OPEN LETTER TO THE VISITOR, THE MANAGEMENT AND STUDENTS OF ADEKUNLE AJASIN UNIVERSITY, AKUNGBA-AKOKO, ONDO STATE
INCREMENT IN SCHOOL FEE: FINDING A REALISTIC WAY FORWARD: THE ALUMNI’S POSITION!
The Alumni of AAUA wishes to thank all the stakeholders for their contributions so far. We will love to assume that the common factor we all share as stakeholders is the love, interest and progress of Adekunle Ajasin University, our own alma mater. In consideration of how protracted this imbroglio has become, and the outpouring of emotions that continue to trail it, we strongly believe it’s time to move forward with a realistic solution born out of consideration for the diverse perspectives involved in the very pressing issue at hand. In this regards, we shall use this opportunity to address the various stakeholders:
TO THE STUDENTS OF ADEKUNLE AJASIN UNIVERISITY
The Alumni sincerely and with lots of admiration celebrates the maturity with which you have conducted your affairs and presented your position. Indeed, your action speaks volume and confirms the judicious use of your education. As your brothers and sisters who have traveled similar route, we would like to identify with your position of no increment; it is only logical that students take such position. It is important to also say, that without any reference to what the educational policy of the government of the day could be, the economic environment in which we find ourselves today does require that you reconsider the no- increment position, because it is an unrealistic way forward. The figures shows that a N23,000 or N35,000 school fee may no longer be practical as students contribution, unless if the government of the day wishes to make education free. We therefore encourage that the students and its vibrant and articulate union government view and consider other perspectives as we collaborate towards a solution for all. We therefore ask that you continue to conduct your affairs with utmost care, making sure that hoodlums do not become students and vice versa.
TO THE MANAGEMENT OF ADEKUNLE AJASIN UNIVERISITY
The Alumni appreciate your holding fort the management of the university especially during the drought of subvention from the State Government. In consideration of the daily challenges of managing an institution of a magnitude as ours, increase in fee as one of the myriads of solutions a management should explore is not only justifiable but also appropriate viewing the challenges of the day. It is however important to mention that for whatever justification, the current increment is exorbitant, astronomical and unrealistic for obvious reasons:
1. An increment from N23,000 or N35,000 to N120,000; N150,000 and N180,000 is rather unexplainable, especially in a public Institution that has gained reputation for quality and affordability.
2. Such a move does raise the question in the mind of the public: If going forward, the students would be the only source of revenue for the institution. We believe this should not be so.
3. The impact and implication of such an increase on families and the image of Adekunle Ajasin University. For instance, and without going into details, the N51,000 non-refundable acceptance fee for fresh students when added to this increase obviously leaves a sour taste in the mind of several parents who have made such payment in good faith of our reputation of quality and affordability.
We therefore advise that the management:
1. Should further share information of its situation with the members of the public, in order to gain more trust and justify the increment proposal.
2. Should educate the student population and the public in general on the values to be derived from any and every form of increase.
3. Should be more prudent and frugal in its management of already scarce resources.
4. Should consider boasting the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the institution, beginning with the production of essential and daily items consumed by the university community and continually seek other sources of revenue, as the public institutions of today cannot no longer depend on a mono-source of income.
Dear management, the Alumni believes this is the time to be more creative in order to protect the image of AAUA that has attracted so much of respect from several quarters and has left yet to be broken records even in the Nigerian Law School.
TO THE VISITOR OF ADEKUNLE AJASIN UNIVERISITY
Your Excellency, The Executive Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, the Alumni would like to crave your indulgence for reaching out to you through such a medium, our previous efforts to reach you in person has not been fruitful and we blame this on your very busy schedule.
The Alumni is most grateful for your decision to further raise the quality of education in Ondo State beyond the existing. We are certain that posterity will forever be grateful to you for this wise decision. As it stands, it is obvious that you are the only one who could put a lasting stop to the imbroglio surrounding the hike in the school fees of Adekunle Ajasin University, our Alma Mater. In appealing to your good conscience, we would like to say that, progressing in one stride from N23,000 to N180,000 will amount to changing a public institution to a private one overnight. It is undeniable that AAUA hosts a sprinkle of students, who based on their background would comfortably pay their own fee and possibly that of a friend, both in the old and new regime of school fees. Your excellency, It must also be appended that the majority of the student population are from very humble background to whom such increase would spell end to their dreams. To the families in the latter category, education can not only be quality, it must be made affordable. We find no other reason to justify why such families prefer public to private institutions.
Your Excellency Sir, We are certain that, as the father of all and an enabler of dreams, you are in the right position to put a stop to the untold implications of the announced hike in fee. We know that your intention is far from increasing criminal acts, prostitution and school dropouts, especially of brilliant and indigent students who are the torchbearer of our citadel of learning. In every way possible, the mathematics of this hike far outweighs the economic capacity of the simple and ordinary people of the state. Such a move could make a well-intentioned initiative counterproductive.
Your Excellency and the father of all, It may be difficult to see things from your perspective because uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. We therefore seek not to question if it is the educational policy of your government to let its institutions operate autonomously with respect to funding. We do know that such freedom must be won gradually and carefully planned for. We therefore suggest that your administration work with an exit plan that is gradual and span into a number of years that will allow all stakeholders absorb the shock. In this regards, our position is that if there must be an increase, it should be done in installments and not drastically.
The university is made up of different strata of the society and it is vital to consider the bottom layer in decisionning, for a chain is as strong as its weakest link. When we charge for quality beyond the affordability of the simple we may be returning our society to a state back in time when education was for the selected few. Education still remains the only reliable solution to the predicaments of our society. This is our passionate appeal to the father of all.
Long live Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko
Long live Ondo State
Alumni General Secretary