Please follow this conversation from a group chat as seen below. For the purpose of Privacy, the names and phone numbers of the speakers are blurred.
However, this conversation captures what Imo Youths (Students and non-students) feel about the Free Education Policy of the Okorocha’s administration, especially as it concerns the tertiary institutions.
Be patient and follow the conversation till the end. A student of Medicine from Imo State University (IMSU) wrote below.
“Education has never been free in Imo State.
I am a student of Imo State University. I gained admission in 2016. When I gained admission, I paid ₦70,600 acceptance fee. We were over 350 students in 100 level, only for the number to drop to less than 300 in our second year, reason being that many couldn’t afford to pay the acceptance fee. How then is there free education in Imo State? Before Okorocha, acceptance fee was ₦19,500.
“As a student in Imo State University, in a semester, I spend close to 30k, sometimes up to that, on textbooks alone because of the exorbitant prices of the books (which weren’t so costly in the past). How then is education free in Imo State?
“In the same Imo State University, we pay school fees of twenty something thousand as indigenes, we also pay faculty and departmental dues. Even bursars come to check school fee receipts in the exam hall, and they stop those owing from writing. How then is education in Imo State free? How can there be free education yet students are paying school fees? Now the school fees have been increased to ₦31,000. But education is free isn’t it? butress
“It is a misnomer to say that education is free in Imo State. Except the word “free” has changed from its original meaning that I know, education is not, and has never been free in Imo State. Whoever says that is either lying or ignorant of the meaning of the word “free.”
“About the quality of education here, I would say the quality of education in Imo State is light years below standard. A visit to Imo State University and our primary and secondary schools would explain what I mean better. We lack infrastructure, no good classrooms, no conducive learning environment, no good learning facilities and the environment is very dirty too. How about the libraries? – Not well equipped. How then can you be talking about quality in the absence of all of these?
“Please, let’s tell ourselves the truth here. Education in Imo State under Rochas’ was never free, neither did it have quality. I know he shared school bags, shared money, and so on, that still doesn’t invalidate the fact that our education sector was a mess under him.“
Below are the arguments that followed: