On Monday, Kwara State University (KWASU) students takes to street to protest against the 300 percent increase of their hostel exemption fee.
The 300 percent hike in the fee rises from ₦5,000 to ₦20,000. The fee is compulsory for fresh and final year students who opt not to reside in the school’s N65,000 per year hostel facility.
The students occupied the entrance point of the school, which was under lock, in large numbers on Monday.
A 300-level student of Microbiology department who participated in the action, told the newspaper, “there were no classes today. Even the staff didn’t show up. Most students were outside in the morning protesting.”
Many students, who spoke with PremiumTimes reporter, condemned the move by the school management.
“I think the major issue for the school right now is finance. The school feels they’re not getting enough and that’s why any little opportunity they always want to increase school fees or other fees.
“But all this increment uncalled for and it is too much. It is telling on us seriously, especially after the COVID-19. Things are not really the same. It is not easy for some of our parents when its not like we’re in a private institution,” a student said.
Another student said the protest had a backdrop of many issues, including the poor state of the hostels.
However in a statement signed by the Acting Registrar, Mr Mohammed Shuaib, said “staff and students were expected to continue with academic activities, and their normal duties since the situation has been brought under control.”
Mr Shauib explained further that interested students who fall in the following categories: health/ physical challenges, married students/pregnant/ nursing mothers are expected to apply to the Dean of Students’ Affairs for hostel exemption.
The institution’s Director of University Relations, Mr Abdulrazaq Sanni, while reacting to the protest said the increment was to discourage off campus stay by students.
“The school has only decided to stand strictly by what the policy in accommodation says, because we discovered that students don’t want to stay in school hostel again, and only want to just pay exemption fee and not stay in the hostel.
“Students actually protested, saying that the school has increased the exemption fee for not staying in the school hostel
“The increment in the exemption fee is just to discourage them from staying off campus and be forced to stay in school hostel where we can monitor them properly,” Sanni said. (News Agency of Nigeria )