How Ondo Gov. Akeredolu Is Forcing Students Out Of School
The government is supposed to provide education for its citizens, or at least, make education accessible to the poor.
But when it is the same government that is making education unattainable for the ordinary people, then something may be wrong somewhere.
While governor Rotimi Akeredolu is trying to raise money, he appears to be killing the dreams of many by making tertiary education remain a dream.
Three weeks on, students and parents have continued to point accusing fingers at the state governor for the inability of students to forge ahead with their education at the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Ondo State.
Adedamola Ibidunni, a newly admitted ND student is now a computer operator at A&T Communication Network, Akure on a monthly pay of N8,000.
"I was admitted to study Mass communication. I had already paid my acceptance of 30,000 and 10,000 verification fees but when I later saw the actual school fees, I knew there was no how I or my parents could raise the money. So I decided to forfeit my admission till I have enough savings to continue."
John Akintade is another victim who had called it quits on education.
"This is my third attempt at entering the polytechnic.
"I had spent all my savings to process the admission not knowing the tuition fees will be out of my reach.
"I was admitted to study Mechanical Engineering, but I can't afford the fee. I had no one to support me financially.
"My parents are both retired. I actually planned to finish my National Diploma and use it to start working but when I saw what we were asked to pay, I just forgot about the whole thing."
PHOTO: Adedamola Ibidunni
In his own view, Kehinde Ajose believed the state government should be held responsible for the dwindling fortunes of youth in the state.
"It is a wicked act by the government to treat us this way.
"What then is the contribution of government to the development of the youth especially the students?
"Indirectly, they are telling us that polytechnic education is not meant for students from poor background.
"Now I have been forced to abandon my HND admission after wasting money and time to secure it", he lamented.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a lecturer in Mass Communication department confirmed the drastic reduction in the number of fresh students for 2017/2018 academic session.
"The decision has even affected us as lecturers. As things stand now, we cannot print text books for the new students in our department except we are ready to shoulder the cost implications. When we have larger number, we do massive production and we make money but now it is not possible to do that."
The students Union Government president, Comrade Ayejuyo Temitayo however confirmed the development but declined comment on the outcome of the dialogue between the Union and the state government.
Meanwhile, Chairman governing council of the polytechnic, Banji Alabi said government alone cannot fund education in the state “if we must produce quality and competitive graduates from our institutions.”
Bounce News correspondent in Akure had reported that fresh students comprising ND1 and HND1 are currently paying between N98,500; 93,500 and 108, 500 respectively.
Before the coming of Akeredolu, 54,000 and 64,000 were paid by indigene and non-indigene of the state in ND1.
74,000 and 84,000 were paid by fresh HND students in 2016/2017 academic session during the administration of former Governor Olusegun Mimiko.