FG To Set New Policy Direction In Universities

Nigeria Needs More Private Universities - NUC Exec SecretaryThe Federal Government says that the incessant face-off between the governing councils of universities and the institutions’ authorities over the running of the day-to-day activities in the universities will no longer be tolerated.

The warning was handed down by the Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwuka, during the 31st convocation ceremony of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Rivers State.

The Minister who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the occasion also stated some new policy direction in the university system across the country.

“We must stop housing those who are adventurers, who have no business being in the universities to be in the university. In that wise, it’s being proposed and it will fly that at the end of this academic year, any student that fails to get up to 0.5 GPA should seize being a student of the university.

“The universities will continue from now on to house people who are serious with what they have come here to do. If you score less than 0.5 in your GPA, you are out and out for good.

“Secondly, Mr Vice Chancellor, starting from this year, JAMB has been advised to stop sending students to our professional universities with unrelated disciplines.

“If you are a University of Agriculture, your business should be agriculture; not in medicine, not in law, not in accountancy. Science and technology must remain University of Science and Technology.

“If states wish to have conventional universities, then they must speak to the Federal Government and such schools will be given to such states,” Professor Anwuka said.

A Dangerous Trend

The Vice Chancellor of UNIPORT, Professor Ndowa Lale, on his part, lamented the rate at which student unionism degenerates into what he described as a dangerous trend for the university authorities.

Professor Lale called on the Federal Government to regulate the operational structure of Students’ Union Government, adding that they pose threat to the statutory administration of the universities.

“Union leaders ascribe to themselves funny sounding titles as executive president and commander-in-chief of Aluta forces, secretary general and head of service, chief judge, senate president, honourable speaker of parliament, special advisers, woman leader, chief whip, stakeholders and so on.

“All these high sounding offices operate under the auspices of a Students’ Union Government which now operates at parallel point with the appointed authority of the institution,” he claimed.

The convocation ceremony was witnessed by dignitaries such as the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Ipalebo Banigo, who represented Governor Nyesom Wike; Vice Chancellors from other universities and top government officials among other guests.

 

University Of Jos Resumes Academic Activities

Jos
University of Jos School Gate

The University of Jos, Plateau State, North-central region of Nigeria, has resumed its academic activities with the commencement of the second semester examinations.

Academic activities were disrupted by students’ demonstration late in 2014 and this resulted in the closure of the institution.

They had protested over increment in developmental charges. The protests became violent leading to destruction of lecture halls, administrative offices as well as hostel facilities.

The Students’ Union Government was also suspended.

Respite, however, came for the University of Jos students after two months of staying at home.

According to the resumption guidelines released by the School Registrar, Jili Dandam, all returning students must pay the sum of 6,000 naira each, as surcharges to cover cost of damages.

The students would as well sign an undertaking under oath, to be of good behaviour during their remaining period in the school.

The intervention of the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and other concerned citizens resulted in the re-opening of the school as well as lifting of the suspension on the Students’ Union Government.

LASU Student Urges Fashola To Make Reduction In Naira Not In Percentage

LASU PROThe Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State University, Students Union Government, Mr Adekoya Joseph has called on the Lagos State government to make the reductions in school fees in naira and kobo and not in percentage.

Speaking on Rubbin’ Minds, alongside the president of the Union, Nurudeen Yusuf, he noted that “when the fees was to be increased, the government came out to tell us how much we will be paying in naira and kobo” but “when they came out to announce the reduction, they announced the reduction in percentage” insisting that “this has created a lot of confusion” adding that what we are saying is the reduction should be announced in naira and kobo”

He said that the 34-60 per cent reduced by the government is still very high “because with the present reduction, a medical student will still be paying 250, 000 naira, a science student will be paying about 198, 000 naira” adding that “the lowest paying student of LASU, that is a student of Arts, will be paying 127,500 naira.

He said they had given Governor Babtunde Fashola a proposal of what they can be able to afford and “after meeting with the general student populace we came up with a proposal on how much we can pay; we came up with 46, 500 naira and 65, 500.

“So it is outrageous for the government to come out and tell us they have announced a 34-60 per cent reduction” insisting that “what we are saying is that the government should give us what we want”.

He went further to reveal that the Lagos State-owned institution needs about N10 billion to service its recurrent and capital expenditure for a year, noting that with a yearly budget of “over N400 billion, the government cannot come and tell us they cannot finance the institution”.

He argued that if Lagos State is to go by the UNESCO, a United Nations organisation which expects its members to “allocate 26 per cent” of their budgets to education, “then Lagos State University being the only university run by Lagos State government that needs just N10 billion will not have a problem of finance”.

He also wondered why other state-owned institutions in states with less vibrant economies than Lagos are paying less amounts than students of LASU when “the economy of Lagos is more viable than some countries in West Africa”.