An open letter: Mr. Governor, your beloved LAUTECH is producing more dropouts every year than graduates

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As much as we all have tried to come to terms with the fact that education isn’t free, at least not any longer, based on the need to maintain the system and achieve smooth running to facilitate exploits, innovations and discoveries in our ivory towers, the results manifesting however in the Nigerian educational sector is nothing to write home about, it has become a parasitic business venture that no longer has benefits for the consumers; it’s rather turned into an avenue for the fattening of cheeks and pockets of those assigned to meet the satisfaction of the consumers. There is no doubt that education has been shortchanged in Nigeria.
This outcry is as ancient as tattoos and fashion but it is devastating that we’ve been left to continue crying and wallowing in pity as victims of education, yes, victims of education! The educational system in Nigeria has become a predator mauling the lives of those it should empower.
This takes me specifically to the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso; in this institution, every year, we bury victims of education who ironically didn’t ‘die’ by their inability to catch up academically, but because some coronavirus-like policies or rules are introduced without prior or due notification, forcing students to lie prostrate and cut off.
Needless to recount past incidents, the unfolding one will suffice (though the policy had been in effect previously); the institution kicked off the second semester examination of the 2 use020/2021 academic session on Monday, November 29, 2021 and a good percentage of students who are the supposed purpose of the institution have been denied access to write this examination, a situation that has ensured that LAUTECH is producing more dropouts every year than graduates.
What is this policy? NO TUITION, NO EXAM! A very good policy that every sane person should understand that it is for the purpose of maintenance and the smooth running of the institution, considering the blows that the institution faced in recent times from strikes and tussle of ownership between the two owner states!
The policy, initially initiated at a time the institution was being self-funded to meet the payments of salaries and arrears of staff members with students who were never the cause of this irresponsibility (but the visitors to the school) became the major victims of the anomaly by being forced to adjust; in fact an unreasonable geometric increase in the tuition was proposed at the time, which made the students’ representatives to have no choice than to bargain the price rather than fighting a policy they were never prepared for; the tuition was still geometrically increased, at least that was the middle ground between the management and the students then, and the policy stood.
Ever since, it has been series of students dropping out of the institution; it has been a journey of marring the careers that the institution was supposed to make; it has been the production of hooligans, fraudsters and victims of disappointments and a failed government, or what do we expect of students whose fees were suddenly increased alongside a policy that ensures they pay up the fees or they won’t be eligible to write the examinations that will certify them?
Meanwhile, the school witnessed a financial turn around in recent times at the advent of a new visitor that has not only been responsible and responding to demands, but has been making sure that the fundamental troubles faced by the institution is resolved, and that is the sole ownership of the institution by Oyo state.
Governor Seyi Makind has been paying FULL SUBVENTION to LAUTECH; arrears that were not even owed by the present visitor had been taken care of, obviously there has been a smooth running, funds are being generated and there is no need for unnecessary pressure on the students who should be the purpose of the institution, and not victims.
Ironically, it is students who are not appointees of the governor that understand his good intentions for the institution; or what else could be the intention of someone who removed #3,000 levy for primary schools’ pupils in the state, and reduced our own tuition here by 25%? We see such gesture, and we appreciate it as a notable value for education and the greatest caution against having dropouts from schools.
These students are still the ones overworked, running two sessions in a year; putting parents on the run to rally for tuition of two years in a year; and they will term it our own share and advantage as it implies graduating on time, but the truth is, it only implies a rapid inflow of cash for the greedy purses and unproductivity from being worn out.
It is only unfortunate that the good intentions of the state government are being sabotaged by the appointees who are supposed to promote the good intentions of the governor; rather appointees such as the Commissioner for Education in the state, Barr Rahman Abdul-raheem have connived with the management of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology starting from the institution’s Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Mojeed Olaide Liasu, and his subordinates, the Dean of Students Affairs, Professor Azeem Ige, who has actively been playing the role of silencing the students who are the very platform that influenced the newness in the state, the advent of clear waters.
It has been a tussle of who eats more from the spoils of the students as the fattening of the pockets of some of the management staff and purchase of vehicles is the reason why members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), LAUTECH Chapter, are also hell bent on having their shares by threatening strike actions.
These appointees have been deliberately sabotaging their principal’s effort, because even as we speak, an immediate implementation of a 25% reduction has still not been effected, why else if not because the school management has not made enough for their pockets.
We hereby call on the Executive Governor of Oyo State to rise to action to defend his love and good intentions for education and do the needful to the pests and greedy personnel sabotaging his efforts.
The students of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology will not stand down and watch the institution we should be proud of in years to come, be clamped down and feasted on by those borne by selfish interests; we won’t fold our arms and watch our colleagues drop out and become elements of destruction in our society; we want to graduate and rise together.
We hereby declare that there would be a peaceful protest at the Oyo State Secretariat to air our grievances, and make our plight known in solidarity with our fellow students, and for a call to action of a Governor whom we know has our good at heart.

Signed:
Indigent Students

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