A Professor of Educational Management in Ekiti State University, Isaac Ajayi, has said that the newly introduced Student Loan Scheme which was passed by the National Assembly may be a sign that the Federal Government is planning to introduce tuition fees for students in federal tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
Speaking with Saturday PUNCH, Ajayi stated that although the introduction was a good development for the education sector, there was a need for the government to put certain things in place.
He said, “What is important is the guidelines put in place for the loan. The guideline must specify the category of students that are eligible and should not be made available to those who do not really need it.
“The payment method should also not be made in such a way that it is when the student gets employed by the government that the payment will be paid because they may not be able to repay the loan.
“The guarantors should also have the impression that if the students eventually default, they are going to pay back the loan. Implementation of the scheme is also essential because students from rich homes may be the ones having access to the loan and it will be easy for them to get guarantors.”
He explained that to ensure an efficient implementation of such a scheme, procedures such as the guidelines for application, eligibility of students, repayment methods among others should be properly specified by the government.
Also commenting, a Professor of Mathematics in the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State, Ademola Adeleke, noted that creation of employment opportunities for students after graduation should also be considered by the government, adding that the scheme would eventually collapse if there was no machinery put in place to ensure the loans were easily repaid.