Parents nationwide have expressed strong reactions in response to the recent surge in fees for Federal Government Colleges in Nigeria.
Mrs Eunice Awulu, a mother whose children attend the Federal Government College Otobi Akpa, finds the news of the fee increase highly concerning, especially considering the current economic reality of the nation. She fears that this hike will make it unaffordable for her to ensure her children continue their education at the school.
The Federal Government recently raised the school fees for Federal Government Colleges (FGCs), commonly known as Federal Unity Colleges, from ₦45,000 to ₦100,000. The Office of the Director of Senior Secondary Education Department of the Federal Ministry of Education issued the directive, referenced as ADF/120/DSSE/I and dated May 25, 2023, to all principals of Federal Unity Colleges.
The circular titled “Approved fees/charges for Federal Unity Colleges (1st Term) for New Students,” signed by the Director of Senior Secondary Education, Hajia Binta Abdulkadir, states that new students will now have to pay ₦100,000 instead of the previous ₦45,000.
This significant fee increase will impact various aspects and activities within the school, including tuition and boarding fees, uniforms, textbooks, deposits, exercise books, prospectus, caution fees, ID cards, stationery, clubs and societies, sports, extra lessons, and insurance, among others.
Mr Alkali, another concerned parent and an alumnus of the Federal Government College Okigwe, questions whether the Unity Schools are still upholding their primary purpose of national integration. He shares his own experience of attending school among the Igbos in Imo State, all the way from Kano State, for the sake of promoting unity.
In response to the fee hike, the House of Representatives passed a resolution on July 11, urging the Federal Government to reverse the increment of school fees in all federal government-owned secondary schools. The motion, co-sponsored by Saidu Abdullahi (APC, Niger) and Kama Nkemkanma (LP, Ebonyi), highlighted the untold hardships the fee increase is causing students.
The increase in fees has sparked widespread concern among parents and former students who believe that it may undermine the core principles and accessibility of these institutions designed to foster national unity.