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The Nigerian federal government has increased the school fees of all Unity schools in the country from 20,000 to 75,000. This did not sit well with many people.
According to reports, the National Parents and Teachers Association of the Federal Government Colleges have kicked against the hike in price of school fees. The association described the move as “commercialization of education.”
According to them, if the fees are not reversed, parents will be forced to withdraw their children from the unity colleges. The National President of the PTA, Dr. Gabriel Nnaji, said that the fee hike from N20,000 to N75,000 was untimely and insensitive by the government.
Nnaji disclosed that the fee was increased in June 1 by the government.
The statement from Nnaji read in part:
“The increase of school fees from about N20,000 to about N75,000 in unity colleges is most untimely and insensitive. An average Nigerian worker whose minimum wage is N18,000 and who has one or two children in the unity colleges will be unable to keep his or her child or children in the unity colleges.
“The recent increase is a negation of the policy or principle that established unity colleges which is to make basic and secondary education affordable and accessible to an average Nigerian student.”
President Muhammadu Buhari was therefore urged to intervene and compel the Federal Ministry of Education to revert to the old fee regime “as the education of Nigerian children is a right and not a privilege.”
“The association will continue to partner the Federal Ministry of Education by complementing the efforts of the ministry in the provision of basic facilities in the unity colleges,” Nnaji said.
The association appreciated the Federal Ministry of Education in making the payment of insurance levy in the unity colleges optional, the association frowns on any attempt to commercialise or make the cost of training Nigerian children in the unity colleges beyond the rich of an average Nigerian parent.