The Oyo State House of Assembly has expressed concern at the recent announcement by authorities of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, of an increase in the school fees from N65,000 and N70,000 to between N200,000 and N300,000.
An internal memorandum dated July 18, 2018, and signed by LAUTECH Registrar, Mr J. A. Agboola, had conveyed the decision of the school council’s decision to review the fees payable by students starting from 2018/2019 academic session such that Medical, Nursing and Biomedical students are to pay N300,000; those in faculty of Engineering and Technology, N250,000; while Faculties of Agricultural Sciences, Basic Medical Sciences, Environmental Sciences and Pure and Applied Sciences are to pay N200,000.
Brought up for discussion as a matter of urgent public importance at Tuesday’s plenary, Honourable Wumi Oladeji of Ogbomoso North constituency had described the increase of the school fees to the tune of 300 per cent as astronomical, and called for its reduction.
She warned of the consequences of the increase to include the tendency for students, especially the indigent, to drop out of school, as well as discourage others from seeking higher education.
Upon hearing Oladeji’s prayers, the Assembly presided over by its Speaker, Honourable Olagunju Ojo, mandated the Education Committees of both Oyo and Osun Houses of Assemblies to meet with the governing council of the university and its management.
This is as the Assembly appealed to students of the institution to resist the temptation to get riotous over the issue, expressing hope that the two owner state governments of LAUTECH will look into the prayers for the fee reduction.
In another motion on the education sector of the state, Honourable Gbenga Oyekola representing Atiba constituency has called on the state government to employ more teachers for Public Primary and Secondary Schools, especially in core subject areas.
Oyekola hinged his call on the gaps left by retired and dead teaching staff which remained vacant.
Aside from his call for immediate recruitment, Oyekola said the quality of teachers was dwindling, thereby urging the state government to re-train the current crop of teachers in its service.
He further expressed concern at waning discipline among teachers and students in the public schools, charging school supervisors to reprimand erring teachers or students.
Honourable Fatai Adesina of Ibadan South East 1 constituency, in his contribution, pointed to the need for redistribution of teachers to rural areas, noting that the available teachers were concentrated in urban areas.
Honourable Joshua Oyebamiji, Akinyele 1 constituency, on his part, said there was the need for the state government to embark on a staff auditing to be sure of the number of teachers in its employ and be able to know the number of vacancies that need to be filled.
The Assembly had also noted the need for government to lift the embargo on the conversion of non-teaching to teaching staff, so as to beef up the number of teachers available in schools.