A group of students in Ondo State, acting under the umbrella of the National Association of Ondo State Students, on Monday took to the streets of Akure, the state capital, in protest against what they alleged as the anti-education policies of the state government under Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
The protesters alleged that the government was planning to increase the tuition fee at the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, from N30,000 to N200,000. They also expressed displeasure with the non-payment of their bursary awards, the abolition of Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination fees and the scrapping of free education in primary and secondary schools in the state.
The protesting students were armed with placards bearing various inscriptions, such as ‘Aketi, resign,’ ,’Ondo State students are suffering,’ Pay our bursary,’ ‘Governor Akeredolu, pay our bursary,’ ‘No school fee Increment,’ ‘Poor parents cannot afford huge tuition fee’ and ‘Akeredolu, stop your anti-education policies’. During the protest, the students disrupted activities at the office of the Ondo State Bursary Board at the Oke Eda area of Akure. They blocked the main entrance to the premises and chanted anti-government songs. The protesters also barricaded the road leading to the Government House at Alagbaka, Akure.
Speaking on the development, the President of NAOSS, Mr. Olanrewaju Akeredolu, said that students of Ondo origin were yet to enjoy bursary and scholarship awards since Governor Akeredolu assumed office.
He said that student leaders in the state had made several unsuccessful efforts to meet and discuss with the governor over the matter. He said, “To make the matter worse, we learnt that the government would increase tertiary school fees to N200,000. These issues are becoming unbearable for the students. We are protesting the anti-student policies of this administration.”
In his reaction, the Ondo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Yemi Olowolabi, said the government had no plan to increase the tuition fee at AAUA.