The National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) has expressed concern over the recent increment in tuition fees and charges in tertiary institutions, claiming many students may drop out.
“This development may compel many of our students to drop out of school, occasioned by the current economic hardship facing parents and lack of adequate resources to meet up with economic demands,” said the association. “We are aware that over 200 per cent increase in fees and charges are now being imposed by authorities of various universities.”
A statement issued on Sunday by NAAT president, Ibeji Nwokoma, said their reaction followed a decision reached at the 52nd National Executive Council meeting.
The meeting was held at the Aliko Dangote University of Science and Technology, Wudil, Kano.
NAAT stated that the development had become worrisome as most federal institutions, particularly universities, exorbitantly increased their fees.
“NAAT, therefore, appeals to the government to consider the plight of the poor and rescind the decision by returning to the status quo until the loan issue is properly addressed,” it stated.
The technologists also said NAAT was against the recent introduction of the Core Curriculum and Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS) by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and observed obvious errors of omission and commission as contained in the current CCMAS document under review.
“For example, on page 70, under Engineering and Technology, which is similar to all other disciplines, the role/place of academic technologists was not given any consideration as one of the critical stakeholders in the university system,” added the statement.
The association further noted that the document under review was prepared and circulated without the input of NAAT members, who are the critical stakeholders in the laboratories, workshops and studios.
According to NAAT, the name of ‘academic technologist’ is missing in the document.
“Technologists’ jobs were assigned to Academics support personnel who are alien to the university system. To add salt to injury, these non-existing staff members are also being recommended to be engaged as temporary staff, according to the CCMAS document under review (pages 70-117),” the statement explained. “This is an aberration capable of destroying the values of any academic programme in the area of laboratory, workshop, studio or research farm practices.”
It also stated that the document “is also silent on the minimum number” of academic technologists to man laboratories, workshops, studios or research farms “for the effective and efficient running” of an academic programme.