The National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) has appealed to Federal Government to consider the plight of the poor and rescind the decision to hike university school fees.
The association made the appeal after its 52nd National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held in Wudil, Kano state.
The NewsZenith reports that NAAT held the meeting at the Aliko Dangote University of Science and Technology, Wudil.
It expressed concern over the recent increment in school fees in tertiary institutions across the country.
In a statement on Sunday, NAAT President, Mr Ibeji Nwokoma, described the development as ”becoming worrisome”.
Nwokeoma said most federal institutions, especially universities, have increased their fees exorbitantly.
“This development may compel many of our students to drop out of school.
”Parents are currently facing economic hardship and a dearth of resources to meet up with economic demands,” he lamented.
According toNwokoma, NAAT is aware that various universities have increased school fees by over 200 per cent.
“NAAT, therefore, appeals to the government to consider the plight of the poor and rescind the decision.”
Nwokoma also said that NAAT was against the recent introduction of the Core Curriculum and Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS) by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
He said NAAT had observed apparent errors of omission and commission as contained in the current CCMAS document under review.
“For example, on page 70, under Engineering and Technology which is similar to all other disciplines, the role/place of Academic Technologists was not given any consideration as a critical stakeholder in the university system,” he said.
He also noted that NUC prepared and circulated the document without the input of NAAT members.
Academic Technologists are the critical stakeholders in the laboratories, workshops and studios, he said.
According to Nwokoma, the name of the Academic Technologist is conspicuously missing, going by the document in reference.
“Technologists’ jobs are assigned to academics support personnel who are alien to the university system.
“This is an aberration capable of destroying the values of any academic programme in the area of laboratory, workshop, studio or research farm practices.
“NAAT is of the view that the action contravened the act that established Federal Institutions.
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”The action does not conform with the Miscellaneous Act of 2003 as amended.
”It provides a statutory tenure of Governing Council of Tertiary Institutions, so the government cannot dissolve it at will like other boards.
“Therefore, we urge the federal government to reinstate them immediately.
”This is necessary so as not to create a vacuum in the management of tertiary institutions,” he said.
On the issue of Student Loans for Tertiary Institutions, NAAT expressed concern that conditions attached to assessing the loan were too stringent.
NAAT believed students may not be able to access the loan.
”NAAT believes that the government should also consider giving grants to indigent students, as a viable alternative to students’ loans.”
The association, therefore, called for an urgent review of the conditions to make it accessible to the concerned students.
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