The National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) has expressed its concerns regarding the recent increase in tuition fees and charges at tertiary institutions, fearing that many students may be forced to abandon their studies due to the current economic difficulties faced by parents.
In a statement issued by NAAT president Ibeji Nwokoma, the association emphasised the alarming trend of exorbitant fee hikes in federal institutions, particularly universities.
They appealed to the government to reconsider the decision and return to the previous fee structure until the issue of financial assistance is adequately addressed.
NAAT also voiced its opposition to the Core Curriculum and Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS) introduced by the National Universities Commission (NUC). They highlighted various errors and omissions in the current CCMAS document, specifically pointing out the disregard for the role of academic technologists as crucial stakeholders in the university system.
The association expressed disappointment that the document was prepared and circulated without the input of NAAT members, who play integral roles in laboratories, workshops, and studios.
Furthermore, NAAT criticised the absence of the term “academic technologist” in the document and raised concerns about the assignment of technologists’ responsibilities to academic support personnel who lack familiarity with the university system. They also objected to the recommendation of employing these non-existent staff members as temporary workers, as outlined in the CCMAS document. NAAT asserted that such discrepancies could undermine the integrity of academic programs, particularly in laboratory, workshop, studio, and research farm practices.
The association highlighted another deficiency in the document, noting its failure to specify the minimum number of academic technologists required to effectively manage laboratories, workshops, studios, or research farms for an academic program to run efficiently.