ROAD TO A CALLOUS PRIVATIZATION
After battling with the Joint Admission Matriculation Board Examination for good 3 years I finally did emerge a winner, little did I know my dream of acquiring my t degree was soon to be snatched away by some greedy, callous money bag who in reality care less about the people or their sufferings so long they were not affected. The election which brought a new government in Ondo State didn’t go well with the people as a lot of things was threatened. The educational life of the state which is my major example in this article was threatened. As the public schools was greeted with a no more free WAEC and NECO fee, then the start paying for the free shuttle that was made available for the students which only stopped because of serious disapproval. As if that was not enough the Higher Institution full with struggling Youths battling to give themselves the best life with the situation of Nigeria, an institution full of students leaving off their own hardwork or students whose parents salaries is not even enough to feed themselves, students whose parents had to struggle and go borrowing just to ensure their children get educated.
Every state school in Ondo State in one way or the other got a tip of the iceberg of this callous government. Then a school which was known as the last man’s hope; Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba, Akoko, Ondo State received the greatest shock of their life as the government said they could no longer shoulder the responsibilities of the students hence a school fee from 30-50 thousand maximum was proposed to be increased to 200 thousand naira. Of course that was not their actual plan, they knew very well the students wouldn’t accept such a burdensome amount, they played their necessary game and once again outsmarted the students and had their way to increasing the fee to 150 thousand naira excluding other fees that must be paid. Kia!! Asking the same question Senator Smart Adeyemi asked “What is the future of Nigeria as a Nation?” What is the future of our youths who after acquiring both the knowledge and certificate and still ends jobless in the street? What is the future of our children who looks forward to getting educated? If it’s not strike, it’s hike. Okay fine the students because of the fact that they had no one to fight for them as those who were suppose to fight for their interest had relented for reasons only God knows.
As if that was not enough the agreement which was made in 2018 about the AAUA current school fee seems to be threatened again by this same money bags who claim that education cannot be free. Quoting the AAUA Vice-Chancellor Professor Igbekele Amos Ajibefun while speaking in an interview with OSRC where he said “there is no free education anywhere, you pay for a quality certificate”. What is quality in the certificate, a certificate that would end up being a waste for some people as a result of lack job and abject poverty to partake in the entrepreneurship world? He went further to compare the common man University with private Universities, I am so sorry to say this but it seems even our VC has forgotten the reason for the establishment for this University, he most has forgotten one of the reasons the University is situated in the location it is today (Akungba). Has anyone ever reasoned why our forefathers relocated the school to Akungba Akoko of all places in Ondo State? This is one reason, Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba is in it’s present location so that the people in the grassroot can have the opportunity/privilege to go to school too, so as to eradicate ignorance and the level of illiteracy in the society. He went ahead to say “anything that is free will not be valued,” and this left me with questions for him. Sir do you mean that everyone who enjoyed free education in the days of our forefathers did not value what they were given? Do not forget most people standing today is only able to stand because of that free thing they received that you said would not be valued, I am very sure if they didn’t value that free education they probably won’t be standing.
They claim the fee was not increased but we are asked to pay the same thing we paid last session which to my understanding means those who paid 100 thousand and were suppose to pay 80 thousand would still pay 100, same with those who paid 150 and we’re suppose to pay 100 would have to pay 150. And those who paid 80 and are suppose to pay 70 would still pay 80. I refused to be confused by English, this is indirect increment, let’s not forget some are still finding it hard to complete or even pay for last session and some even had to step down. The only people that happily paid are the ones from the wealthy home, those that money is already available for them and they do not need to bother about struggling for money. This is indeed extreme wickedness, a complete infringement and denial on our Right to Education. They claim to be giving busary, please someone should answer me after borrowing the money where should the students who has no one to look up to find the money to pay back? If you don’t pay the school fee within the stipulated time you would have to pay an extra amount of 10 thousand naira or so for late payment, you would also have to seek approval to pay (they don’t care where or how you get the money so long you pay). Even the busary is not for free as it is accompanied with interest.
In between all these where does the common man stand? Is there still a government for the people? If there still is what happened to it? What happened to the government of the people, by the people and for the people? Many students could not complete their education and had to drop out last year, many who were given admission forfeited it not being able to meet up with the government’s demands, many resulted to crimes, those already involved increased it using this as a good excuse. My heart can’t take this any longer, I could not control the tears in my eyes after a friend confined in me that he won’t be able to return to school if we were asked to pay the same amount we paid last session as he has not even been able to pay for last session. Crime rate has gotten to its peak in Nigeria because the youth has to find a way out of the hardship.
I know a lot of people might criticize this article, a lot might even condemn it and the writer, a lot might even wishes they could harm me but for those who stand with the truth, for those who are affected, for those who I have spoken their minds, keep sharing this until our voice is heard and this dictatorial and tyrannic government is stopped. I rather die fighting than die sleeping. I rather die exposing my bleeding injury than closing it up until it gets seriously infected. I rather die speaking out than die of silence
I am a student of Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba, Akoko, Ondo State and I speak for the voiceless, we must be heard