By Daniel Dafe
The Senate leadership of the National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS), being the second largest students movement in Africa, has frowned at the meeting between institutional heads and Students’ Union Government from various tertiary institutions in Delta State with the aim of imposing a COVID019 levy of Five Thousand Naira on students upon returning to school.
In a press statement signed by President of the Senate, NAPS, H.E. Dio Oghale Emeka Rex, the body said that “the Senate leadership wish to emphasize emphatically that the decision is wicked, anti students and it is not acceptable. While we are still ensuring and pressurizing the government to come to the aide of our members who are most vulnerable by giving them palliatives, waving off fees for an academic session and free hostel accommodation for one session, the managements of tertiary institutions in the state are trying to make things complicated.”
He added: “The government has made preparation before the resumption, otherwise why did they place academic activities on hold? They could have allowed them continue with their studies while observing the Covid-19 precautionary measures? Has any student benefited from their so called palliative or whatsoever as part of inconveniences?
“This is pure madness and governmental merchandize, making prey of the poor students who have been academically drawn backward. What do they want to make out of it?
“Students are not the cause of Covid-19 and hence must not be tasked to pay such a huge amount of money, not now while they and their parents are still struggling to raise transport fare, money for handouts and textbooks and feeding money.”
According to him, “students pay schools fees, insurance fees, health fees and welfare fees; all these monies are enough to carter for the welfare of the students and not extorting them under the guise of Covid-19.:
Speaking further, he said: “Are lecturers not part of the institution? Why must only students pay for Covid-19 fee? We shall not take it as the interest of the students remains our utmost priority.
“The leadership of NAPS wishes to warn all Students Union Government officials who are succumbing to this anti-students policy to retrace their steps, as whatever decision reached in agreement to the above is not for the students and the leadership will not hesitate to sanction any of these SUG officials found wanting.”
The group called on the state government through the Honourable Commissioner of Education to help avert what they described as a proposed anti-students policy.
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