Governor Nasir El-Rufai has banned Kaduna State University (KASU) students from protesting against the institution’s school fees hike and also forced their parents to sign expulsion undertakings.
He ordered parents of fresh and returning students of the 2020/2021 academic session to sign an undertaking that will not allow the students to protest against the recent hike in tuition.
In a statement announcing the resumption of the academic session, signed by the university registrar, Samuel Manshop, parents or guardians are expected to sign a letter of undertaking, seen by the Peoples Gazette.
The undertaking asked parents to pledge that their wards “should be expelled without warning if he/she engages in any demonstration/protest against the increment in tuition fees or any contrary activities of the university’s rules and regulation.”
Apart from KASU, The Gazette’s findings showed that other higher institutions across the country from time to time force students to sign undertakings that violate their fundamental human rights. The institutions usually ask the students to sign such an undertaking at matriculation or randomly to prevent a breach of peace on campus.
Prior to the commencement of the academic session on Tuesday, Nasir El-Rufai led Government insisted that it would not reverse the 500 per cent increase in tuition.
This was confirmed to the students by Kaduna Deputy Governor Hadiza Balarabe in a meeting with the students’ representatives at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna, on June 3.
On May 26, the students staged a peaceful protest at the university campus, insisting many parents could not afford the new school fees.
Indigenes are expected to pay N150,000 for art and humanities and N171,000 for sciences, while non-indigenes will pay N221,000. Indigenes studying any course in the social sciences will pay N170,000 and non-indigenes N200,000. Meanwhile, indigenes admitted to study medicine will pay N300,000 and about N500,000 for non-indigenes.
The government also ignored KASU’s Academic Staff Union of Universities, asking it to rescind the tuition increase, arguing that the hike may result in 70 per cent of the students dropping out.
According to ASUU chairman Peter Adamu, “raising school fees by over 500 per cent will, without doubt, send thousands of the students out of school.”
Mr Adamu added that 70 per cent of the indigenous students were sons and daughters of peasant farmers, civil servants and petty traders.
“Worse still, the state government has sacked a good number of its workforce. Among them are parents and guardians of our students.
“These people struggle every day against the current economic downturn to pay the fees of their children,” he said.