Authorities of the University of medical sciences, Ondo, UNIMED, in Ondo state yesterday postponed indefinitely the resumption for its 2021 /2022 academic session to avert student protest against a 120 per cent hike in tuition fees.
Reports had it that the returning students of the state government-owned institution were planning to protest against the increase in school fees by the state government.
The decision of the management according to findings was to frustrate the planned protest by the aggrieved students.
Recall that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party and parents of the students have kicked against the increment describing it as insensitive.
A circular to students and staff which was signed by Ezekiel Adeniran for the school’s registrar said “This is to inform all staff and students of the University of medical sciences, Ondo that the University management on behalf of the Senate has approved that the resumption date for the 2021 /2022 academic session for all returning students of the University be postponed indefinitely.
“Therefore by this circular, all returning students are directed to vacate University campus and their respective Halls of residence within the next 48 hours (I.e Thursday 11th November, 2021).
The circular added that ” a new resumption date will be communicated as appropriate.
Recall that the management of the institution without any reason increased the school fees for both fresh and returning students.
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party and parents of the students have kicked against the increment last weekend.
They lamented that the insensitive action of the Rotimi Akeredolu led administration would increase out of school children
The party’s Publicity Secretary, Kennedy Peretei in a statement said the astronomical increase ” is a silent notice to parents who cannot afford the new fees regime to withdraw their children.
” The recent astronomical hike in the fees payable by students in the Ondo State Government-owned University of Medical Sciences, Ondo (UNIMED) by the government is a silent notice to parents who cannot afford the new fees regime to withdraw their children.
“Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN has never hidden his penchant for increasing fees in tertiary institutions since he assumed leadership of the State. Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko and Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa had suffered serial closures over students protests bordering on fees hike.
“The Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo shrank to a student population of 1,753 from over 9,000 due to fees increase. Most private residential accommodations for students in Owo is now empty. Even the economy of the ancient city has been adversely affected.
“Parents and students of UNIMED received shockers of their lives when they noticed increment of fees with nearly 120% for 2021/2022 session.
“No explanation was given for this hike. Medical students have to pay as much as N1,320,000.00 as against N515,000.00 payable in the previous academic session (2020/2021).
“At Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti students of Medicine and Surgery require only N468,750.00 for 2021/2022 Session. For Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye N176,396.00 will be enough for the same course.
“There is no justification for this continuous upward review of school fees when the economy of the state is practically comatose and workers’ salaries are not only irregular but never paid in full.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ondo State Chapter calls on the Governor and the APC led government to wear a human face in taking decisions that affect the well being of our future leaders.
“A government that only brings sorrow to the people through policies of this nature is no longer worthy of its stay in power.
” lf neighbouring States with lesser revenue are charging lesser fees, why must Ondo State breed University dropouts because of the wickedness of one man?
The party said that ” Education is the only industry Ondo State is known for. If the incumbent administration cannot improve our lots, it is better not to complicate a bad situation.
Some of the parents who spoke with Vanguard in confidence said that “There will be mass withdrawal. It is not realistic. Mass withdrawal is looming in the school. We were paying N350,000 and it was difficult.
“We know Medicine is not cheap but this is on the high side. Other state schools are running medicine but their fees are not as high as N2 million.”
However, the institution’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof Adesegun Fatusi said that there was no going back on the new fee schedule.
Fatusi said the new fee was for students to be admitted to the new academic session.
According to him “The institution is a commitment to offering quality education would not be compromised.
“The parents have an option. It is not compulsory for their children to study here. Other medical schools are available.
He added that “We run this school almost free of tuition fees. This school is a specialised school and we cannot continue with the previous fees.”