30, Akintunde Sawyerr, Managing Director of Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND), Sawyerr said the fund aims to start receiving applications on June 25. However, he added that the date remains tentative due to factors like data upload by institutions.

He said;

“We will commence accepting applications from students attending state-owned tertiary institutions in three weeks time. We request all state institutions to submit their students data immediately in order to facilitate a smooth and seamless application process.”

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