There are indications that the Lagos State government may slash the tuition fees of the state’s own university, Lagos State University, LASU, any time from now as the State Executive Council will deliberate on the issue at their next meeting.
The state Commissioner for Education, Olayinka Oladunjoye, on Tuesday at a ministerial press conference while answering questions on LASU fees, gave the indication that the government would slash the fees soon, saying that government is sensitive to the demands of the students.
Oladunjoye said: “I have it on authority as I was present at the meeting the governor held with these students. The students complained that the school fees were too high and we told them to come up with a programme of payment that they think would be suitable for them.
“According to the state governor, they came up with an idea a few days ago but he is yet to present it to the executive council. So the issue of LASU fees is not something we are sweeping under the carpet. We are looking at it and we have asked the students to be involved in the process of resolving it and they are involved in it. Very soon, you would hear from the government on the issue. We are not that insensitive. We know what is happening and we are proactive,” she stated.
Students and lecturers in the institution have been protesting against increase in the fees. This has led to the face-off between the state government and lecturers of the institution.
Government has accused the lecturers of hiding under the controversial school fees to attract public sympathy for their personal interest.
While answering questions at the press conference, Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Otunba Fatai Olukoga, said LASU lecturers were not being sincere and only came up with flimsy reasons to embark on industrial action.
“Let me say that the lecturers are only using this as a gimmick to attract public sympathy to embark on the strike. On the issue of promotion they are talking about, there is no vacancy. There is nowhere in the world you will be promoted when there is no vacancy. To be promoted, you must be tested, through both written and oral exams.
“It is after you have passed the tests that you can be promoted. For instance, if you are moving from level 15 to 16 and there are only 10 vacancies for 15 people that are due for promotion, the best 10 will be promoted, while the remaining ones will have to wait till next time.
“The lecturers are also going on strike because of retirement age for them. We have told them that the retirement age cannot be determined by the school. They have to write a formal letter to the state House of Assembly. The House will look at it, call for public hearing and then send the result to the Executive Council where the government will now sign,” he said.
Meanwhile, Commissioner For Education, Olayinka Oladunjoye, has also disclosed that the government was committed to the payment of fees of all Senior Secondary School III students sitting for the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
She disclosed that the government had paid WAEC over N508.67 million for the examination and administrative fees of 47,000 SS III students who sat for the 2014 WAEC in the state.
Oladunjoye also revealed that the government has begun the teaching and learning of Chinese language in five schools in the state as pilot phase. The schools include Bolade Junior Grammar School, Oshodi, Ikeja Junior Grammar school, Immaculate Heart Comprehensive Junior High School, Maryland, Mende Junior High School, Maryland and New Era Junior Girls, Surulere.