Students at the University of Jos (UNIJOS) on Tuesday took to the streets to protest against a recent surge in school fees and various ancillary charges imposed by the institution.
Led by the resolute members of the Students’ Union Government (SUG), the protesters created a human blockade at the entrance to the university, demanding an immediate rollback of the fee increments.
Brandishing a sea of placards adorned with compelling slogans that underscored their demands, the students cited the prevailing economic hardships in the nation as a compelling reason for the university authorities to reconsider their decision.
In a drastic change of fortune for students, UNIJOS raised its school fees and additional charges from a previous N40,000 to a staggering N160,000 per academic session.
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Longmun Dakon, the President of the institution’s SUG, expressed deep concern over the escalating costs, stating, “The sudden hike in fees is simply unaffordable for our students. It places an enormous financial burden on them, and regrettably, many may be forced to abandon their academic pursuits.”
Dakon also revealed that prior to the fee hike, the SUG had been engaged in earnest dialogues with the university authorities, although the decision was still thrust upon them without much consideration.
The protests drew the attention of the university’s Dean of Students Affairs, Prof. Christopher Piwuna, who assured the agitated students that the issue of fee hikes was indeed on the authorities’ radar and was under active deliberation.
Acknowledging the gravity of the situation, Prof. Piwuna remarked, “Our prior discussions may not have borne fruit as desired, but we remain committed to ongoing dialogue. The concerns of our students matter greatly to us, and we are working diligently to address them.”
As the sun set over the protest site, students at the University of Jos held firm, determined to press their demands for a fairer educational cost structure that accommodates the economic realities faced by many in Nigeria. The standoff between students and authorities continues, casting a shadow over the campus’s academic atmosphere.