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Federal government to regulate high school fees

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Shekarau

IN an effort to end the discrepancies in fees and charges levied by Federal government tertiary institutions, the government yesterday unveiled plan to regulate such fees and charges as part of effort to reduce unrest that greets indiscriminate increase in fees paid by students.

Minister of Education, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau who disclosed this at the beginning of a meeting held with executive secretaries of regulatory agencies in the Federal Ministry of Education in his office said that government wanted to make sure that all universities, polytechnics and colleges of education owned by federal government operate within the same guideline especially on the fees and charges payable by students.

?We want to make sure that all universities under federal government are operating withing the same guidelines, even though they will have their own internal peculiarity, which they have their own power to. We are going to do the same thing with the polytechnic and collages of education? he said.

The Minister who did not specify how soon the federal government would make its tertiary institutions charge uniform fee however said that government was not interested in interfering in the governance of the institutions.

His words: ?This meeting is basically a family meeting, it is the meeting of all the major stakeholders of all the management heads in charge of tertiary education in the country.

As part of Mr. President?s agenda in improving quality, we always meet to interact and address one issue or the other.

The main purpose of this meeting is to look into the issues of various charges by various institutions.

We know that government has given power to the various councils, government does not interfere in the independence of our tertiary institution. The councils are in charge of all the institutions and we have agencies that oversee and regulate these institutions. NUC is overseeing all universities, NBTE oversees the polytechnic and NCCE oversees the colleges of education, this is in addition to the independent councils that you have, but our role in the Ministry is to oversee all, and make sure that all of them are operating withing the guideline, rule and regulations governing those institutions, just to ensure that? the standards are maintained, protecting the interest of the beneficiaries;? the students and Nigerian citizens.

Our main agenda on the meeting is to look into various charges of fees by all the institutions and we try to regulate and ensure that while we appreciate the independence of the councils of the institutions, government has the constitutional responsibility to ensure that they operate within some guidelines. Our business is to give the guidelines and it?s been quite long since this is done.?

Though journalists were asked to leave the meeting for decisions to be reached, a staff of the Ministry of Education told our correspondent that federal government was worried by the discrepancy in the fees charged by federal tertiary institutions.

He said: ?Different schools are charging different fees and are ought to be uniform Though some charge based on the environment but fees like accommodation and departmental are expected to be uniform.

?Government is looking at the possibility of making the charges uniform.? He said

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