‘No Fee, No Exams’ Protest: Abia State Students Condemn Tuition Fee Hike, MOUAU VC's Remarks | #NwokeukwuMascot
In a show of solidarity, the leadership of the National Association of Abia State Students (NAASS) has strongly condemned the recent hike in tuition fees at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU) and expressed their outrage at the university management's derogatory remarks towards protesting students.
The statement signed by Comr Bethel Agbara, the president of the association, states how the increase in tuition fees has left many students unable to write their examinations, causing frustration and hardship for both the students and their families. "NAASS firmly believes that education is a fundamental right, not a privilege, and students should not be burdened with exorbitant costs that hinder their access to education and limit their opportunities," Agbara partly said.
Recall, we had earlier reported that the varsity has indefinitely suspended academic activities following students protesting against the 'No Fees, No Exams' decision of the school management.
Comrade Agbara who also is Alumni of the University said that the association is particularly dismayed by the university management's recent statement, in which they referred to the students advocating for academic justice as "miscreants". NAASS considers this description as insulting, inflammatory, and unacceptable.
The statement reads in full: "I am writing to express my solidarity with you (GREAT UMUDYKES) in the face of the recent hike in tuition fees, which has resulted in many students not being allowed to write their examinations. I understand the frustration and hardship that this decision has caused for many of you and your families.
"We (the leadership of NAASS worldwide) strongly condemn this unjust and arbitrary increase in fees. We believe that education is a right, not a privilege and that students should not be burdened with exorbitant costs that limit their access and opportunities.
"We also wish to express our dismay and outrage at the recent statement issued by the university management, in which they referred to the students seeking academic justice as " _Miscreants_ ". We find this description to be insulting, inflammatory, and unacceptable. It shows a complete disregard for the legitimate grievances and demands of the students. They also undermine the values of academic freedom, integrity, and excellence that our university is supposed to uphold. MOUAU, of which I am an Alumni, remains one of the greatest citadels of learning in this country, and this should be reflected in her practices.
"We are currently in negotiation with the management to reverse this decision and restore the previous fee structure. We urge the student community to remain calm and patient as we work to resolve this issue through dialogue and peaceful means. We also ask you to refrain from further violent or disruptive actions that could jeopardize our collective interests and safety.
"Finally, we appreciate your support and cooperation in this matter. And we reiterate our commitment to ensuring a safe, respectful, and equitable learning environment." He ended.