by Nwilo Bura-Bari Vincent
There are a lot of factors why the youths today may never become tomorrow’s leaders. Amongst the tons of reasons is the fact that yesterday’s youths, who are today’s leaders are clueless, visionless and uniquely oblivious of steps to reaching that desirable tomorrow of our dreams.
So I could conclude that if you as a youth aren’t schooling in America, the United Kingdom, and recently Ghana, then be prepared to wash the streets of Nigeria, cars and toilets of your peers because our educational sector, just like other sectors, is dead.
Take the University of Port Harcourt for example, a few years ago it established a school called the College of Continuing Education. The college which is not entirely independent but is controlled by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt through a director was created to serve as an alternative to regular studies. The programmes were to run for an additional year, especially for the Humanities. The college was to run part-time education and it did.
The fees were fairly understandable and a lot of people who were either too busy to have gained a degree from the regular programme had another shot, while on their jobs. But things have changed since then.. The most noticeable change has not been in infrastructure but in fees. There has been an unreasonable increase so far. Not geometric, but wicked-trick. Okay, forgive that drift. But a lot has not been fair to the part-time students of the University of Port Harcourt.
Last year, the students of the college paid N36,000.00) in tuition, this was a rise from the N13,000.00 paid in 2009 as tuition. For 2012 the tuition has gone even higher to N150,000.00. This is minus the N11,000.00 charges as fees for an entrance form purchased by tens of thousands of prospective students, whereas less than 3, 000 were offered admission after a screening exercise. How outrageous! In 2012 a total charge of Two Hundred and Thirty thousand naira (230,000.00) would be exploited from students. Handouts are a regular mess. I wish not to talk about it. But please tell me who earns two Hundred and thirty thousand naira (230,000.00) annually in Nigeria with an O’ level?
I am a student of the College of Continuing Education, University of Port Harcourt and I am outraged at the turn around, especially because it pays no consideration to people’s income stream. This is the type of practice which would spur a young man to grab more than his earnings and therefore end up a bad Nigerian. The fee is outrageous and in the absence of an active SUG body of the college I advice appropriate authorities in Nigeria to investigate these bloody fees and be fair to the students of the College of Continuing Education, University of Port Harcourt and other prospective students.
I would have gone a step further to prove this drastic change in pictures. But names would be mentioned so I have compared a list of payment from the faculty of Humanities. Student who had paid N13, 000.00 in 2009 in tuition are amazed that other students would be paying N150,000.00 in tuition in 2012, and a total of N230,000.00 as clearance fees which includes other charges – a clear robbery in its first order. I urge you to make a logical conclusion.
About the author: Nwilo Bura-Bari Vincent is the author of ‘Diary of a Bloody Retard’ a book of travels and observation and ‘Salute to Bori’ a book of poems. He won second Best at the Creative Wings short story competition in 2011 with his story ‘Slum Diary’.