The decision by the management of Peter Odili’s PAMO University of Medical Sciences to increase school fees mid-term of 2021/22 is causing disquiet among parents, students and stakeholders, InfantNG learnt.
The school recently announced an upward review of fees from N4,000,000.00 to N6,150,000.00 in the middle of the session and students have been asked to commence payment to reflect the new fee regime.
This, the parents said they can not understand the rationale behind the increase when they have already paid school fees. Consequently, the parents are spoiled for a show down with the school management as the decision to increase fees by over 50% did not follow due process.
They therefore urged the National University Commission (NUC), Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, the Nigerian Public and all stakeholders to join in appealing to the good conscience of the proprietor and the management of the institution to rescind the directive.
Narrating the issue, Mr. Keno, PAMO parent Coordinator stated, “The crux of the tug of war has to do with a mid-session upward fee-review majorly for medical students (especially) and other categories of students with MBBS students’ fee-review attracting the highest increase of N2,145,000 (Two Million, One Hundred and Forty-five Thousand Naira) over and above the N4,000,000 (Four Million Naira) which was paid by the fee-paying parents at the beginning of the 2021 Session in June, 2021.
“In 2021 alone, parents paid N8,000,000 (Eight Million Naira) to get their children/wards through that year, yet a whopping additional N2,145,000 is being demanded in this present Nigeria that everyone is going through hard times!”
According to investigations, students were to be prevented from resuming on campus (after 2021 Christmas Break) unless they paid. Sensing trouble, the VC allowed the affected students to resume only after signing undertaking to pay latest by 21st February, 2022.
But the management of the private owned university said it was amiable to discussion with the agitated parents. The Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Michael Diejomaoh said he had told the parents concerned to properly situate their concern and approach the school.
Diejomaoh said it is a private matter between the school and the parents. Responding to an inquiry by our Correspondent, the Vice Chancellor said it is an internal matter which he would not want to be discussed in the newspaper.
However, from the correspondents between the institution and the fee-paying parents, it was obvious that the parents were not ready for the upward review as they urged the school to review it’s decision. Besides, the parents want the idea dropped since the students have already paid and got cleared for full-session fee payment for 2021/2022 session at the bursary.
They stressed that there is no justification to review fees now when the session paid for is still not completed.
The parents wrote: “We write on behalf of Fee-paying Parents/Guardians Association of this great institution herein after referred to as we. We have been undated by rumors from our children of the proposed fee increment by the Board of the School to over 70%. As you are aware, you have students who are on scholarship and those who are sponsored by their parents/guardians from their earnings.
“We are concerned by this new development as the proposed hike will negatively impact us, the fee-paying clients. We are conscious of the present economic situation in the country coupled with the security challenges which is adversely affecting the institution just like we the parents.
“Although the school have not deemed it necessary to engage us as parents, we have decided to come together to discuss and dialogue with the school authority on ways and means of being on the same page as regards fees payment and other areas of concern.”
Responding to the parents plea, the VC said the fees will become effective in 2022/session. While insisting that a review downward was impossible due to the economic reality in the country, he however told our correspondent that aggrieved parents should approach the school management in a proper way.
He stated: “Thank you so much for your letter on the above subject matters. As I had hinted you during our previous discussion, The Council and Management reviewed the recent increase in school fees very carefully. Decision was taken after due consideration of the economic circumstances currently prevalent in the country.
“A change or review is not possible. Some of you had indicated that you had paid for part of the session and so you could not understand an increase at the time the increase was introduced. This complaint will be carefully addressed and you will be informed accordingly. The new school fees will certainly be applicable from the beginning of the 2022 session.”