Students of the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, on Thursday, embarked on a protest against the decision of the institution’s authorities to increase tuition fees. Gates leading to the school were locked,preventing staff and students from entering the premises. Students who had reasons to be on the premises at the time the protest broke out were seen scaling the gates to make their way out.
The protest kicked off at about 8 a.m., with students defying the heavy morning rain. About 100 students massed at the main gate, as activities were paralyzed for about seven hours. Suspended student’ union leaders of the institution told SaharaReporters the school management held an emergency meeting with students in a bid to quench their anger.
A student leader, Akinola Abiodun, said the students were displeased that the Rector, Mrs. Margaret Kudi Ladipo, was absent at the meeting, as they had planned to speak to her directly Also absent were the five other principal officers of the institution.
“We had a preliminary meeting with the school management. The six principal officers of the college were not available. We only had the Deputy Rector (Administration) in attendance. We were, however, assured that the school management will be better represented tomorrow by 3pm. As it is, we are suspending all our activities till the meeting holds,” Akinola told SaharaReporters.
A student disclosed that they are not ready to accept anything short of a reversal from N23,000 to the N19,200 it was.
“In a recessed economy where the Federal Government is reluctant to pay above N18,000 as minimum wage, it is wrong to increase school fees. One of our school hostels got burnt last year. Despite the increment in fees, which began last year, the renovation of the hostel has not commenced. There are rumors that the school administration intends to make students of that particular hostel pay for the damage done,” said the student.
An official of the suspended Students’ Union Government, Ganiyu Abdulkareem, said the demands of the students are the immediate reversal of tuition fees to N19, 200 and N52, 750 for full-time and part-time students respectively, an end to victimization of students and reinstatement of suspended student leaders as well as the students’ union.