The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Bauchi Zone has harshly criticized the government for providing inadequate finance for federal universities, attributing the problem to increased rates of student dropout. ASUU vehemently opposed student loans, contending that aid for students would be better served by government subsidies.

During the Indigent Scholarship Award ceremony at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) in Bauchi, Comrade Lazarus Maigoro, the ASUU Bauchi Zonal Coordinator, recently expressed concerns about the detrimental effects of student loans on academic performance and the psychological stress they cause students. He emphasized the significance of providing grants to students in order to reduce their financial burden and prevent more academic challenges.

Maigoro highlighted ASUU’s commitment to supporting financially suffering students by citing instances where students dropped out due to an inability to pay fees and other expenses. The organization aims to alleviate these financial difficulties and ensure that students’ ambitions of attending college are realized through its scholarship program.

Advertisement

“The question is, who will pay the loan? What is the fate of those who cannot access it? The psychological trauma the students will be subjected to due to the loan while still on studies will affect their performance negatively.The thought that they will graduate with a loan of N4 million and above without the capacity to pay back is another psychological torture on them.

“Furthermore, those who cannot access the loan due to the stringent conditions attached virtually means dropping out of school. Currently, in view of the hike in school fees or charges in public Universities all over the country, many students have not been able to resume.

“ASUU Bauchi Zone is working on getting the statistics of Students who may likely drop out of school at the end of the current session with the hope of making government review its decision on the issue of the loan and replace it with grants.”

“I can authoritatively say without mincing words, that as we teach these students in the classrooms, we notice quite a number who are distressed due to the very harsh economic realities of our country.

“One of the reasons ASUU went on strike in 2022 for eight months was to make government live up to its own responsibilities of funding University education but unfortunately, parents and students did not support the Union to fight this menace collectively and now, students and parents have become victims of what ASUU tried to prevent.

“For this year, 2023, ASUU Bauchi zone is giving 19 indigent students scholarship apart from the 12 already awarded by ASUU National in the 6 Universities that constitutes Bauchi zone,” Comrade Lazarus said.