Awka – Thousands of students and Alumni of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka on Monday, blocked major roads in the institution, to protest the alleged outrageous increment in their school fees and the insensitivity of the University management to their plight.
The protesters bore placards with various inscriptions, to the discredit of the University management, chanting solidarity songs in protest over the increment.
After a match round the school, the protesting students gathered at the administrative block of the University, where they continued their action.
TNC correspondent who was at the school, gathered that the increment varies, depending on the department or course of study.
A student-protester who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the increment had happened before and nothing was done despite the efforts of the Students’ Union Government.
He said this time, they not relent but will sustain the protest until the University management reverses the increment.
“We cannot believe the management can be this heartless and insensitive to our plights. If we don’t do this now, we don’t know what will happen next. And as we have come out now, there’s no going back until the university management hears our cry and reverses the increment,” he said.
Also speaking on the insensitivity of the management to the plight of the students, another student lamented that the University has made it a policy that attendance to class is mandatory and carries 75 percent mark, wondering why such will be adopted when many students do all manner of jobs to sustain themselves in school.
“Due to the hardship in the country, many students are now the ones fending for themselves in school. Some of them do all manner of works to be able to pay their school fees and the management is saying attendance is 75 percent. How on earth are these students going to remain in school with this policy. We want the authorities to realize that we are humans and treat us with the attention we deserve,” she emphasized.
Another protester revealed that they were paying N20,100 before but with the coming of the new Vice Chancellor, their fees have skyrocketed to N55,000, representing over 100 percent increase.
According to him, it is appalling that in a Federal University, students pay an upward of a hundred thousand naira while the General Studies fees have been increased from N10,000 to N17,000.
“This has become worse since the new VC came on board. Everything is now going up. We believe if all of us come out and speak with one voice, we can achieve change. We want the VC to assure us that he will change his administrative pattern which is making it very difficult for students and parents to cope. That is our intention and nothing more,” he pointed out.
When our correspondent reached the Dean, Students Affairs of the University, Professor Nonso Achebe, he neither confirmed nor denied the increment, saying the University Vice-Chancellor, Prof Charles Esimone, is addressing the matter.