By Bode Akinbode, Ibadan
The planned hike in the proposed accommodation and training fees for medical students by the University of Ibadan has been vehemently rejected by parents and students at a stakeholders’ meeting held at the Trenchard Hall of the institution on Tuesday.
The Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Idowu Olayinka, in his presentation while speaking on the need for the increment, told the gathering that the increment was necessary due to the present state of the institution.
He disclosed that the institution would come up with an Agressive Indigent Students Scheme that would identify genuine indigent students to whom partial or full would be awarded.
This, he said, would be achieved through funds from the institution’s subvention, staff voluntary checkoffs and donations from individuals and corporate organisations.
The VC, who appealed for understanding and cooperation solicited the support of all the stakeholders particularly corporate organisations and individuals to ensure that the reputation of the university was kept intact.
But in their various reactions, most of the speakers who are mainly parents expressed their dissatisfaction with the decision of the university’s management without prior consultation with all stakeholders.
They argued that the university should rescind its decision due to the current economic situation which has made the existing fees unaffordable for some parents and indigent students.
As the meeting progressed, students staged a peaceful protest at the promises of the hall carrying placards with various inscriptions such as “Say No To Increment,” “Parents, Students, Workers Must Be Involved in the Decision-making Of The University,” “No Reversal No Resumption,” among others.
Some of the speakers namely Mr. Fashina Olusegun, Mrs. Olukemi kikelomo, Mrs. Bunmi Akinola and Mr. M. O Odurounbi were of the oppinion that the parents should have been considered first before reaching any decision as they are at the receiving end of any policy that affects the students.
They maintained that the increase in fees should be gradually introduced, bearing in mind the economic state of the country which has negative impact on the ordinary citizens of the country.
Others who included Anjola Boluwatife, a 400 Level Law student, called for a probe of how finances meant for the upkeep of the halls of residence were utilized since it was being subsidized by the Federal Government.
A farmer who is also a parent, Mr. Umeh Reuben, warned of a possible spillover effect of any decision taken by the institution on other Federal Government institutions across the country considering it’s standing among other Universities in the country.
Chairman of the occasion and a former Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Omoniyi Adewoye, said the University has a reputation to protect, urging parents to cooperate with the institution.
The institution, it would be recalled, recently came out with a memo, indicating the decision of the university’s management to jack up fees being paid by students for hostel accommodation from N13000, to N30,000 for non-medical students and from N14,000 to N40,000 for medical students beside other fees, which included practicals and training fees for clinical and non clinical students.
By Bode Akinbode, Ibadan