The untold hardship forced on Nigerians is taking its toll on students of various institutions, as tuition fees have increased.
Although the government introduced student loans into the educational sector to ease the hardship, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is not willing to accept the new development.
The Bauchi zone of ASUU rejected the students’ loan scheme of the federal government, requesting that non-refundable grants should be given to Nigerian students instead of loans.
The coordinator of the zone, Lazarus Maig-oro, disclosed this while speaking at a scholar-ship-for-indigent-student programme held at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi, on Saturday.
He said: “The question is: who will pay the loan? What is the fate of those who cannot access it?
“The psychological trauma the students will be subjected to due to the loan while still in studies will affect their performance negatively.
“The fact that they will graduate with a loan of 4 million Naira and above without the capacity to pay it back will be another psychological torture for students.
ASUU Says There Will Be A High Risk Of Drop Out
“Furthermore, those who cannot access the loan due to the stringent conditions attached virtually drop out of school.
“Currently, in view of the hike in school fees or charges at public universities all over the country, many students have not been able to resume”.
According to him, ASUU Bauchi Zone is working on getting the statistics of students who may likely drop out of school at the end of the current session with the hope of making the government review its decision on the issue of the loan and replace it with grants.
Furthermore, the ASUU Zonal coordinator gave more insight.
“I can authoritatively say without mincing words that as we teach these students in the classrooms, we notice quite a number who are distressed due to the very harsh economic realities of our country.
“In the case of federal universities, the government seems to have abandoned its constitutional responsibility of funding universities and left it at the discretion of the various governing councils of the universities to review it at will, thereby making some students drop out of school.”
Furthermore, the Academic Staff Union of Universities has alleged that the student loan set up by the Federal Government is just a plan to enrich a few individuals who owned private universities in Nigeria.