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CLO urges FG to reverse hike in high school fees

The Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) has urged the federal government to reverse the increase in school fees in its unity schools “in practical terms” to alleviate the concerns of students and parents.

It should be recalled that the federal government has insisted that tuition fees remain free and that there are no increments in school fees in any of its institutions.

However, to the dismay of parents and Nigerians, when unity schools closed on Friday, August 4, 2023, students returned with a newsletter bearing an increase from N39,000 to N87,000, excluding the PTA fee of N15,000.

The chairman of CLO in Anambra, Vincent Ezekwueme, made the plea on Saturday while speaking in Enugu about the dangers the increase would pose to the nation’s human capital and socio-economic development.

According to Mr Ezekwueme, the Federal Government should, “out of love” for students and education, reverse the decision to prevent the risk of having more school dropouts, as many parents cannot afford to pay such a substantial amount.

This, he said, could hinder the academic careers of many underprivileged students due to the lack of funds.

He said, “Government at all levels should subsidise education and make it the right of every citizen to attend Senior Secondary (SS) and not a privilege.

“It is correct to say that only through education and skill acquisition can we combat ignorance, poverty, youth restiveness, terrorism, and other vices in society.

“It is noteworthy that education is the best and greatest pathway to greatness and an invaluable contributor to national growth and development.

“We earnestly urge President Bola Tinubu, the Federal Ministry of Education, and the National Assembly to listen to the plight, predicament, and sufferings of the citizens, as increases in school fees will exacerbate the sufferings, pains, agony, and hardships of the citizens.”

The CLO boss also praised Chief Afam Ogene (Labour Party/Ogbaru Federal Constituency) for moving a motion for the reversal of the school fee increase, a motion that other members of the House of Representatives unanimously endorsed.

Mr Ezekwueme said, “Nigerians are really crying and suffering over fuel subsidy removal and hyperinflation on goods and services.

“Increases in school fees will be unbearable and pathetic, and hence the need for the government to do the needful and ameliorate the excruciating sufferings of the citizens by rescinding the decision to increase school fees.”

(NAN)

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